By Theresa Carson
Society of the Divine Word –
As a seminarian 60-some years ago, Fr. Paul LaForge, SVD, was exploring the attic of St. Mary’s Seminary (now Techny Towers Conference and
That happenstance led to the discovery of an 1891 edition of “The Constitutions of the Society of the Divine Word” that contains an original signature of founder St. Arnold Janssen.
Photo courtesy of the Society of the Divine Word – Chicago Province
The book is now a part of the Chicago Province Robert M. Myers Archives collection. Thanks to a recent grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) this book and other materials, such as periodicals, 16mm films, photographs, reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes, will continue to be preserved under optimum conditions.
The $5,975 NEH grant will be used to evaluate the preservation and conservation needs of the archives. A staff member of
“The consultant will spend two days evaluating the collection and the physical archival repository,” said Marcia Stein, archivist for the
“The main value of this grant is that it provides a professional opinion of the preservation and conservation needs of our collection,” Stein said. “The report helps to prioritize conservation planning and provides the information for grant applications.”
Preservation includes the environment, shelving, containers, processing procedures and handling of the collection, Stein explained, while conservation refers to the restoration, cleaning and protection of the individual documents, and objects of the collection in all media.
For more information about the Chicago Province Robert M. Myers Archives, go to www.divineword.org > Resources>Robert M. Myers Archives.