Sep 7, 2011 at 12:51 am
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (KNSI) - The Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at Saint John's University was named as the recipient of a $3 million grant to continue the library's ongoing efforts to digitize, archive and catalog rare and endangered manuscript collections worldwide, the university announced Wednesday.
The money will help fund the libary's teams of archivists, who are currently working to preserve collections in 15 locations in nine countries around the world, including sites in the Middle East, Ethiopia, India and Europe.
"Many of these manuscripts have been kept for centuries by communities now facing threats to their very survival in their ancient homelands," HMML executive director Rev. Columba Stewart said. "Other communities are threatened by rapid political and economic change, placing valuable cultural heritage at risk.
Arcadia's support means that the contents of thousands of unique handwritten books will now be preserved in high-quality digital form for future generations."
The grant was awarded by the Arcadia Fund of London. Over the past 10 years, Arcadia has awarded grants amounting to more than $190 million. Since 2009, Arcadia's key mission became the protection of endangered culture and nature, including near extinct languages, rare historical archives and museum quality artefacts.
The HMML collection of work will also be made available digitally to users around the world. Since its founding in 1965, HMML has formed partnerships with over 480 libraries and archives to photograph more than 120,000 medieval, renaissance and early-modern manuscripts worldwide.
The grant money should be enough to continue the library's efforts for the next five years, Stewart said.