Isle of Wight Museum gets preservation aid

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2008

ISLE OF WIGHT—Treasured objects and artifacts held by the Isle of Wight County Museum will be preserved for future generations with help from a donation by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The group, which is the primary source of federal funding for the nation’s museums and libraries, has committed to sending the local museum a core set of conservation books, DVDs and online resources by the end of 2009.

It is working with the American Association for State and Local History to distribute 3,000 sets of the conservation resources — referred to as “the IMLS Bookshelf — by that time.

“We are very pleased to announce the recipients of the IMLS Bookshelf in the second round of competition,” said Anne-Imelda Radice, director of IMLS. “These libraries, museums and archives are in the forefront of our call to action on behalf of America’s collections. According to a recent national survey, our important collections are at great risk, and without them, the American story simply cannot be told to future generations.”

The Isle of Wight County Museum submitted an application for the program in which it described the needs and plans for care of its collections.

The IMLS Bookshelf focuses on collections typically found in history or art museums and in libraries’ special collections, with an added selection of texts for zoos, aquariums, 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 Institute began the initiative in response to a 2005 study by Heritage Preservation that documented the dire state of the nation’s collections. The 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.