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Records Advisory: Funding for Non-Profit/Non-Government Organizations with Damaged Collections

A. Sources of Emergency Funding

1. Society of American Archivists
National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives
(312) 606-0722

Any repository that holds archival records or special collections is eligible to apply for a grant. The repository need not be a member of SAA. Grant monies may be used for the direct recovery of damaged or at-risk archival materials: services such as freeze drying, storage, transportation of materials, and rental facilities; supplies, such as acid free boxes and folders, storage cartons, cleaning materials, plastic milk crates, and protective gear; and costs for volunteers or other laborers who assist with the recovery.

2. Mid Atlantic Regional Archives Conference
MARAC Relief Fund
(717) 713-9973

Any institution with archival holdings or special collections in the MARAC region (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia) can apply for up to $2,000. At least one staff person at the institution must be a MARAC member. Personal collections are not eligible for grants.

Grant monies may be used for the direct recovery of damaged or at-risk archival materials where immediate response is necessary to prevent irretrievable loss. Eligible services may include freeze drying, storage, transportation of materials, and rental facilities. Eligible supplies may include acid-free boxes and folders, storage cartons, cleaning materials, plastic milk crates, and protective gear. Funds may also be used to defray costs (such as housing, meals, or transportation) for volunteers or other laborers who assist with the recovery.

If an institution has an event that causes damage to records/archival collections, it should notify the MARAC steering committee of its intent to file an application within 30 days of the event.

3. New York Foundation for the Arts
NYFA Emergency Resources

The New York Foundation for the Arts Disaster Resources webpage lists a number of recovery grants available to craftspeople, artists and arts nonprofits, as well as a very comprehensive listing of non-art specific emergency resources for several states and New York City, and a listing of general disaster resources.

4. New York Landmarks Conservancy
Emergency Preservation Grant Program guidelines

The Conservancy’s Emergency Preservation Grant Program (EPGP) comes to the rescue when an immediate hazard threatens a landmark building. The program directs its resources toward immediately needed work on historic properties owned by non-profit organizations. EPGP grants are not advanced to underwrite building-wide issues or major capital improvements that are part of a larger plan.

For more information, see EPGP guidelines (see link above) or contact Blaire Walsh.

5. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration)
(800) 621-3362

FEMA provides assistance to certain private non-profit organizations in declared counties. For more information on eligibility as a non-profit, please visit their eligibility criteria.

For FEMA’s list of declared counties, which is updated every few days, please visit their site.

FEMA also advises:

All private, not-for-profits, including museums and libraries not owned by local governments, should go directly to FEMA for emergency work to preserve life and stabilize buildings. Contact FEMA through your county Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

Not-for-profits with non-urgent needs should go to the Small Business Administration for a loan. This action will prompt referral to FEMA. They will be required to attend an applicants' briefing conducted by their county office of emergency management to learn of process and deadlines.

Contact the State Archives at (518) 474-6926 or at if you need assistance contacting your county Office of Emergency Management.

B. Grants for the Preservation of Damaged Materials

Note that applications to these grant programs would follow their respective grant cycle schedules, which are usually annual.

1. New York State Library
Conservation & Preservation of Library Research Materials Discretionary Grant Program
(518) 473-0700

The discretionary grant program provides modest financial support for projects that contribute to the preservation of significant research materials in libraries, historical societies, archives, museum libraries, municipalities and other not for profit organizations within the State of New York. Eligible projects include: conducting surveys, improving collection storage environments, reformatting or treating collections and other preservation activities.

2. Greater Hudson Heritage Network
Conservation Treatment Grant
(914) 592-6726

The Conservation Treatment Grant Program provides support for treatment procedures to aid in stabilizing and preserving objects in collections of museums, historical, and cultural organizations in New York State.

Support is available for conservation treatment of paintings, works on paper (including individual drawings, watercolors, prints or photographs), textiles (including costumes, domestic textiles and upholstery), furniture, frames, sculpture, historical, ethnographic and decorative objects. Support is also available for treatment costs for supports, frames, stands and mounts that are integral to the treatment of the object.

New York State Archives staff are available to provide advice on recovering records and archival material at:
Phone: (518) 474-6926

See also:
Disaster Management webpage