The National Endowment for the Humanities [NEH] announced on August 8th that the Portsmouth Athenaeum was one of 218 institutions to be awarded grants for nationally significant humanities projects. The Athenaeum will receive $49,875 under the NEH Sustaining Cultural Heritage program for planning sustainable environmental improvements for the library’s extensive collections.

The grant will conduct comprehensive space reorganization and create a collections storage plan, as well as identify options for upgrading HVAC and fire safety systems. The Portsmouth Athenaeum, located in three adjacent 1805 historic buildings, possesses an extensive collection documenting the history of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and the Piscataqua River region. It includes more than 35,000 rare and historic books, 2,490 archive and manuscript collections, 22,000 historic photographs, and 570 artworks and artifacts related to maritime and regional history.

To read the official announcement by the NEH, click the organization’s logo below.

[Image: Davis Brothers cabinet card of the Portsmouth Athenaeum, c. 1885, PS0019, Small Photographs Collection.]