Harlem Renaissance and Other Historic Photographs Being Preserved with Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/LYRASIS Grants
3/2/2012 9:25:20 AM
Nashville, Tenn. – March 2, 2012 – Over 2,600 images in the Carl Van Vechten, Archival and Manuscript and Photograph Collections at Fisk University’s John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library are being preserved with a $61,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Photographic Preservation Project. Awarded by LYRASIS, the nation’s largest regional membership organization serving libraries and information professionals, this grant will be used for the treatment, restoration and preservation of photographs including Aaron Douglas, James Weldon Johnson, Charles S. Johnson and Arna Bontemps, all key figures in the Harlem Renaissance.
Since 2008, LYRASIS has granted more than $128,000 from the Mellon Foundation to the John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library. In addition to the restoration work of Harlem Renaissance photographs, historically-significant portraits of notable black musicians and entertainers including Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Smith and Marian Anderson taken by Carl Van Vechten, Fisk’s early buildings, early graduating classes, W.E.B. DuBois, 19th century photo albums of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and more will be restored. Many items had never previously been treated, preserved or restored.
“Our photographs document important aspects of African American history and culture, with emphasis on Fisk,” said Dr. Jessie Carney Smith, Dean of the Fisk University John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library. “Funding for this significant project has been used to engage consultants to advise and train staff to handle, stabilize, treat and properly store many of the at-risk photographs and documents in Special Collections and Archives. This ensures these materials are available to researchers. We know the importance of preservation and welcome an opportunity to be a part of this growing national trend.”
For more information or a complete list of items being restored and preserved, please contact the Office of Communications and Public Relations at 615-329-8767.
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About Fisk University
Founded in 1866, Fisk University is Nashville’s first institution of higher education and it currently ranks in the top 10% of all liberal arts institutions in the nation according to Washington Monthly. Fisk is one of six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) listed in Forbes magazine’s 2011 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” listed #135 of 650 institutions, and has been ranked in The Princeton Review’s “Best 373 Colleges” publication for twenty consecutive years. CBS Money Watch ranked Fisk university professors as the 19th best of 650 colleges and universities in the nation for 2011. U.S. News and World Report ranks Fisk #144 in the elite Tier One group of 246 liberal arts institutions selected for the distinction among the 1,400 colleges and universities in the nation and Fisk is one of only three HBCUs ranked in Tier One. Fisk has earned three R & D 100 Awards for work in the creation of radiation detectors developed in collaboration with several national laboratories and corporations. No other HBCU has earned a R & D 100 Award. According to the National Science Foundation, Fisk produces more African-Americans who go on to earn doctoral degrees in the natural sciences than any school in the nation. For more information on Fisk University, please visit www.fisk.edu.