Colorado State University - Pueblo earns NEH grant for preservation efforts

Colorado State University - Pueblo earns NEH grant for preservation efforts

PUEBLO – The University Archives and Special Collections Colorado State University-Pueblo has received a $4,000 Preservation Assistance grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support an assessment of the artifacts in the Orman Native American Collection and the Ruben Archuleta Collection.

The grant will fund research to explore the current situation of storage and display of objects in the collections and provide recommendations focusing on improvements to storage, including equipment and supplies. It also will make possible recommendations for purchase of environmental monitoring equipment as well as staff education and training.  The grant will support contracting with a conservation assessor to make an on-site survey of the Orman collections and to prepare a written report with recommendations for the proper storage, environmental requirements and monitoring needs, including equipment and professional development needs for the staff.

The Orman Native American Collection, assembled by Colorado Governor James B. Orman and continued by his son, Frederick Orman, was donated to CSU-Pueblo’s predecessor institution, Southern Colorado State College, in 1964.  The heart of the collection includes approximately 200 pieces of Native American art and artifacts, including Navajo rugs of the pan-reservation style of the early 20th century, pottery pieces representative of a variety of the Pueblo cultures, and a group of Jicarilla and Western Apache baskets ranging in date from approximately 600CE to the 1930s. The estimated time period represented by the bulk of the collection is characterized by radical changes in Southwestern craft traditions.  These changes can be marked through the use of new materials as well as the social, religious, and political contexts affecting the peoples who created the objects. 

The Ruben Archuleta Collection consists of rare and out of print books, manuscripts, photographs, artifacts, film and videotape relating to the Penitentes, Native American and Spanish history and culture of the Southwest.   The Penitentes, or the Cofradia de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, was a “confraternity that arose in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado between the late 18th and early 19th centuries.    Artifacts include matracas, crosses, whips, and weavings.

NEH grants are selected through a rigorous and highly competitive national review process, which includes peer review as well as deliberation by the National Council on the Humanities and the Office of the Chairman of the NEH.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.