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 Million for U.S. Museums

July 10, 2014 08:58 AM
IMLS announces 37 museum grants awarded through three programs: African American History and Culture, Sparks! Ignition Grants for Museums, and Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services. Read More

 
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IMLS Releases 2011 Public Libraries in the United States Report

June 18, 2014 11:45 AM
The report shows the state of public library service in the U.S. and how investments affect library usage. Read More

 
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

 
Actors on stage for the Penumbra Theatre production photo of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Blog Post: The African American Theater History Project: Bringing Together African American Theater and Cultural History from Libraries Around the Country

June 6, 2014 09:02 AM
The project aims to bring digital access to collections that document African American theater. Read More

 
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Blog Post: Archaeology and an Interdisciplinary Digital Age

May 27, 2014 09:33 AM
Archaeologists are looking at ways to incorporate digital methods. Read More

 
Blog Post: Interview: Hawaii State Public Library System

May 2, 2014 09:48 AM
Hawaii’s State Librarian Richard Burns talks about how LSTA funds are supporting better internet access across the islands, providing public access to high-quality information resources, and supporting collections management. 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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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

 
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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