FORT WAYNE – For now, theyll stay where theyre safe – locked in a temperature- and humidity-controlled vault, away from the human and environmental elements deemed their biggest threat.
But the curators of a collection of more than 1,100 original and first-edition works dating to the 16th century hope a move to northeast Indiana from its home near Louisville, Ky., will result in greater public access to the historic documents.
The non-profit Remnant Trust announced Tuesday it has moved its headquarters from Jeffersonville to the former Billy Sunday Museum in Winona Lake, about 40 miles west of Fort Wayne.
The move was underwritten by a $170,900 grant from OrthoWorx, a Warsaw-based initiative to advance community interests that serve the areas orthopedics-device sector.
The Kosciusko County Community Foundation provided a $50,000 grant, and Grace College donated the use, maintenance and utilities of the former evangelists museum.
The Remnant Trust counts among its collection a 1541 edition of Magna Carta and writings from historically significant authors such as Thomas Paine, John Locke and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Its collection centers on the themes of liberty and dignity, and the Remnant Trust makes the collection available in limited engagements to colleges, universities and other organizations.
During exhibitions, people are allowed to touch and read the original works, as many did early last year when the Remnant Trust was brought to IPFWs Helmke Library for several months.
While its new home is a former museum, the collection wont be open to the public, at least for now. There will be an open house this weekend for the public to meet the Remnant Trust board.
According to Remnant Trust President Kris Bex, not many – if any – documents will be displayed, given the insecure nature of an open house.
But the Remnant Trust board hopes to train docents and make the collection available at least once a month, Bex said.
The fragility of the collection was a factor in the move. Bex said the collections previous home in Jeffersonville had issues with humidity, which, along with natural sunlight, are the two greatest enemies to delicate historic papers.
OrthoWorx Executive Director Brad Bishop said his organization saw its contribution as a worthy investment in the community, especially if the result is greater public access to the documents.
Having the collection here wouldnt be of great community value unless it could be available, he said. The public open houses this weekend are a good step.