EMS Museum receives grant for geological collections conservation improvements

The Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery at Penn State's University Park campus has been awarded a Museums for America—Collections Stewardship grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS received 597 applications for the 2013 Museums for America competition and awarded 170 grants totaling nearly $20 million to museums across the nation.

This award will enable the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery to electronically catalog and properly rehouse their collection of approximately 22,000 geological specimens. The grant will fund a part-time curatorial assistant for two years, upgrades to the museum’s collections management software, and the purchase of archival storage materials and supplies.

“This grant will enable the museum to better serve students in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Penn State University, and the local community,” said EMS Museum Director Russ Graham. “The project will help us conduct space needs and specimen condition surveys, determine storage requirements, and incorporate more rock and mineral specimens into educational programs, outreach activities, and exhibits in the museum and online.”

EMS Museum Assistant Director Julianne Snider and Adjunct Curator John E. Simmons will travel to Washington, DC on Sept. 18 to represent the museum at a ceremony on Capitol Hill to recognize the 2013 museum grant winners. The event will showcase the many ways museums support education and learning in their communities while safeguarding the nation’s cultural and scientific heritage through the care and preservation of their collections.

“IMLS recognizes three 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.”

About the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery at Penn State
The EMS Museum collections are comprised of rocks, minerals, fossils, historic mine safety equipment and the Steidle Collection of American industrial art. The museum exhibits objects, specimens and artwork from their collections as well as displays highlighting research conducted by the students, staff and faculty of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences in the EMS Museum galleries located in the Deike Building on the Penn State University Park campus.  The mission of the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery is to preserve the collections of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, to enhance the quality of life for the students and staff of the Pennsylvania State University and the community in central Pennsylvania, by serving as a resource for informal science and art education, fostering a sense of curiosity about the natural and cultural world around us, and instilling responsibility in all people to make our world a better place. To learn more, visit www.ems.psu.edu/outreach/museum.

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 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. IMLS 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.

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Last Updated September 12, 2013