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:
HHI 2014 logo
National Collections Care Survey Is Open

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

 
IMLS Awards $1.3 Million for Training and Professional Development Projects

October 16, 2014 09:37 AM
Three IMLS-funded projects will help library, museum, and archives professionals develop expertise and leadership skills. Read More

 
New IMLS Funding to Support the Digital Public Library of America

September 30, 2014 11:26 AM
An IMLS grant will help the Digital Public Library of America expand its infrastructure to make more digital collections available to all. Read More

 
Susan Hildreth
Blog Post: Public Libraries Can Be Catalysts for Community Transformation

October 22, 2014 11:49 AM
A new Aspen Institute report summarizes assets of public libraries and describes strategies for their success. Read More

 
A child takes a photo of the program with his tablet.
Blog Post: Interview: Nevada State Library and Archives

October 7, 2014 01:15 PM
Nevada uses federal funds to digitize historical records, support literacy and workforce development, and keep teens learning after school. Read More

 
A woman sits at a table in a library working on a craft project.
Blog Post: Sprouting Green Weeding Practices Web-Based Training

October 6, 2014 01:41 PM
Learn how to recycle your library’s used books to provide more space for your communities’ needs. 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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Preserving African American History and Expanding a Field of Study


The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland used an IMLS grant to begin documenting Professor David C. Driskell’s one-of-a-kind archive consisting of an estimated 50,000 objects. The center hired an archivist, graduate student interns, and a consulting archivist to develop procedures for inventorying and making the collection available online. 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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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