About Us - Issues

Collections Care/Preservation

Libraries and museums care for collections that connect us to history, art, science and the natural world.

Connecting to Collections logoNational Initiative: Connecting to Collections
Connecting to Collections is a national initiative to raise public awareness of the importance of caring for our treasures, and to underscore the fact that these collections are essential to the American story.

Search the Awarded Grants database for grants to programs that strengthen collections care/preservation (issue areas have only been assigned to grants awarded since FY 2009)

Collections care/preservation content on the IMLS Web site:
IMLS to Host Meetings with Library Stakeholders to Inform Future Grant Directions

March 19, 2014 12:37 PM
IMLS will host the first in a series of meetings about future funding strategies at the New York Public Library on April 29. Read More

 
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Dartmouth College’s Mary Flanagan and Collections Trust’s Nick Poole To Keynote WebWise 2014

November 27, 2013 10:37 AM
Registration is now open for the Institute of Museum and Library Services’s 2014 WebWise conference, which will take place February 10-12 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace in Baltimore, MD Read More

 
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IMLS Announces Effort to Strengthen State Museum Associations

November 8, 2013 07:59 AM
Association leaders to convene March 28 and 29 in Bentonville, Arkansas. Read More

 
WWII Survivor being interviewed.
Blog Post: Bringing Oral Histories to Life at the National WWII Museum

November 26, 2013 09:19 AM
With help from an IMLS grant, the National WWII Museum was able to provide better access to their oral history collection online for researchers and students of all ages. Read More

 
Blog Post: The Dividends of Digitization Investments—A Reflection


The IMLS-funded report “Searching for Sustainability: Strategies from Eight Digitized Special Collections” addresses how to digitize special collections and develop successful strategies to make sure those collections remain accessible and relevant over time. Read More

 
Adze in hand
Blog Post: Chipping Away at It

September 20, 2013 10:32 AM
With a Native American Library Enhancement grant from IMLS, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Library created an online display of their public collections, including photos, documents, audio, and artifacts. Read More

 
NC C2C Staff: Adrienne Berney, Matthew Hunt, Michelle Vaughn, and LeRae Umfleet
April 2012: North Carolina Initiative Focuses on Preserving State's Cultural Heritage


The North Carolina Connecting to Collections (C2C) program is helping the state’s museums, libraries, and other cultural heritage institutions better care for their collections. This profile demonstrates how the C2C program is making an impact throughout the state by conducting forums, hosting workshops, and providing other valuable resources. Read More

 
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October 2011: 3-D Imaging Technology Preserves Audio Collections


Libraries, archives and museums across the country have special audio collections contained on antique grooved media that are broken, too fragile or too degraded to play back on traditional systems. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory IRENE/3D project uses digital imaging technology to preserve these sound recordings. Read More

 
Michelle McKinney, assistant archivist, working on her first processed collection to the storage area.
February 2010: Newly Reorganized Archives Benefits Museum, Community


The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience, holds a collection of more than 30,000 artifacts and archival materials. Read More

 
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Connecting to Collections: A Report to the Nation


This report describes how IMLS engaged dozens of public and private partners to reach thousands of museum and library professionals with resources and technical assistance to care for endangered collections. Read More

 
cover of Connecting to the World's Collections: Making the Case for the Conservation and Preservation of our Cultural Heritage
Connecting to the World's Collections: Making the Case for the Conservation and Preservation of our Cultural Heritage


Sixty cultural heritage leaders from thirty-two countries, including representatives from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America, Australia, Europe, and North America gathered in October 2009 in Salzburg, Austria, to develop a series of practical recommendations to ensure optimal collections conservation worldwide. Read More

 
cover of Capitalize on Collections Care
Capitalize on Collections Care


A publication of Heritage Preservation in partnership with IMLS that outlines fund-raising fundamentals, strategies, and case studies to generate new contributions, increase support, and foster new audiences for collections care activities. Read More

 
Haitian Cultural Recovery Project Podcast

June 10, 2010 11:54 AM
Susan Blakney, a senior painting conservator at Westlake Conservators and member of the AIC Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC-CERT), traveled to Haiti May 4-8 to help conduct an assessment of the country’s artwork damaged by the January earthquake. Blakney and two other conservators visited a dozen museums, which she says have made great strides in retrieving and storing damaged artwork. She describes seeing 500 paintings that were stacked “in a pile like pancakes” awaiting conservation care. Haitians are anxious to save their paintings, which are one of their “national loves and largest exports,” she said. However, the country doesn’t have the materials to conserve the “vivid, colorful, and thematic” artworks that are part of their social history, she says. Conservators will be needed for many years to help restore the country’s artwork and to train Haitian artists on conservation techniques. Blakney is certain that the paintings she assessed can be restored to exhibition standards. Read More