Email to a friend
gives UI Library $1 million to protect, preserve endangered library
Green, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085; email@example.com
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign a $1 million grant to build a program to protect and
preserve endangered library materials.
Under the terms of the award, the UI will receive $700,000 in endowment
funds on a two-to-one matching basis, contingent upon its ability to
raise $1.4 million during the next five years. The funds will provide
permanent support for library preservation efforts. The UI also will
receive an outright gift of $300,000 to design and equip a conservation
laboratory by spring 2003.
"This extraordinary financial support from the Mellon Foundation
will help us ensure that the superb collections in our Library will
be accessible to the worlds scholars in perpetuity," said
Nancy Cantor, the chancellor of the Urbana campus. "This gives
us the opportunity to fulfill our obligation not only to current and
future generations of Library patrons, but also to countless generations
past, whose creative works must be preserved."
The UI Library contains 22 million items and more than 9 million volumes
valued at $1.5 billion, making it the largest public research university
library in the world. Its current holdings are the result of nearly
150 years of investment and represent the vast history of humanitys
intellectual achievements. In spite of these accomplishments, nearly
40 percent of the Librarys collections are in danger of physical
"Until recently, the Library's focus remained strongly on building
collections," said Paula Kaufman, the university librarian. "While
there have been many preservation activities throughout the decades,
there has not been until now a focused, comprehensive
program, which will be enhanced significantly by this magnificent award
from the Mellon Foundation."
Recent steps to strengthen the Librarys preservation program include
an in-depth assessment by a preservation consultant, the appointment
of a preservation librarian and a conservation librarian, and plans
for the construction of the Library's first high-density storage facility,
which will house the conservation laboratory. The award from the Mellon
Foundation will energize these efforts and help the Library develop
a preservation program worthy of national prominence.