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State Museum of Pennsylvania Receives Prestigious Museum Grant

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The State Museum of Pennsylvania recently received major national funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support its collections stewardship. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. 

The $148,500 grant, awarded by the IMLS "Museums for America" program, will enable The State Museum to complete the inventorying and cataloguing of its 38,000-object Community and Domestic Life collection.  Once the project is completed, the museum will be able to significantly increase public awareness of and access to this nationally significant collection and enhance future exhibitions, interpretation and research.

The museum will match the IMLS grant with $624,584 in non-federal funds over the two-year grant period.

The work is a part of the museum's Collection Advancement Project, which is its most important collections initiative underway.  It is the number one priority in the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's (PHMC) current strategic plan.  PHMC is The State Museum's parent agency and the commonwealth's official history agency.

"It is difficult to manage a collection until you know what you have and where it is, and the Collections Advancement Project is doing just that," says PHMC Executive Director James M. Vaughan.  "It is a great honor to receive an IMLS grant to finish this important work in one of our most popular collections."

Part of The State Museum's vast collection of nearly five million objects and artifacts, the Community and Domestic Life section features artifacts that were created or used in Pennsylvania or by Pennsylvanians. It ranges from the utilitarian to the exquisite. 

The collection includes textiles such as clothing, quilts, coverlets, samplers, and other needlework; Pennsylvania German fraktur; folk art; silver and pewter; glassware; ceramics, and many household items.

The State Museum was one of 10 institutions in Pennsylvania that received "Museums for America" funding from IMLS in its most recent peer-reviewed round of grants. Other recipients are the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Erie Art Museum, Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, Barnes Foundation, Please Touch Museum, Mattress Factory, Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Pennsylvania State University.

ILMS's highly competitive "Museum's for America" grant program supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to address its key needs or challenges for better service to its community.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 25 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History®. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania's fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the Commonwealth's vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania's story is America's story.

For more information about the museum, visit www.statemuseumpa.org.

Media contact: Howard M. Pollman, 717-705-8639

SOURCE Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

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