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Regionally Significant Collections
Both Chicago and the Lowcountry have significant collections that illuminate each region’s artistic, cultural and historic heritage. Many of these collections are not currently accessible to the public. In some instances, they are in danger of deterioration or permanent loss. Our goal is to preserve these collections and provide public access to them.
Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
Waring Library at the Medical University of South Carolina
Collections - including such things as art, artifacts, letters, photographs, maps, and books - are time capsules of our culture. They are rich sources of information about a region and offer the potential for research and enrichment. Technical advances have created new ways to preserve collections and provide greater access. However, very few funding sources are focused on this issue. This initiative helps fill the gap.
We support efforts to preserve and provide greater access to significant regional collections.
Since the inception of this initiative, we have provided grants to a number of our regions' major archival repositories.
To learn more about this initiative, please contact Arthur Pearson, Director - Chicago Program at (312) 977-2709; or John Sands, Director - Lowcountry Program at (843) 651-3793 or email@example.com.
Many of our collections requests come to us through the grant application process. In other instances, we actively seek out opportunities to bring projects to fruition. Some of the collections projects we have undertaken include:
- The archives of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, dating from its inception in 1914, have been consolidated and transferred to the Richard J. Daley Library, Special Collections Division at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There they have been preserved, archived and digitized, and made accessible via an interactive website.
- A collection of early-American costumes and textiles has been properly preserved and can now be safely displayed in custom-built cases at the Charleston Museum.
- Housed at the Waring Library at the Medical University of South Carolina, a collection of medical records and instruments dating back to the 18th century has been catalogued, photographed and made accessible on the web.
- Historical collections from numerous public and private repositories have been digitized and are now available through digital libraries operated by the College of Charleston Addlestone Library and the Georgetown County Public Library.
- The Hedrich-Blessing Collection of 250,000 photographs represents a unique record of Chicago architecture from the 1920s forward. The 15,000 most frequently requested images have been digitized and made accessible through the Chicago History Museum's database.
We also support projects where existing collections are mined-- explored anew--to yield fresh cultural insight and interpretation.
- At the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, African-American artists from around the country selected and reinterpreted works for the museum's permanent collection in an exhibition entitled “un/spoken [SPACES] Inside and Outside the Boundaries of Class, Race and Space"