WILMINGTON, DE.- The Delaware Art Museum
announcd that it received a $130,000 Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The grant will support a two-year Collections Stewardship project, allowing the Museum to make over 5,000 works on paper from its collection available to the public through a new searchable online collection database. The Museum's project was one of 244 selected nationally by IMLS this year, with support totaling nearly $30 million.
"This is an incredible opportunity for the Museum," explains Margaretta Frederick, Chief Curator and Curator of the Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art at the Delaware Art Museum. "Putting the collection online allows us to serve our diverse audiences more effectively through expanded access to collections-related information, images, and scholarship."
In June 2013, the Museum received funding from the Welfare Foundation to begin the first phase of a five-phase Collections Accessibility Plan. This phase includes preparing the first 500 most familiar works from the Museum's collection for digitization and uploading them to the new web-based platform eMuseum.
The IMLS grant will fund the second phase of the project. During this phase, Museum staff will perform a comprehensive inventory of over 5,000 works on paper, digitally photograph these works, update the records, and place the object records in eMuseum. Visitors to this new online resource will be able to browse the Museum's collections, search for specific objects, and create and share their own collections of work.
The majority of the Museum's 12,500-work collection will be accessible online by 2018. A more complete and accurate online database will allow the Delaware Art Museum to carry out its core mission "to connect people to art." Visitors exploring the collection for the first time, as well as scholars, educators, and curators researching specific works will have access to the Delaware Art Museum's vast holdings, including the largest collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art outside of the United Kingdom and American art and illustration from the 1800s to the present.
"IMLS recognizes the valuable roles museums have in their communities: putting the learner at the center, serving as community anchors, and serving as stewards of cultural and scientific collections," said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. "It is exciting to see the many ways our newly announced grants further these important museum roles. I congratulate the slate of 2013 museum grant recipients for planning projects that advance innovation in museum practice, lifelong learning, and community engagement."