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winter 2018
Wofford Library

Library receives N.E.H. grant

Humanities grant will serve Wofford and local library partners.

Wofford College’s Sandor Teszler Library has received a Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). It was announced Dec. 14 as one of 290 projects in 43 states to receive part of the $16.3 million the NEH awarded to support a variety of humanities-based research and programs.

The $5,733 grant will allow the Sandor Teszler Library to experience its first preservation assessment of archival and special collections in many years and will provide Wofford and library partners from across the Spartanburg community a chance to participate in disaster recovery training. The grant is one of only 78 Preservation Assistance Grants awarded nationally by the NEH this year.

“We are thrilled to be named one of the institutions selected for a Preservation Assistance Grant from the NEH,” says Kevin Reynolds, dean of the Sandor Teszler Library. “Because the unique resources in our archives and special collections are among some of the most historically and culturally valuable materials under our care, this grant will help us ensure that we will be prepared to provide the attention necessary to those resources so that our students, faculty and other researchers will be able to benefit from them well into the future.

“In addition, thanks to this grant, we will be well-prepared to act should we experience some kind of disaster in the library,” Reynolds adds. “It will be a pleasure to share this training with colleagues from libraries, museums and similar institutions in the area. It is always a richer experience when we can work and learn alongside colleagues from other institutions.”

The focus of the project would be on the College Archives, the South Carolina United Methodist Collection and Special Collections, including the Broadus R. Littlejohn Collection. Together, these collections represent significant literary and historical contributions and consist of more than 7,500 books and 750 linear feet of archival and manuscript material. 

The College Archives contain Wofford’s permanently valuable records and document the history of the college, founded in 1854. The South Carolina United Methodist Collection details the history of Methodism in South Carolina and includes the permanently valuable records of the state’s Methodist Conference. The Littlejohn Collection contains more than 2,000 manuscript and ephemera items, 19th century pamphlets, books relating to South Carolina and the Upstate region, and several small archival collections. 

The NEH grants announced included the inaugural round of Humanities Access grants, which are awarded through NEH’s Office of Challenge Grants to 34 organizations that provide cultural programming to underserved groups.


by Laura Hendrix Corbin