NEH GRANT ENHANCES ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING OF MUSEUM OF CHINESE IN AMERICA'S ARCHIVES AND GALLERY SPACE

A PDF version of the press release is available for download. [English]

 

[New York, NY] October 1, 2015-The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is pleased to announce the successful establishment of an environmental monitoring system at its archives and gallery space. This project was made possible by a generous grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

 

Under the guidance of Jeremy Linden, an environmental specialist from the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) at Rochester Institute of Technology, the MOCA Collections staff placed 11 data loggers at key locations throughout the archives and galleries. The loggers measure and record the temperature and relative humidity at these locations, which are then analyzed by an environmental analysis software, eClimateNotebook. The software is able to document and illustrate the complicated reality of the effect of environmental conditions on collections, and transform the data into quantitative numerical measures of collection decay risk in the ways of graphs and reports.

 

To date, MOCA has been able to collect 12 months of data. Regular monitoring of environmental conditions provides accurate statistical information, documents the actual environment in the storage area, and illustrates how well the HVAC system is performing. Yue Ma, Director of Collection at MOCA said, “As a part of a broader long-term preservation effort, the completion of the project will not only ensure automatic recording of the data that is independent of human error, but will also assist in a detailed assessment of the HVAC system and in establishing steps to take towards optimal climate conditions to further delay our collections’ deterioration.”

 

The MOCA Collection documents the history and culture of Chinese Americans. Most collections date from the early and mid-20th century to the present day, and include 65,000 pieces of photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia, 2,000 oral histories, as well as 2,000 books, and 6,000 newspapers, newsletters, magazines, and scholarly journals. The museum's collections have provided resources to students, teachers, scholars, writers, artists, activists, filmmakers, tourists, and Asian American community organizations locally from Chinatown, nationally, and internationally. They also support the museum’s exhibitions, educations, and public programs.

 

In August 2014 MOCA was awarded a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the “New York Chinatown and Chinese America: Reducing Collections Backlog at the Museum of Chinese in America” project. This project will involve the processing of 31 collections totaling 510 linear feet. Once processed, the finding aids for these collections will be put into ArchivesSpace, an online database, which will be accessible to the public. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2016.


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About Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)


MOCA’s mission is to celebrate the living history of the Chinese experience in America, to inspire our diverse communities to contribute to America’s evolving cultural narrative and civil society, and to empower and bridge our communities across generations, ethnicities, and geography through our dynamic stories.


Hours:
Monday – Closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – 11am-6pm
Thursday – 11am-9pm
MOCA First Free Thursdays: Free gallery admission on the first Thursday of each month, made possible through the generosity of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation.


Admission:
General Admission: $10/ MOCA Members: Free
Seniors (65+ with ID) and Students (with school ID): $5
Children under 12 in groups less than 10: Free


About the National Endowment for the Humanities

 

The NEH is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers. NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars. (http://www.neh.gov/)

 

About the Image Permanence Institute (IPI)

 

IPI® is a nonprofit, university-based laboratory devoted to preservation research. It is the world’s largest independent laboratory with this specific scope. IPI was founded in 1985 through the combined efforts and sponsorship of the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology. Funding for IPI's preservation research and outreach efforts has come primarily from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. IPI provides information, consulting services, practical tools and preservation technology to libraries, archives, and museums worldwide. The imaging and consumer preservation industries also use IPI’s consulting, testing and educational services. (https://www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org/)