University of Michigan Library receives $1.25M grant to create endowed position
The University of Michigan has been awarded $1.25 million to create an endowed librarian position.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant is one of the largest single donations the library, ranked among the top 10 research libraries by the Association of Research Libraries, has ever received.
Photo courtesy of University of Michigan
U-M plans to raise another $1 million to support the endowed position, which will fund the cost of a new conservation librarian position. Of the Mellon funds, $1 million will go to support the endowment and $250,000 will support the position during its first three years.
The librarian will further expand the library's existing conservation program, which coordinates the research, exhibition and digitization of the library's print collection, including more than eight million volumes and a large collection of ancient papyrus manuscripts.
The library has been digitizing more and more of its collections, most recently making leaves of the Epistles of St. Paul —one of the library's oldest and most valuable possessions— available for download on an iPad app. The library also has been integral in the development of the HathiTrust digital library.
"After more than 150 years of building collections to meet the educational and research needs of the university, the library has amassed a print collection of extraordinary breadth and depth," Shannon Zachary, head of the library's department of preservation and conservation, said in a statement. "The digitization of unique archival and special collections material requires substantial commitment from conservation staff, which evaluates and sometimes repairs items prior to scanning, and monitors the impact of the imaging process on the materials."