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Mars Hill College receives $250K grant for So. Appalachian Archives

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11/1/2011 - Mars Hill College receives $250K grant for So. Appalachian Archives
by Staff - Asheville Citizen Times

MARS HILL -- Mars Hill College has received a $250,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to endow funding for the Southern Appalachian Archives, housed at the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies on the campus.

Chief among the goals for the grant is to help meet the requirements of a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The N.E.H. grant, received by the college in November 2006, provided a $500,000 federal contribution, contingent on a 3-to-1 match to be raised by the college by July 2012.

The $2 million total is to create endowment funds for a full-time archivist, and preservation and programming costs for the Archives.

According to Dr. Kathy Newfont, associate professor of history and faculty chair of the regional studies department at Mars Hill College, the A.V. Davis Grant represents a significant gift in a six-year fundraising campaign to endow the Southern Appalachian Archives and to raise matching funds for the NEH Challenge Grant.

"This grant is so important to securing the future of our unique archival collections, and to enabling us to develop programming related to those collections," she said. "Thanks to AV Davis and other challenge grant supporters, we will be able to preserve and provide access to these unique collections for present and future generations."

Cataloging and creating access to the archives is one of the primary tasks of Karen Paar, director of the Ramsey Center and archivist of the Southern Appalachian Archives. Her position was made possible by an endowment through the N.E.H. Challenge Grant.

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