The National Endowment for the Humanities last month awarded one of its prestigious Preservation Assistance Grants to Daytona State College. The $10,000 grant will be used to improve the Southeast Museum of Photography’s ability to preserve and care for its collection of photographs. The NEH peer-reviewed federal grant program supports vital research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.
“Federally funded grants through the NEH are highly competitive and undergo a rigorous vetting process before committee review,” said James Pearson, SMP Director. The museum’s grant was one of 45 awards, totaling $394,741, with a maximum award of $10,000 per grant.
Grants from the NEH were awarded in 13 different categories. The Preservation Assistance Grant (PAG) is designed to help institutions improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections, including special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine arts, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, and historical objects. The NEH awarded 45 grants in this category to organizations across the country, and only 18 of those were given to colleges and universities.
“The PAG will provide for an assessment of the condition of the objects and a report to include suggestions for improving the space, current collection protocols, or the conservation of particular photographs and objects,” said Pearson. “This assessment will be carried out by Kim Du Boise, lead conservator from PhotoArt Imaging Professionals, a photo and time-based medium conservation company.”
Complete collection inventories are carried out every three years by Museum staff. Items in need of conservation are flagged during this review and categorized according to the urgency of conservation needs. A conservator is called in to assess objects in need of immediate conservation once this has been completed.
Du Boise is scheduled to visit the museum in early October for her assessment of the collection.
The Southeast Museum of Photography currently owns more than 4,700 photographs and 5,000 objects, dating back to early processes from the late 1800s, through a range of contemporary images by prominent photographers working in the field today, such as National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry and award winning war photojournalists Kate Brooks and Louie Palu. The museum includes two galleries, a theater, library, gift shop, office space, preparation and work areas, and a collections vault. Photographs in the permanent collection are used in thematic exhibitions on-site and for curated exhibitions that are periodically loaned to other venues.
In addition to its schedule of exhibitions, the museum offers a variety of programs and educational courses for people of all ages, year round.
The museum is at 1200 Int’l Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach. It is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 1 to 5 p.m.. Closed Sunday and Monday.