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Seward House Receives Federal Funds to Preserve Collections


Good news for one Auburn museum.

The William H Seward House has been awarded $6,490 through a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant. The funding will go to purchase archival cabinets for better storage. Collections and Exhibitions Director Emma Dailey says this will keep their priceless artifacts safe.

“They’re going to protect these artifacts which are, of course, national treasures from the family and life of William Henry Seward,” Dailey told Finger Lakes News Radio. “And these cabinets are going to help protect them from dust, but also environmental factors that could be dangerous for the collections like high humidity and temperature fluctuations.”

Built in 1816, the museum lacks an HVAC system. Without a climate control system for its collection storage, these cabinets are an invaluable asset.

“That’s why it’s extra important for us to get these cabinets,” Dailey added. “Until we’re at a point where we can have the nice climate control, these cabinets are really going to be essential in protecting the collections.”

Preservation work started last year when grant funding allowed the museum to purchase three archival cabinets. Those were installed this spring. Produced by Syracuse-based manufacturer Gaylord Archival, the heavy-duty metal cabinets with glass windows will protect the objects stored within.

The Seward House’s collections include art, photographs, political memorabilia, Civil War artifacts, and ethnographic material.

Created in 1965, the National Endowment for the Humanities is a federal agency with the goal of supporting historical research and learning.

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