Press Release: January 26, 2016

National Endowment for the Humanities Honors the Autry's Commitment

Preserving Historical Treasures with a $500,000 Grant

Los Angeles, CA (January 25, 2016)—The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the Autry Museum of the American West a $500,000 Challenge Grant. The grant will help fund construction and equipment costs for the development of the Resources Center of the Autry, a collections care, research, and educational facility in Burbank, California.

Utilizing sophisticated environmental controls and employing best-practice conservation solutions, this 100,000-square-foot building will have the technology and equipment essential to properly care for, protect, and preserve the Autry’s important cultural assets, including more than 500,000 artifacts and library materials. The site will also be home to three collections conservation laboratories.

When completed, the Resources Center will serve as a destination where students, scholars, artists, tribal representatives, and the broader public can access the breadth of the Autry’s materials to gain a deeper understanding of the rich history and cultural diversity of the American West. The Autry's vast and varied collections include historical objects, archaeological materials, photographs, books, journals, works of art, maps, sound recordings, textiles, and ephemera.

“This new center advances our overarching goals to make our materials more accessible for present and future generations, maintain commitment to best practices in the preservation of the collections, and increase awareness of the resources we have to offer,” said W. Richard West, Jr., the Autry’s President and CEO. "We are thrilled to have NEH's support for this important project—one that will bring together the stellar collections and libraries of the Autry and the Southwest Museum of the American Indian under one roof, thereby creating a center to house the finest collection of Western art and material culture in California and, quite possibly, the world. "

The Autry’s grant amount is among the largest of the grants awarded from NEH in 2015. The project, titled “Autry Resources Center: Preserving Historical Treasures for Future Study and Inspiring Collaborative Synergies in the Humanities,” falls under the Challenge grant category, which helps institutions secure long-term improvements in and support for humanities programs and resources.

“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our heritage, promote scholarly discoveries, and make the best of America's humanities ideas available to all Americans," said William D. Adams, NEH Chairman. “We are proud to announce this latest group of grantees who, through their projects and research, will bring valuable lessons of history and culture to Americans."

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

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 www.neh.gov.

About the Autry Museum of the American West

The Autry is a museum dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past to the present to inspire our shared future. The museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs—including lectures, film, theatre, festivals, family events, and music—and performs scholarship, research, and educational outreach. The Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, one of the largest and most significant of Native American materials in the United States.