MCHS Receives Conservation Bookshelf

We got word this week that MCHS has been chosen to receive a free set of books on various museum conservation topics from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (a federal agency that provides grants for museums and libraries) through its Connecting to Collections Bookshelf program. We are absolutely thrilled!

When we received an email telling us that we were going to get books through the Bookshelf, the IMLS also sent us a press release we could use (with a wee bit of doctoring)  to announce the news. Because the press release does a great job of explaining the Bookshelf program, here it is, reproduced in its entirety:

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Morrison County Historical Society Receives Conservation Bookshelf

Little Falls, MN – Treasured objects and artifacts held by the Morrison
County Historical Society (MCHS) will be preserved for future generations
with help from the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of
conservation books and online resources donated by the Institute of Museum
and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS has now awarded almost 3,000 free sets
of the IMLS Bookshelf, in cooperation with the American Association for
State and Local History (AASLH).

According to Ann Marie Johnson, MCHS Curator of Collections, “The
Bookshelf will serve as a practical resource to help advance the quality
of our collections and better safeguard the heritage of Morrison County,
Minnesota. With the variety of items MCHS collects, it can be difficult to
have all the specialty knowledge needed in caring for particular items.
For example, the museum’s small collection of American Indian objects
constitutes a set of culturally sensitive materials that require special
attention.”

“When IMLS launched this initiative to improve the dire state of our
nation’s collections, we understood that the materials gathered for the
Bookshelf would serve as important tools for museums, libraries, and
archives nationwide,” said Anne-Imelda Radice, Director of IMLS. “We were
both pleased and encouraged by the overwhelming interest of institutions
prepared to answer the call to action, and we know that with their
dedication, artifacts from our shared history will be preserved for future
generations.”

MCHS will receive this essential set of resources based on an application
describing the needs and plans for the care of its collections. 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 addresses such
topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management
and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation
issues.

The IMLS Bookshelf is a crucial component of Connecting to Collections: A
Call to Action
, a conservation initiative that the Institute launched in
2006. IMLS began the initiative in response to a 2005 study it released in
partnership with Heritage Preservation, A Public Trust at Risk: The
Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America’s Collections
. The
multi-faceted, multi-year initiative shines a nationwide spotlight on the
needs of America’s collections, especially those held by smaller
institutions, which often lack the human and financial resources necessary
to adequately care for their collections. Click here for more information
on the Connecting to Collections initiative.

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 www.imls.gov.

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