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Report Shows Progress Toward Improving Collections Care

Image Caption: 
Cover of C to C Report
Tuesday, October 5, 2010


IMLS Press Contacts
Mamie Bittner,

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal support for the nation’s museums and libraries, has released Connecting to Collections: A Report to the Nation. The 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.

IMLS launched Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action in 2007 in response to A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America’s Collections, an IMLS-supported report that documented grave threats to the treasures museums, libraries, and archives held in trust for the public. Connecting to Collections has included a national tour to four U.S. cities and Washington D.C.; an international summit; the distribution of nearly 3,000 sets of essential texts on collections care; the awarding of more than 60 grants for statewide collaboration on collections care; and the creation of American Heritage Preservation Grants (AHPG). AHPG is a partnership between IMLS and the Bank of America Foundation that has so far provided 107 grants to museums, libraries, and archives for specific conservation or preservation projects.

"The IMLS Connecting to Collections initiative was launched to help protect the treasures that together define and illuminate the essence and character of our nation," said IMLS Acting Director Marsha Semmel. "While the job is far from over, IMLS is proud to report on the steps we’ve taken to secure the future of the collections libraries, museums, and archives hold on behalf of the American people."

Larry Reger, president of Heritage Preservation, which authored A Public Trust at Risk, said, "Connecting to Collections is the single most important effort to address the recommendations of the Heritage Health Index report A Public Trust at Risk by stimulating a broad base of efforts to improve the care of our nation’s heritage. This publication will serve as a continuing inspiration and call to action. Heritage Preservation is proud to have been a part of Connecting to Collections and is committed to continuing to build on its success."

Terry Davis, president and CEO of the American Association for State and Local History, said, "AASLH has been fortunate to partner with IMLS on one component of this big and important project: the Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, through which we provided over 3,000 sets to cultural heritage organizations on IMLS’s behalf. AASLH recognized the Bookshelf to be a critical resource to museums, libraries, and archives throughout the United States."

"It’s gratifying to support museums and libraries as they work to protect some of our country’s most important cultural treasures," said Joan Weinstein, interim director of the Getty Foundation. "By partnering with the IMLS on the Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, we could help get the most up-to-date information on conservation and collections care to those on the ground who needed it most."

"The Henry Luce Foundation is proud to have supported the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf," said Ellen Holtzman, the Luce Foundation’s program director for American art. "This resource is helping museums and libraries throughout the country preserve collections of American art that tell our nation’s stories. A Report to the Nation highlights this impact, and will encourage and motivate others to rally around this important message of collections care."

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