Historical Society Receives IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf

Washington, DC –(ENEWSPF)– Dr. Anne-Imelda Radice, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), announced recently that the Park Forest Historical Society is one of 776 museums, libraries, and archives, representing every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam selected to receive the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf. The contents of the bookshelf were selected by a blue ribbon panel of conservation experts; it includes an essential set of books, online resources, and a user’s guide that can profoundly affect the ability of small libraries and museums to care for their collections.

The Connecting to Collections Bookshelf provides museums, libraries, and archives essential instructions on how to rescue treasures of yesteryear that they hold in trust,” said Radice. “These Bookshelves, once they are all distributed, will touch institutions around the nation.”
The IMLS Bookshelf was made possible by a cooperative agreement with the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) with support from the Getty Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. It is part of Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, a strategic initiative by IMLS to address the challenges described in A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America’s Collections. The report concluded that:

  • 190 million objects need conservation treatment,
  • 65 percent of collecting institutions have damaged collections due to improper storage,
  • 80 percent of collecting institutions lack an emergency plan for their collections and trained staff to carry it out, and
  • 40 percent of institutions have no funds allocated in their annual budget for preservation and conservation.

Most recipients have small budgets and staff, and have demonstrated an urgent need for this permanent resource. History museums, historic houses, and academic libraries with special collections are especially well represented among the recipients. Ten zoos, aquaria, botanical gardens, and nature centers are also represented. In addition, ten art museums with Kress Collection items will receive the bookshelf with funding from the Kress Foundation.
Recipients are located in 327 of the nation’s 435 congressional districts.


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 living collections. It addresses topics including the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation issues. Among the publications selected were The National Trust Manual of Housekeeping (published by the British National Trust in 2005), the Field Guide to Emergency Response (published by Heritage Preservation in 2006), and Essentials of Conservation Biology (published by Primack in 2006).

“Given the Getty’s longstanding commitment to the care of museum and archival collections, we are pleased to partner with IMLS and other foundations to provide key conservation resources to the institutions that most need them,” said Getty Foundation Director Deborah Marrow.

“We are delighted to help make this important material reach so many institutions around the country,” said Ellen Holtzman, Program Director for American Art at the Henry Luce Foundation.

“The Kress Foundation is delighted to be working with IMLS to ensure the broadest possible access to this important reference resource,” said Max Marmor, President of the Kress Foundation.

Based on the enthusiastic response to the bookshelf, IMLS will offer a third round of competition to distribute an additional 1000 Bookshelves. Applications can be submitted to AASLH between January 5, 2009, and March 9, 2009, at www.aaslh.org/Bookshelf/.

Federally-operated institutions, for-profit institutions, and libraries that do not hold special collections are not eligible to receive the IMLS Bookshelf. For more information, please contact Terry Jackson at [email protected] or 615-320-3203.

To see the complete list of recipients, click here.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 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. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.

About the American Association for State and Local History
The American Association for State and Local History is a non-profit membership organization comprising individuals, agencies, and organizations acting in the public trust, engaged in the practice of history, and representing a variety of disciplines and professions. It provides leadership and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all Americans. To learn more, visit www.aaslh.org.

About the Getty Foundation
The Getty Foundation provides support to institutions and individuals throughout the world, funding a diverse range of projects that promote the understanding and conservation of the visual arts. The Foundation is part of the J. Paul Getty Trust which also includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, and the Getty Conservation Institute. To learn more, visit www.getty.edu/foundation.

About the Henry Luce Foundation
The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by the late Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc. With assets of approximately $750 million, the Luce Foundation supports American art, higher education, Asian affairs, theology, and women in science and engineering. To learn more, visit www.hluce.org.

About the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
The Samuel H. Kress Foundation was created in 1929 and devotes its resources to advancing the scholarship, conservation and enjoyment of works of European art. The Kress Foundation’s programs focus on the preservation of significant monuments of European art and architecture, as well as the nurturing of professional expertise in art history and art conservation. To learn more, visit www.kressfoundation.org.