ICPN Press Release
Oct 4, 2011
Illinois Selected for Prestigious Federal Collections Preservation Grant
The Illinois State Museum Society on behalf of a consortium of 12 museums, libraries, archives, and service providers across the state was awarded a prestigious Connecting to Collections statewide implementation grant ($182,241) by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Only six states were awarded implementation grants in 2011. The project will develop educational resources and provide training to promote care of the irreplaceable collections that document Illinois' cultural and natural heritage.
The project partners include: the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies, Chicago Public Library, Illinois Heritage Association, Illinois State Archives, Illinois State Library, Illinois State Museum, Macomb Public Library, Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Spurlock Museum and University Library at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago Library, Illinois Fire Service Institute, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and Illinois Humanities Council. Dr. Bonnie Styles, Director of the Illinois State Museum, and Jennifer Hain Teper, Head Preservation and Conservation Units for University of Illinois Libraries (UIUC), co-directed the planning project (also funded by IMLS) and are directing the two-year statewide implementation grant.
Focusing on needs identified during planning, the consortium will increase awareness and communication about the importance of collections preservation, provide a broad program of preservation education and training, and facilitate statewide cooperative disaster planning and preparedness. Products include a database and regional Google Maps of Illinois collections-holding institutions for use in emergencies and tourism and a listserv of collections-holding institutions and Web site for communication. The team will also offer public events and Webinars on collections preservation, scholarships for advanced preservation training, and regional workshops on disaster planning and recovery.
During the 2010 planning project, ten partner organizations formed the Illinois Collections Preservation Network (ICPN). The ICPN's mission is to foster institutional capacity building to promote the long-term preservation of museum, library, and archival collections in Illinois that document cultural and natural heritage for the education and enrichment of future generations. These irreplaceable collections include works of art, artifacts, books, documents, sound recordings, digital materials, and natural history specimens.
A survey of over 300 collecting institutions in Illinois during the planning phase showed that such collections are at risk across Illinois. Collecting institutions reported that 39% have not had a general conditions or collections survey, 42% have inadequate humidity control; 34% have inadequate light control; 37% don't have a disaster plan; 58% don't have disaster training; 59% don't have a conservation plan, and 40% have inadequate security. According to the survey, the five greatest preservation needs of collecting institutions are: development of long range preservation plans, surveys of collections, staff training, conservation treatments, and disaster planning.
Irreplaceable treasures that document Illinois heritage are in the hands of thousands of institutions across the state. These institutions are run by both professionals and volunteers who are committed to providing the best possible environments for long-term preservation, yet financial resources are continually shrinking. The ICPN has recorded the needs and now offers support to ensure the protection of Illinois heritage collections for future generations.
For more information or to join the ICPN, please visit our Web site at http://icpn.museum.state.il.us/ or contact Bronwyn Eves, Project Manager, Illinois State Museum, 217-524-0498.