The National Endowment for the Humanities announced its award to the Morris County Park Commission of the prestigious Preservation Assistance Grant for their project, ‘Sustainable Management of Collections Environments with Limited Controls.’ 

This $10,000 award will support the assessment and monitoring of storage environments for collections maintained in three Morris County Park Commission sites. Maintaining optimal collections environments is a key to the long-term preservation of Morris County’s valuable artifacts, but for many historic structures with limited controls, there have not been many options to intervene. 

 Working in partnership with the Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology the Morris County Park Commission can now explore sustainable and low-cost solutions for maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity conditions for artifacts in buildings without HVAC, and in some cases, no electricity. The grant funds will support a three-day site visit to assess and survey 10 buildings with varying environmental controls. It will also support the purchase of e-Climate Notebook monitoring equipment, and the training of staff in using this data analysis software. 

According to Melanie Bump, Curator of Collections and Exhibits of the Morris County Park Commission, “This award is important to the people of Morris County as valuable assets, which include a collection of artifacts relating to the 300 years of Morris County history, will be preserved.”

 She added, “It will also inform new sustainable practices in environmental management of collections storage, impacting collections stewardship around the world.”

Dave Helmer, Executive Director of the Morris County Park Commission, added,  “We should celebrate that Morris County received this most competitive and sought-after grant as it demonstrates the critical importance of this project and the Park Commission’s stewardship responsibility of local, regional and even national historical and cultural artifacts. 

The National Endowment for the Humanities received 102 eligible applications, and 45 Preservation Assistance Grants were awarded across the country. The Morris County Park Commission is one of only two institutions in this year New Jersey to receive this grant, and were funded at the full amount. The Endowment awards grants to top rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers. There are four levels of review before a grant is officially supported, including a final review by the NEH chairman. 

Cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges and universities, public television, and to individual scholars are all eligible for grant funding through the NEH.  

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