MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Morris County Park Commission is the recipient of an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The award was given to the commission for their project, 'Sustainable Management of Collections Environments with Limited Controls', they announced.
The $10,000 award will support the assessment and monitoring of storage environments for collections maintained in three Morris County Park Commission sites. There were 102 eligible applications and 45 Preservation Assistance Grants were awarded across the country. According to officials, the Morris County Park Commission was one of only two institutions in New Jersey to receive the grant.
“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," said Melanie Bump, Curator of Collections and Exhibits of the Morris County Park Commission.“It will also inform new sustainable practices in environmental management of collections storage, impacting collections stewardship around the world.”
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, stated commission officials. 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, they said.
"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", said Dave Helmer, Executive Director of the Morris County Park Commission.