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Sheldon lands $29k National Endowment grant

BATHERS AT LAKE Dunmore, c. 1910, is just one of the archived photos being added to the Sheldon Museum’s digital archive project. A new CARES grant from the NEH will help the Sheldon continue with their digital archive despite economic pressures caused by the coronavirus and Middlebury’s rail and bridge project.

MIDDLEBURY — The Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) CARES grant in the amount of $29,362 for the project, “Archives Alive: Building Primary Source Collections During COVID-19 at the Henry Sheldon Museum, Vermont.” The project will help to fund the retention of three staff members and to provide expanded access to the archives’ rich and voluminous ephemera, photography and map collections. The grant will also support increasing the Museum’s social media presence, implementation of a Stewart-Swift Research Center online quarterly newsletter, and the continuation of a digital preservation project initiated by a former NEH grant that the Museum was awarded in 2018.
The NEH CARES highly competitive grant received more than 2,300 eligible applications and the Sheldon was one of only 317 applicants funded. 
During the COVID-19 shutdown, the Sheldon Museum has remained closed to the public, but during this time the staff has been working on building a new enhanced website. In particular, the online access to its archival collections was greatly expanded and enriched. The significance of virtual access to the Museum’s collections is now more important than ever and the NEH CARES grant will allow the continuation of this endeavor. 
“This funding helps the Sheldon Museum to continue serving our community and region as we work to bring to the public the rich cultural and archival resources found in the Museum and the Research Center collections online through our new website.” commented Executive Director Bill Brooks. “These are challenging times for museums and we are grateful for NEH’s assistance and their recognition of the importance of our work.” 
Brooks added that the museum welcomes additional donations in order to overcome the double stresses of restrictions imposed by COVID-19 and the impediments caused by Middlebury’s current rail and bridge construction. 
For more information and reopening updates, visit henrysheldonmuseum.org.

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