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Two Northwest Arkansas Museums Receive IMLS Grant
Natalie Henry of Chicago, Local Industries, 1939. Shiloh Museum of Ozark History.
BENTONVILLE, AR.- Treasured objects and artifacts held by the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale, Arkansas and the permanent collections of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville 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).

“With some 50,000 objects in our collections, more than half a million historic images – the largest such collection in Arkansas – a large research library, and seven historic buildings,” explains Allyn Lord, Shiloh Museum director, “the staff of the Shiloh Museum are continually working to preserve and upgrade our collections care. The IMLS Bookshelf award definitely helps us to do that.”

“The Crystal Bridges collection is central to our purpose and potential,” said Chris Crosman, Crystal Bridges’ chief curator. “The Collections Bookshelf award provides roadmaps and best practices for the ongoing care of our collections, thereby ensuring access and enjoyment to future generations of museum visitors.”

“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.”

Shiloh Museum and Crystal Bridges 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.

Institute of Museum and Library Services | Shiloh Museum of Ozark History | Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art | American Association for State and Local History |

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