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National Endowment for the Humanities awards IC with $200,000 challenge grant


The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Illinois College a $200,000 challenge grant to renovate and expand the Illinois College Archives. The college will use this federal grant to leverage $600,000 in nonfederal donations to launch the Preserve+Share+Produce Humanities Initiative. The plans for this initiative include hiring a full-time archivist, expanding space for archived materials and making archived resources more accessible to students, researchers and the public.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for Illinois College,” President Barbara Farley said. “We envision that each year, students, faculty and other scholars will initiate or continue substantive projects in our newly housed and professionally managed archives.”

A key piece to this initiative will be to expand and improve the facilities within Schewe Library where the Illinois College Archives are located. The expanded archival facility will improve archival storage capacity and the ability to solicit accessions from faculty, alumni and local organizations. The dedicated processing area will facilitate student work with processing and organizing of records in a secure location. Perhaps most important, the plan will call for a research area that will allow scholars and researchers to access the materials and provide a space for faculty to work on projects with entire classes.

“The college's focus on the humanities will increase because of this initiative, and the products of our work will enhance humanistic knowledge,” Farley said. “Increasing the accessibility of the Illinois College Archives will enrich the education of our students and give them skills and sensibilities they can carry with them throughout their lives.”

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Ill. With an enrollment of nearly 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs and a Master of Arts in Education degree program. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state. Illinois College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Visit www.ic.edu or call 217.245.3149 for more information.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

About NEH challenge grants

These grants are capacity-building grants, intended to help institutions and organizations secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources. Through these awards, many organizations and institutions have been able to increase their humanities capacity and secure the permanent support of an endowment. Grants may be used to establish or enhance endowments or spend-down funds that generate expendable earnings to support and enhance ongoing program activities. Challenge grants may also provide capital directly supporting the procurement of long-lasting objects such as acquisitions for archives and collections, the purchase of equipment and the construction or renovation of facilities needed for humanities activities. Funds spent directly must be shown to bring long-term benefits to the institution and to the humanities more broadly.


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