Thomas More University plans to use a $10,000 preservation assistance grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to fund a general preservation assessment, train staff, and purchase preservation supplies for a special collection in the Thomas More Room of the Benedictine Library. Thomas More is the only institution in Kentucky to receive a preservation assistance award this grant cycle, with only 65 awards given nationally.
The objectives outlined in the university’s grant application titled “Inspiring Scholars: Preservation Assessment for the Special Collections Room” will be accomplished during the grant period from September 2022 to August 2023. During this time, expert consultants from Lyrasis, a non-profit organization supporting libraries, archives and museums around the world, will visit campus to examine the Thomas More Room and provide advice and training on how to properly preserve the special collection, ensuring so that it can be used by students and scholars studying the works of St. Thomas More for years to come.
The Thomas More Hall collections are important to the humanities because they illustrate the social development of the local community, with an emphasis on Catholicism in Kentucky that can illuminate the role of religion in the development of other areas and of America as a whole. The room is primarily a collection of rare and historical books, scholarly ephemera, local history works, and works relating to the history of the Catholic Church. It is organized into sub-collections, including the Thomas More Collection, the Kentuckiana Collection, and a showcase of 33 selected books, such as a rare 1906 folio of Thomas More’s “Utopia.”
“Not only will this grant support the Thomas More Hall, but it will also support the initiatives of our strategic plan – Lighting the Way,” said John Ernst, director of the Benedictine Library and Center for Teaching, Learning and erudition. “By working with the NEH, the premier agency for the humanities, we are strengthening the academic reputation and reach of Thomas More University, while building valuable connections and ensuring the longevity of our resources.”
Thomas More released a five-year strategic plan and fundraising campaign during its centenary celebration in 2021 with the primary goal of accelerating on-campus investment, cementing new financial partnerships, and introducing innovative academic opportunities. The goal is to elevate the visibility and stature of the University in the global community as the premier Catholic university in the region.
For more information about Thomas More University, visit www.thomasmore.edu.
Thomas More University