CSA College and University

Collection Care Grant

A CSA College and University Collection Care Grant of $1500 is intended to assist the costume and textiles collection of a college or university that receives little or no financial support from its institution. Funding may be used to support the care, conservation, and/or instructional mission of a collection of historic, period, or otherwise informative costume and textiles that are intended for preservation and are used for study by an institution that has a degree program in apparel, textiles, or theatre.

First awarded in 2006, and now funded by the CSA Endowment, one or more College and University Collection Care Grants is awarded annually. These grants assist a college or university collection (not eligible for a Small Museum Collection Care Grant) and may be used for appropriate supplies or display items, the services of a consultant or specialist, or other projects which relate directly to the institution’s costume collection and foster the care or use of the collection at a level appropriate to the particular collection’s most pressing needs. These focused grants do not permit an “overhead” or “operational cut” that many colleges and universities typically take from grant funds they receive.

Institutions applying for a grant must meet the following requirements:

  • have a degree program in apparel, textiles, or theatre
  • have a collection consisting of dress, textiles, and related objects (published materials, textile production tools/equipment, etc.) that is intended for preservation
  • legally own the collection (a private collection housed in a college/university is not eligible)
  • provide institutional support for the collection in the sense that institutional employee(s) is/are responsible for the care and maintenance of the collection
  • provide institutional endorsement of the collection by some expression of commitment (such as exhibition space, insurance, storage, or staff time) for the care and management of the collection
  • to accept a grant, an institution must be or become an Institutional Member of the Costume Society of America or have an active staff member who is an Individual CSA member
  • an institution is not eligible to receive a grant more than once in three years



A CSA College and University Collection Care Grant is intended to make a dramatic beneficial impact on the receiving institution’s costume collection. There is no set limit on institutional budget size, since the field of candidates may vary from year to year; however, budget size and access to other financial resources will be taken into account when selecting grant recipients, with strong preference given to projects supporting collections that receive little or no financial support from their college or university.

Applications will be evaluated on:

  • high impact of the project on collection’s well-being and mission
  • feasibility of the project in terms of budget, timeline, and personnel to carry it out
  • significance of the collection to the academic unit




The grant committee will review the applications and select a short list of candidates. Recognizing that applicants may not be able to prepare a complete project proposal (with formal proposals from conservators or consultants and a list of the most appropriate materials), institutions may be asked to clarify or refine their applications if necessary. The grant committee will work with these applicants to ensure that their proposed project is feasible, conservationally sound, in the best interests of the collection, and meets the collection’s most pressing needs. A final evaluation will then be done and the grant committee will select the grant recipients.

Grant recipients will be announced at the CSA National Symposium. Grant funds will be available by the date of the Annual Meeting. Funded projects must be completed by June 30 of the following year. Upon completion of their project, each institution must submit a final report, preferably with before and after images, to the grant committee chair. Completed projects will be publicized in CSA News and/or CSA E-news and media in the institution’s area.

2017 College and University Collection Care Grant Committee Members

Colleen Callahan

Karen DePauw

Katie McGowan

Clare Sauro

Thomas Shaw

Application Procedure

  • Complete the application (click here to download). Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit one application electronically. If not submitting electronically, send one copy of the application material, together with any relevant documentation and supporting material.
  • Karin Bohleke

    Shippensburg University
    1871 Old Main Drive
    Shippensburg, PA 17257

Application deadline

is October 15, 2018.

Past Recipients

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE

Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT

The Design Center at Philadelphia University
Philadelphia, PA

Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana, PA

University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH

No grant awarded

University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL

Textiles and Clothing Museum
Iowa State University
Ames, IL

University of Rhode Island, Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design, Historic Textile and Costume Collection
Kingston, RI

No grant awarded

Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI

Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI