January 22, 2020
Mass. Museums Get $2.6M to Enhance Exhibits, Public Access

September 23, 2014 — Sixteen Massachusetts museums, including the Discovery Museums in Acton, the Museum of African American History in Boston, and the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, have received a total of $2,623,038 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to fund a broad range of enhancements to their operations.

The funds were awarded this year to support a wide variety of projects that create learning experiences, strengthen community communities, care for collections, and provide broad public access, according to the Institute.

The Discovery Museums, which serves as the children’s and science museums of MetroWest Boston, received $149,477 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and another $150,000 from the Sudbury Foundation to create a new exhibit focused on early brain development.

Neil Gordon, CEO of The Discovery Museums, said, “With the support of The Sudbury Foundation and IMLS, our new exhibit will integrate current research on early learning and brain development into exhibit experiences that engage families in parent-child interactions that promote language development and emotional resilience in young children. We are thrilled to have their support.”

Also receiving ILMS funds were the following:
  • Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge – $149,988 to develop detailed biological species "stories" that show how the scientific name attached to a species is the product of meticulous study and the progression of knowledge over time.

  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston – $146,834 to teach, mentor, and engage 4,000 high-need Boston-area teens through after- and out-of-school programs.

  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston – $102,500 to complete the second phase of a tapestry conservation project.

  • Massachusetts Audubon Society, Lincoln – $24,669 to create a manual to be used by other organizations to create educational, reflective, self-guided nature trail experiences designed for individuals who require accessibility accommodations.

  • Memorial Hall Museum, Deerfield – $149,835 to create an array of programs to engage regional, national, and tourist audiences in learning about the history of the 1835 dinosaur track discoveries along the Connecticut River Valley.

  • Museum of African American History, Boston – $135,990 to strengthen its institutional collections and interpretation capacity and increase access to its collections among schools, educators, researchers, and the public.

  • Museum of Science, Boston – $460,292 to construct an infrastructure for collaboration, which will unite science centers across the country in the systematic collection, analysis, and reporting of visitor experience data; and $150,000 to prototype several exhibit elements to be included in a new 3,000-square-foot exhibition gallery that explores the connection between the science of the natural world and engineered world.

  • New England Aquarium, Boston – $24,712 to cross-reference two different though closely related archival collections.

  • New England Wild Flower Society, Framingham – $65,106 to develop an engaging, easily accessible curriculum of introductory online courses in botany, plant ecology, and native plant horticulture.

  • Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge, Stockbridge – $150,000 to design and develop a new, unified interface using rich digital content from the museum's collection to create vivid multimedia experiences of the life the art, legacy, and times of Norman Rockwell.

  • Peabody Essex Museum, Salem – $473,453 to expand and refine Access App, a prototyped open-source mobile application intended to increase accessibility to museum collections.

  • Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge – $150,000 to document approximately 20,000 object records and digital images from its anthropological collections in its collections database.

  • Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton – $21,445 to conserve eleven objects from its collection to support the museum's strategic goals of preserving objects in their care and using those objects to educate.

  • Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown – $118,737 to digitize significant volumes from the Julius S. Held Collection of Rare Books, in the Clark Library.

  • USS Constitution Museum, Boston – $150,000 to develop a research-based, hands-on exhibit providing visitors of all ages the opportunity to learn about the origins of the USS Constitution.
ILMS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums.

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