Museums, Libraries, and Archives Urged to Apply for Free IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2007
Press Contacts
202-653-4632

Jeannine Mjoseth, jmjoseth@imls.gov
Mamie Bittner, mbittner@imls.gov

Museums, Libraries, and Archives Urged to Apply for Free IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf

Washington, DC-To help raise the conservation IQ of museums, libraries, and archives, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in cooperation with the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH), is offering 2000 free copies of the Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of books, DVDs, online resources, and an annotated bibliography that are essential for the care of collections. A simple electronic application for the IMLS Bookshelf is available at www.aaslh.org/Bookshelf.“The IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf is a set of ‘power tools’ that will provide immediate answers to conservation issues faced by museums, libraries, and archives,” said IMLS Director Anne-Imelda Radice, Ph.D. “We also hope that the IMLS Bookshelf will spark interest among individuals who will study it and become their institutions’ go-to people for conservation matters.”

The IMLS Bookshelf focuses on collections typically found in art or history museums and in libraries’ special collections, with an added selection of texts for zoos, aquaria, public gardens, and nature centers. It will address such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation issues. Recipients of the Bookshelf will also receive a user’s guide, including an annotated bibliography. A guide to online resources on collections care is also being prepared by Heritage Preservation (HP), a national non-profit organization working to preserve America’s collective heritage. Both documents will be available online.

Two panels of experts,* convened by HP, made recommendations to IMLS on the contents of the bookshelf. Among the publications selected were The National Trust Manual of Housekeeping (published by the British National Trust in 2005), the Field Guide to Emergency Response (published by Heritage Preservation in 2006), and Essentials of Conservation Biology (published by Primack in 2006).

The IMLS Bookshelf will be awarded free in two application periods: September 1 – November 15, 2007, with recipients announced in February 2008; and March 1 – April 15, 2008, with recipients announced in July 2008. Instructions, qualifications, and the content of the IMLS Bookshelf, along with the online application, can be found at www.aaslh.org/Bookshelf.Priority will be given to smaller institutions, but large museums and libraries with special collections are also eligible to apply. Federally operated institutions, for-profit institutions, and libraries that do not hold special collections are not eligible to receive the Bookshelf. For more information on the IMLS Bookshelf, email Terry Jackson at jackson@aaslh.org, or call 615-320-3203.

*Expert advisors for the non-living collection texts included: Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa, director of the William and Margaret Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record, University of Texas, Austin; Jeanne Drewes, chief of Binding and Collections Care of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Cathy Hawks, private conservator specializing in object conservation; Melissa Heaver, registrar at the Fire Museum of Maryland, Lutherville, MD; Wendy Jessup, private conservator specializing in preventive conservation; and Debra Hess Norris, Henry Francis du Pont Chair in Fine Arts and Chairperson of the Department of Art Conservation at Winterthur/University of Delaware, Winterthur, DE.

*Expert advisors for the living collections texts included Sylvan Kaufman, conservation curator of the Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD; Bill Langbauer, director of Science and Conservation, Pittsburgh Zoo; Brandie Smith, interim director of conservation and science, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Silver Spring, MD; and Dan Stark, executive director, American Public Gardens Association, Wilmington, DE.

The IMLS Bookshelf has received support from the Getty Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation and is part of Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, a three-year initiative to help improve the care of our nation’s collections. IMLS began the initiative in response to A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America’s Collections, a 2005 Heritage Preservation study supported by IMLS, which documented the dire state of the nation’s collections. See www.imls.gov for more information. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 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 www.imls.gov.The American Association for State and Local History is a non-profit membership organization comprising individuals, agencies, and organizations acting in the public trust, engaged in the practice of history, and representing a variety of disciplines and professions. It provides leadership and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all Americans. To learn more, visit www.aaslh.org.The Getty Foundation provides support to institutions and individuals throughout the world, funding a diverse range of projects that promote the understanding and conservation of the visual arts. The Foundation is part of the J. Paul Getty Trust which also includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, and the Getty Conservation Institute. To learn more, visit

www.getty.edu/foundation.The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by the late Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc. With assets of approximately $750 million, the Luce Foundation supports American art, higher education, Asian affairs, theology, and women in science and engineering. To learn more, visit www.hluce.org.

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