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Phillips Library Awarded Competitive NEH Grant

Katherine Stohlman Pieters, C'19

Rare books in archives

Mount St. Mary’s University’s Phillips Library has been selected as a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions.

mountstmarys_092220-0188-in-text.jpgThe maximum award of $10,000 was given to Phillips Library, in recognition of its status as a small institution whose collection and archives are of cultural and historical significance. The grant will be used to improve the preservation of the university’s Rare Book Collection.

“I am profoundly grateful for the generous grant from the NEH, which will be directed toward enhancing the preservation of our university's Rare Book Collection”, shared Phillips Library Director Jessica Boyer, Ph.D., C’16. “This funding is a testament to the recognition of the historical and cultural significance of these invaluable texts.”

Boyer has been the director of Phillips Library since 2017. After graduating from the Mount, she went on to earn her master’s from Clarion University and her doctoral degree from Concordia University Chicago.

The grant will enable Phillips Library to purchase several hundred custom-fit archival preservation boxes, to house the library’s rare books, a collection that contains over 1,000 titles. The Mount’s Rare Books Collection includes volumes from as far back as the Early Modern Period, in languages including English, French, Latin, Hebrew, Welsh and more. Most of the books are about literature, theology and history, and some are the only copies in the United States or even the world.

“By preserving these rare books, we are preserving the voices of the past, fostering a deeper understanding of our collective history, literature, and culture. We’ll continue to provide researchers, students, and scholars with unprecedented opportunities to engage with these materials, enriching their academic pursuits and intellectual growth,” Boyer noted.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

Katherine Stohlman Pieters, C'19