WASHINGTON, DC.- The Institute of Museum and Library Services invites proposals for a cooperative agreement to support Connecting to Collections: The National Tour, a series of four meetings, to be held in major American cities during 2008 and 2009. The forums will build on the success of the national summit on collections care recently held in Washington, D.C. The application deadline is August 17, 2007, and the cooperative agreement will be awarded September 7, 2007.
The goal of the National Tour is to raise awareness of the importance of collections care among representatives of small and mid-sized museums and libraries. It will also provide the audience with conservation/preservation tools to begin addressing the challenges outlined in the Heritage Health Index (HHI, www.heritagepreservation.org/hhi). This first major survey of the state of our nation’s collections, supported by IMLS and Heritage Preservation, found that 26 percent of American museums and libraries lack environmental controls, that 65 percent of these institutions have experienced damage to collections because of improper storage, and that 77 percent do not allocate funds specifically for conservation or preservation.
All four meetings will focus on collections care expertise, technology and collections care, connecting to the public, and fundraising. Each meeting will also explore a particular issue in conservation/preservation facing museums and libraries today. The anticipated schedule includes:
• Atlanta, Georgia, on January 24-25, 2008. The forum, which will be held at the High Museum of Art, will focus on topics and issues associated with diverse ethnic and cultural collections.
• Denver, Colorado, May 1-2, 2008. The forum, which will be held at the Denver Art Museum in collaboration with the Denver Public Library, will focus on collaboration in the digital age.
• San Diego, California, in January 2009. The forum, to be held at the San Diego Zoo, will focus on the care of living collections.
• Buffalo, New York, in June 2009. It is anticipated that this forum will be held at the Art Conservation Department at Buffalo State College and focus on training in collections care
In addition to the professionals representing small and mid-sized museums and libraries, each meeting will include leaders from foundations; regional and national organizations focused on conservation and preservation; library and museum boards; and local, state, or federal government.
Attendance is expected to be at least 150 at each forum, and IMLS anticipates awarding 30 travel stipends to representatives from small and mid-sized libraries and museums for each meeting. In addition, the forums will reach 10,000 people via webcasts, DVD’s, or other communication technologies. For more information on the request for proposals, please go to www.imls.gov/pdf/RFPNationalTour.pdf.