IUMAA Awarded Grant for Preservation, Research, Access
The new IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is bolstering the museum’s research programs and expanding access to its artifacts, as well as preserving many of its holdings of over 5 million artifacts, with a $174,035 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology was one of only two museums in the state to receive funding from the federal agency.
The funding will be used to purchase a state-of-the-art storage system to enhance curation of the museum’s ethnographic collection of materials from around the world. The storage system will streamline the systematic tracking of artifacts and improve their long-term care for research, exhibition, publication, and educational purposes.
“Acquiring specialty museum storage equipment has been a major goal since the new museum was announced in 2019,” noted Ellen Sieber, IUMAA’s chief curator. “The timing is perfect: collections have been removed from the building to allow for renovation and, with this award, the new equipment can be in place when the artifacts return.”
Additionally, the storage system will enhance the museum’s "inside-out" approach to visitor experiences when the museum opens. Visitors will be able to go behind the scenes of the museum to see collections in storage, and peer into labs and workspaces to learn about museum work and research.
“The new space-saving storage system will facilitate behind-the-scenes access, as well as the expansion of other museum spaces,” said Ed Herrmann, executive director of IUMAA. “And it will help students and visitors understand the purpose of museum collections and the importance of research on artifacts from Indiana’s past and around the world.”
IUMAA’s grant is reflective of the mission of Institute of Museum and Library Services --the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums.
“Our current round of grants for the museum world reflects the important work of our nation’s cultural institutions during the pandemic and the deep thinking about the future of our culture in a post-pandemic world,” said Crosby Kemper, director of the institute.
IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
The IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is Indiana University’s newest museum. Opening in 2023, IUMAA will draw upon the strengths and rich collections of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. Together, these two collections of over 5 million artifacts span across a broad range of the human experience from Indiana’s first peoples to contemporary communities. Through cutting-edge technology and exhibition design, as well as special building features, the museum will provide visitors a new way of seeing its collections, exhibits, and programs--from the “inside-out.”
Institute of Museum and Library Services
The IMLS advances, supports, and empowers America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. The agency’s vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.