Society Earns Award to Study Energy-Efficient Solutions for Storage of Cultural Heritage Collection

For immediate release

Release dated: 
August 28, 2013
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org
Julianna Olsen, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3039, julianna.olsen@mnhs.org

Society Earns Award to Study Energy-Efficient Solutions for Storage of Cultural Heritage Collection

The Minnesota Historical Society is pleased to announce a major grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a proposal to research energy-efficient ways to protect the audio-visual material in the collections.

cold storage
(photo: cold storage A/V film)

The grant of $40,000 will help the Society study ways to improve performance (help the items last longer) while decreasing energy use in the cold storage area where photographs and slides, film, microfilm, video and audiotape, and other such media are kept.

Shengyin Xu, institutional sustainability program specialist said "Cultural institutions are faced with an increasing amount of pressure to both preserve and provide access to their holdings while remaining relevant in an ever changing world. Addressing sustainability can help institutions with these challenges by helping manage consumption and overhead costs."

If these planning efforts are successful, the Society will apply for implementation funding in the coming year.

The Minnesota Historical Society collections include 1.6 million archaeological artifacts; 250,000 objects; 6,100 works of art; 21,000 maps; 42,000 cubic feet of manuscripts; 60,000 cubic feet of state archives; 500,000 printed works, including books and journals; 1.5 million newspaper photo negatives and 76,000 microfilmed newspaper reels; 500,000 photographs; 1,245 cataloged moving-image pieces; and the oral history collection, which includes 500 separate audio projects, 40 video projects; and more than 2,000 hours of cataloged interviews.

The collections are available to researchers through the Gale Family Library and to the public through exhibits, print publications and online.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.