The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Receives an Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums for America Collections Stewardship Grant!

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Archives at the University of California, Berkeley is excited to announce that we have received a Museums for America Collections Stewardship grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for our project “Strategic Stewardship for Sustaining the Archives of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology,” federal award identification number MA-30-15-0452-15. We have received $147,095 in funding for the October 01, 2015 – August 31, 2017 performance period.

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology requested funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services this August in order to address long term needs for the housing, preservation, and environmental controls of the archival collections. The archival collections date beyond the 106 years of research conducted at the museum and include detailed field notes and annotated maps from over 300 scientists and students, several thousand pages of correspondence, rare books, original artwork used in seminal publications, and photographic documentation of field sites, specimens, and animal observations. The “Strategic Stewardship for Sustaining the Archives of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology” project arose after having identified immediate and long term preservation challenges for the collections.

The grant provided through the Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums for America Program will fund the following stewardship activities: 1) install compactors for long term storage and security of archival materials; 2) install an HVAC system to regulate temperature and humidity in the archival storage room; 3) rehouse the Historical Correspondence collection in acid-free folders and record storage boxes; 4) rehouse the Historic Photo collection in acid-free enclosures and record storage boxes; 5) rehouse the glass plate negatives in dedicated boxes with proper supports; 6) rehouse the MVZ rare books in proper enclosures; and 7) provide training in basic conservation of artwork. This comprehensive project will ensure the preservation of the museum’s unique archival collections and address the housing needs of the museum’s most valuable materials. By preserving these collections, we ensure their access to the many staff, faculty, students, and outside researchers who utilize their invaluable data today for tomorrow’s scientific discoveries.

Information about this project is taken from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums for America Collections Stewardship Grant Abstract, written by Carla Cicero, Christina Fidler, and Michelle Koo.

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.

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