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The National Endowment for the Humanities awards Flagler’s Proctor Library more than $9,000 for Preservation Efforts

Aug 31, 2022

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded Flagler College’s Proctor Library a $9,204 grant towards their Saving History: Preservation Assessment of the Flagler College Archives and the Special Collections project.

Jolene Dubray and Katharine Owens
Jolene Dubray and Katharine Owens

Project Director Katherine Owens, Archive Specialist Jolene DuBray, and Director of Library Services Brian Nesselrode worked alongside the Flagler College Office of Institutional Advancement to apply for the grant in January. Only the top-rated proposals receive endowment grants, which are examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.

“We are beyond thrilled at this opportunity,” Dubray said. “This is the first grant that Katherine and I have pursued for our collections, and I hope it’s only the beginning of our progress in preserving Flagler College’s legacy.”

For more than seven years, Owens and Dubray have worked to get the Flagler community more engaged with their archives and special collections by incorporating them as teaching tools for students. They were able to do so through classroom coursework, internships, and their “Meet the Collections and Curators” series.

“We have spoken to preservationists, taken classes, and read recommendations on best practices for the preservation of the materials,” Owens said. “But, the opportunity to work with a conservationist will improve our knowledge, our care of the collections, and how we teach the students who work for us.”

Flagler College’s Archives and Special Collections project aims to further improve student services by exploring the physical spaces available for the collections, security measures, and environmental controls. Additionally, it will look at granular level preservation of all items to ensure they’re adequately stored, based on their shapes, sizes, and environmental needs.

The grant will greatly benefit the archives and special collections’ ability to maintain the value of preserved items to showcase and use for years to come.

The archives are home to historically valuable materials like photographs, documents, architectural plans, memorabilia, and publications. Notably, you can find historical relics and materials related to the Hotel Ponce de Leon, Henry Flagler, and material about Flagler’s other Florida enterprises. In conjunction, special collections houses the institutional repository of books written by Flagler faculty and staff, rare books from the 15th  through 21st centuries, and even books once owned by Henry Flagler. 

A portion of the grant funds will be used to purchase data loggers to track light fluctuations, relative humidity, and temperature in the current archival and rare book spaces. A baseline of these measurements will be collected and given to a preservation specialist who will advise the library on best conservation methods moving forward.

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ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

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