City receives grant to buy new shelves for archives

Published 12:08 pm Thursday, January 29, 2015

The historic documents housed in the city archives and at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park soon will have a safer place to call home thanks to a grant from the Archives Development Program of the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
The city of Elizabethton received $3,500 for new shelves and supplies for the city archives at City Hall and the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library. The Friends of Sycamore Shoals applied for the grant and received $1,800 for the archives at the park.
The grant to the city will allow for the purchase of metal shelving that will placed in City Hall’s archive room, city archivist Joe Penza said.
“The new metal shelves will replace the wooden shelves that are currently being used,” Penza said.
The shelves are of better quality than the existing ones, and they can be cleaned and sterilized more easily and will not be as susceptible to moisture as the wooden shelves are, Penza said.
Another large shelf will be purchased for the library to store maps and other large photos or documents. The grant will also be used to purchase archival quality boxes and materials for the documents and two hydrometers, one for City Hall and one for the library. The hydrometers are used to measure the humidity in the document storage rooms.
Sycamore Shoals Park Manager Jennifer Bauer said the archives grant likely would be used to buy a fire-proof lateral filing cabinet for the historic documents collected by volunteer archivist Mary Jane Kennedy. She said archival-quality storage boxes and tissue paper could also be purchased.
Bauer added there was a lot of competition for the archives grant this year.
“We didn’t get everything we asked for,” Bauer said. “A lot of people applied, which shows there are a lot of people interested in protecting our historic documents and that is a very good thing.”
Penza agreed the grant process was a competitive one this year and said the city did not receive all of the grant funding that had been applied for either.
“There were 60 applications from across the state for a total of $300,000,” he said. “They had $95,000 available. It was highly competitive so for more than $5,000 to be coming to Elizabethton is a big deal.”

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