The Westport Historical Society has been awarded a grant of $5,945.00 from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The monies will be used to conduct a condition survey of the Archives and a training session in preservation for volunteers. The Westport Historical Society was one of 319 humanities projects chosen representing 45 states. According to Cheryl Bliss, a volunteer archivist, who is the project director, the Historical Society was one of seven institutions including Yale University, Fairfield University and Wesleyan University to be chosen for such a prestigious award. The proposal has been designated as a “We the People” project. The goal of this type of project is to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study, and understand of American history and culture through the support of projects that explore significant events and themes in our nation’s history and culture and that advance knowledge of the principles that define American culture. Westport was and continues to be a home to well known individuals who have influenced the development of this country’s way of life. Westport has always been identified as a haven for well known actors, artists, writers, television and radio journalists to name a few. Katie Chase, who is chair of the Archives, feels that this grant will support the Archives’ endeavor to review its collection to develop the best way to preserve its records for the future generations of Westport. Walter Newman, Director of Paper Conservation at the Northeast Document Conservation in Andover, Massachusetts, is the consultant who will provide the conservation assessment of the Archives in early May. He has been conducting collection survey for archives since 1990. Mr. Newman is considered an expert in his field having been a principal instructor to paper conservators from Russia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Mongolia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Bosnia