Saint Louis University's Medical Center Library has been awarded an American Heritage Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The IMLS grant will be used to improve the storage and retrieval of the library's archives which include more than 2,500 photographs and hundreds of rare books, scrapbooks and documents related to SLU figures.
While most of the collection relates to SLU, Patrick McCarthy, director of the Medical Center Library, says the University's history is also the history of St. Louis and that the people, events and buildings constructed since the early 1800s have all had an impact on the landscape and culture of the city as well as on the wider medical profession.
"This important IMLS grant will enable us to preserve and make available the unique materials that comprise the living history and recorded memory of the Medical Center at Saint Louis University," McCarthy said.
The SLU libraries build and preserve their collections to inspire discovery and investigation into ideas and issues - past and present.
Gail Staines, Ph.D., assistant vice president for University Libraries, said the collections make up an ever-growing archive of human intellectual life and imagination, and catalyze the innovative teaching and research that characterize the Jesuit tradition of free inquiry.
Staines adds that to achieve this mission, the libraries implement effective technologies to gather, preserve and deliver information whenever and wherever the University community requires it - from their own collections and from other sources around the world.
"Though this grant we will be able to implement safer storage for the materials and determine digitization priorities," Staines said. "Our goal is to eventually share digitized items online through the Missouri Digital Heritage Project in the future."
About the IMLS American Heritage Program Grants: IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. With a mission to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas, the Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.
American Heritage Program grants are used by museums, libraries and archives to preserve specific items, including works of arts, artifacts and historical documents that are in need of conservation.