The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
has been awarded a Museums for America grant of $150,000 from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Over the next two years, the Museum will catalog, document, inventory, and photograph the Peabody's most important archaeological collections with the grant.
"Our collection will be more accessible to researchers, especially educators," says Senior Collections Manager David DeBono Schafer, who will manage the project. "These are among our most requested materials. Now researchers will be able to quickly determine exactly which archaeological objects are in the collection."
The collection of approximately 20,000 objects includes stone tools from the Leakey excavations in Africa, organic archaeological materials (such as textiles, wood, leather, and basketry), ceramics from the American Southwest, and many historic artifacts from three decades' excavations in Harvard Yard. "The largest component is Neolithic animal bones from Europe," says DeBono Schafer.
The Peabody Museum has won generous support from The Institute of Museum and Library Services in the past to preserve the Museums collections and create better access to them. Previous IMLS awards to Peabody Museum supported improved teaching, access, preservation, and storage of the Museums Map Collection (2009); reformatting and rehousing original catalog and accession records (1996); and environmental improvement for photographic archives (1992) along with several other conservation projects for selected at-risk collections.
IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nations 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. Museums for America is the Institutes largest grant program for museums, supporting projects and ongoing activities that build museums capacity to serve their communities.