You are here

IMLS Awards $3 million For Critical Conservation at Nation’s Museums

Thursday, May 6, 2010


IMLS Press Contacts
Natasha Marstiller,
Mamie Bittner,

 Asian Screens, Textiles from the 1930s, and Tiffany Designs to be Rescued

Washington, DC—Marsha L. Semmel, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), announced 33 museum recipients of the 2010 Conservation Project Support (CPS) grants, totaling $3,184,977. Since 1984, these grants have helped 1,338 museums to identify conservation needs and priorities and take action to ensure the safekeeping of their collections. CPS grant recipients will match their awards with an additional $4,261,753.

"We are thrilled to see the rising number and caliber of conservation applications. There’s a clear correlation between states’ increased conservation efforts, which have been stimulated by IMLS’s Connecting to Collections conservation initiative, and museums taking action at the institutional level," Semmel said. In 2010, there were 148 applications for conservation project support, compared to 129 applications in 2009 and 109 applications in 2008.

Through their collections, museums tell the nation’s stories and ensure that knowledge is passed on to future generations. The Heritage Health Index, a report conducted by Heritage Preservation with support from IMLS, found that collections are highly vulnerable and in need of immediate action to prevent the loss of millions of irreplaceable artifacts. In response, IMLS launched Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, a multi-year conservation initiative to increase public awareness of the importance of collections care. The initiative provides several grant opportunities including American Heritage Preservation Grants, Connecting to Collections State Wide Planning Grants and Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grants.

In addition to today’s CPS grants, Heritage Preservation announced its IMLS-supported Conservation Assessment Program awards (, which will provide general conservation assessments of collections, environmental conditions, and sites for 107 museum participants.

Conservation Project Support grant recipients include:

Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE $22,281
Hagley Museum and Library will develop and share new understandings about the preservation of DuPont fibers, such as nylon, Orlon™, acrylic, Dacron™ polyester, and Qiana™. Important examples of American textile innovations include approximately 600 items of clothing and fabric samples made from the pioneering synthetics.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY $150,000
For the first time, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be able shed new light on the inner workings of the Louis Comfort Tiffany stain glass design studio. The Museum will conserve and stabilize a group of 60 fragile drawings of stained glass window designs from the studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany, which are currently inaccessible due to microbial infestation.

Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA $70,000
The Seattle Art Museum will improve collections care and access for 69 Asian folding and sliding screens stored at its historic 1933 Seattle Asian Art Museum facility. These painted screens, currently stored in a variety of makeshift storage units that impede proper access, will be re-housed in 16 new, professional-quality screen storage cabinets. The project will facilitate the safe handling and storage of the screens, enhancing their long-term preservation and access for scholars.

Click here for a full list of grant recipients by state.

The next deadline for the CPS grants is Oct. 1, 2010. To learn more, please visit Please direct questions to Christine Henry, Senior Program Officer 202/653-4674;

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit

Connecting to Collections Statewide Grants