Simpson College (Indianola, IA)
Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa is a United Methodist-related private college founded in 1860. Simpson has an active arts program, including visual arts exhibitions, concerts, recitals, and theater and musical theater productions that serve the larger central Iowa community, including Des Moines and its suburbs.
In FY 2004, Simpson College received an NEA Heritage & Preservation grant of $10,000 to support the preservation of the collection of Don Berry, an American photographer who documented rural Iowa between 1920 and 1970. Berry, the owner, publisher, and editor of the local newspaper, The Indianola Record-Herald and Tribune, was also an accomplished photographer, whose collection of small town life in Warren County includes photos of farms, schools, industry, social situations, and portraits of people at work and at play. In 1997, the Berry family gave the collection of 4,000 photographic negatives to Simpson College, most stuffed in old shoeboxes and envelopes. Many of the negatives had suffered cigarette smoke damage and were in no archival order.
Simpson, over the next two years, will purchase archival storage materials and computer equipment to create an index, thereby increasing accessibility and photographic materials to develop prints. Once the negatives have been cleaned and arranged in chronological order, an exhibition of 40 of the images will be created and held in 10 locations across Iowa. The exhibition is scheduled to be ready by October 2005.
(From the 2004 NEA Annual Report)