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 Announces Grants of $2.4 Million for U.S. Museums

July 17, 2015 10:04 AM
Forty-four grants to 21 states will strengthen museum operations and support the stewardship of our nation’s cultural heritage. Read More

 
Notice of Funding Opportunity: National Conservation Assessment Program

June 29, 2015 12:21 PM
IMLS seeks a cooperator for national program to help small and midsize museums care for their collections. Read More

 
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National Collections Care Survey Is Open

October 28, 2014 02:10 PM
14,000 institutions will receive an email invitation to participate. Read More

 
Blog Post: New Report Examines Impacts of C2C Statewide Planning Grants

July 23, 2015 01:31 PM
The report looks at the IMLS Connecting to Collections Statewide Planning Grants to assess their impact and identify ways to move forward in caring for our nation’s treasures. Read More

 
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Blog Post: Taking the National Digital Platform for Libraries to the Next Level

July 23, 2015 08:02 AM
A new report, prepared by OCLC Research, highlights key themes and issues raised at the IMLS Focus: The National Digital Platform convening. Read More

 
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Blog Post: Remembering World War One: A Community Centered Approach to Commemoration

July 21, 2015 03:56 PM
With the guidance and support of the United States World War One Centennial Commission, the Connecticut State Library is telling the story of The Great War through the lens of the nation, the state, the community, and the individual. Read More

 
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Preserving Art and Finding Hidden Treasures


The Barnes Foundation treated 22 works of art on paper from its permanent collection, including art by Picasso, Cézanne, Klee, Degas, and Renoir, for conservation. In addition to increasing collection accessibility for education, research, and aesthetic appreciation, the conservation project produced an astounding discovery. Read More

 
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Climate Change and Plants—Predicting and Planning


Research by the Missouri Botanical Garden combines bioclimatic modeling and innovative experiments to shed light on key questions concerning the impacts of climate change on plant diversity, with the aim of helping conservationists develop scientifically based protocols to avert the loss of species. Read More

 
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Rhode Island’s First Responders Receive Training to Limit Damage to Collections


The Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) spearheaded a model program to help first responders and collecting institutions prepare for and respond to disasters. 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