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

 
Blog Post: Read the First Four National Digital Platform Grant Proposals

April 24, 2015 11:47 AM
Grant materials from the first IMLS awards addressing the national digital platform are now available. Read More

 
Photograph of the Phoenix Steam Fire Engine No. # in 1885.
Blog Post: Remembering Lincoln: Personal Stories about the Lincoln Assassination

April 16, 2015 03:36 PM
Ford’s Theatre launched the Remembering Lincoln digital collection to engage present-day Americans with stories of people who lived through President Lincoln’s assassination. Read More

 
Cole's Garden Annual. 1892. From the BHL Seed and Nursery Catalog Collection.
Blog Post: What's Up with Seed Catalogs in BHL?

March 30, 2015 03:41 PM
Many Biodiversity Heritage Library partners are engaged in a variety of projects to digitize and improve access to the seed and nursery catalogs and lists in their collections. 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