Almost $3 million awarded to support conservation efforts at nation’s museums

Institute of Museum and Library Services,
01 May 2009, USA

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced today the 35 recipients of $2,994,748 million in Conservation Project Support (CPS) grants. These grants are awarded to museums that are committed to identifying conservation needs and priorities, and performing activities to ensure the safekeeping of their collections.

“These 35 museums, by preserving and conserving their collections, are ensuring the longevity of our nation’s treasures for the education and enjoyment of all Americans,” said Anne-Imelda Radice, Director, IMLS. “IMLS is proud to be a part of their efforts.”

This year, the Institute received 129 applications from museums across the country that aspire to develop and implement a logical, institution-wide approach to caring for their living and material collections, and have identified a project that meets one of their highest conservation needs. Of these applicants, the 35 awarded institutions plan to delve into a wide range of conservation projects, including:

The purchase and installation of programmable central control for water management of The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ living plant collections. This project is part of the garden’s environmental sustainability initiative and will reduce water usage by 25 percent over the current manual system.

The completion of a general conservation survey of The Toledo Museum of Art’s art and archive collections. Results of the survey will provide information to implement the first museum-wide conservation plan, using a holistic assessment of conservation activity to inform museum staff of what measures need to be taken to streamline management and conservation efforts.

The purchase and installation of new compact storage units for approximately 36,000 botany and 250,000 entomology specimens at the Museum of Northern Arizona. Activities will include updating of botanical scientific names following modern taxonomic standards, construction of archival storage containers for at-risk specimens in acidic bags and boxes, inspection and freezing of specimens to deter pests, and updating the collections database for better access.

The conservation of the most important Renaissance tapestry in The Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester’s permanent collection, Trellised Garden with Animals. The project comprises treatment, research, publication-grade photography, and preparation of materials for use by the education department.

The purchase and installation of a humidity control system for the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs’ site enclosure. The museum is built over a Pleistocene sinkhole and preserves the remains of numerous animals that wandered the South Dakota landscape about 27,000 years ago. The building enclosing the bone bed protects the bones, tusks, and other specimens from the elements so they can remain where they were discovered and continue to inspire wonder in visitors and researchers alike.
Please click here for the full list of CPS grantees and descriptions of their grants.

IMLS would also like to acknowledge the participants in this year’s Conservation Assessment Program, which is funded by an IMLS grant and administered by the Heritage Preservation