WCS’s to start planning for new archive space to preserve rich history as a leader in conservation science, animal care, and exhibitry 

Bronx, NY – Aug. 10, 2015 The WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has been awarded a $40,000 planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grant program to develop the WCS Archives Conceptual Preservation Design Plan. Founded upon preservation strategies that balance effectiveness, cost, and environmental impact, the Conceptual Preservation Design Plan will serve as a crucial first step in WCS’s development of a new space to preserve its unique historical collections.

“We are grateful to the National Endowment of the Humanities for recognizing the importance of preserving the documents and artifacts held in the WCS archives,” said Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President and General Director of WCS Zoos and Aquarium. “Dating back to its founding as the New York Zoological Society in 1895, WCS has a rich history and has been a leader in conservation, science, and animal care for 120 years. WCS continues to be a global leader in modern conservation science and leads the evolution of zoos and aquariums into conservation-based organizations.”

WCS’s archival collection covers subjects including zoo and aquarium administration; the care, treatment, and exhibition of animals; the practice of conservation fieldwork; and animals in art and architecture. These important records are a valued resource for those interested not only in WCS’s history but also in the histories of wildlife conservation, zoos and aquariums, and New York City culture.

By convening an interdisciplinary team of skilled professionals to work collaboratively on the Conceptual Preservation Design Plan, the WCS Archives Department will develop the foundation to guide the sustainable protection of the physical collection and the continued study and enjoyment of these unique artifacts by future generations.

To read about some of the historic materials preserved by the WCS Archives, visit the Archives’ Wild Things blog at http://www.wcsarchivesblog.org/.

For more or to speak with a WCS expert, contact Max Pulsinelli at 718-220-5182 or mpulsinelli@wcs.org.

Attached photo captions: 

Wildlife Conservation Society_0001_Aerial of Aquarium with 50,640 Visitors_AQ_05 31 34 1934 aerial view of New York Aquarium in its original location at Battery Park.  The WCS archives holds several collections related to the management of the Aquarium throughout its history.

Wildlife Conservation Society_3816_Shipping Bison to Wichita_BZ_10 00 07 Director William Hornaday and other Bronx Zoo staff shipping bison out west to restore the decimated populations, 1907.  The WCS archives holds several collections related to William Hornaday and the activities of the American Bison Society.

Wildlife Conservation Society_4905_School Children at Lion House_MAD_BZ 07 00 10 Schoolchildren visiting the Bronx Zoo’s Lion House, 1910. The collections held by the WCS archives reflect the Society's robust record of activities, which includes operation of the Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium, and the Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos.

Wildlife Conservation Society_6843_Beebe atop Bathysphere Bathysphere Expedition_BMU_09 12 34 William Beebe atop his record-setting submersible, the Bathysphere, in Bermuda, 1934.  The WCS archives hold several collections related to William Beebe and the field work of his Department of Tropical Research.

2016-BZ-Events-1899-OpeningProgram Bronx Zoo opening day program, 1899.  The collections held by the WCS Archives reflect the Society's robust record of activities, which includes running the Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium, and the Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org; http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS; http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia  Follow: @thewcs.  

NEH: The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.

About the grant program: NEH Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections (SCHC) grants help cultural institutions meet the complex challenge of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting sustainable conservation measures that mitigate deterioration and prolong the useful life of collections.