Edmond's UCO fashion collection preserved with grant
EDMOND — The National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded a $6,000 preservation assistance grant for smaller institutions to help fund the preservation assessment of the historic fashion collection at the University of Central Oklahoma.
The project, titled “University of Central Oklahoma Fashion Museum Collection: Assessment and Preservation Training,” covers more than 1,000 pieces of clothing, hats, shoes and accessories from the 1890s through the 1970s.
The collection includes clothing from internationally known designers such as Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass, Christian Dior and Oscar de la Renta.
Project director Mary Huffman, coordinator of grants and contracts for UCO's College of Education and Professional Studies, said the grant will allow UCO to hire a textile conservator.
The conservator will perform a preservation assessment of the collection and hold a workshop in the spring on the care and preservation of textiles. The workshop will be open to students, faculty, museum professionals and volunteers.
“Items such as these can be hard to care for and preserve long-term,” Huffman said. “This grant helps us to ensure that our pieces will be given the very best treatment going forward. The collection eventually will be available digitally, as well as to the public for research and study.”
James Machell, dean of UCO's College of Education and Professional Studies, said the grant supports a project that benefits UCO and the community, as well as students who will document the collection.
“Ms. Huffman has worked very hard on this fashion collection, and we are pleased to see her work recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities,” Machell said.
UCO was one of two organizations in the state to receive the National Endowment for the Humanities grants. The Edmond Historical Society & Museum was awarded $6,000 for the creation or purchase of storage enclosures for collections stored in flat file drawers and exceptional books in the museum's research library.
Collections at the museum consist of nearly 40,000 artifacts, photos and documents relating to the history of Edmond from before the Land Run to the present.
Recently completed lead-paint and asbestos remediation at the museum enabled staff to reorganize key storage locations, install high-density shelving and move the research library to a more inviting and accessible location.
The grant will help provide archival housing to protect fragile and unique items, such as community scrapbooks. It also will allow for the inventory and archival housing of maps and large photographs that are currently difficult to retrieve because of poor organization and housing of the materials.