Since its inception, the Bulgarian Center had been collecting and preserving ethnic artifacts, costumes, books, audio-visual recordings and other historic items in its collections. We are grateful to members and supporters such as Patricia French, who have donated large portions of their personal collections to the Center.
In 2006 we received a $150,000 Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant to aid in the preservation and conservation of our collections. This program was established through a public-private partnership that includes the White House, the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is part of a national effort to protect America’s threatened cultural treasures, including historic structures, collections, works of art, maps and journals that document and illuminate the history and culture of the United States. The Center was the first ethnic organization in the country to receive such a grant at that time. U.S. Representative Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania presented us with the check.
Thanks to this grant, we were able to convert an unused portion of the facility’s basement into a bright, spacious work/storage area. We hired an internationally renowned woodworker to design and construct beautiful archival-quality cabinets to house our rare collections. We’ve restored and catalogued our collection of over 100 35mm films, digitized many of our audio recordings, cleaned and framed valuable artwork, and repaired historic costumes. We’ve also assembled a complete suite of high-tech computer equipment to allow us to digitally preserve and catalogue our vast collection of archives, photos and recordings.