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Grant Awards Announcement: Conservation Project Support

  MSU Museum to upgrade 16,000+ mammal specimens

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced 31 awards totaling $2,641,657 (matched with $3,317,978 of non-federal funds) for Conservation Project Support Grants. IMLS received 136 applications requesting $10,719,667 in funds.

"These grants support the essential work of caring for museum collections," said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. "The grant roster is a delight to read and includes conservation activities that protect art and artifacts from nearly every corner of the globe; native and endangered animals and plants; and time periods that span from early cretaceous fossils to 21st century e-games!"

The MSU Museum is one of two museums in Michigan to receive one of these conservation grants (University of Michigan Matthei Botanical Gardens was the other).

Award Amount: $87,816; Matching Amount: $87,970_
Grant Category: Provision of optimum environment

Michigan State University Museum will rehouse 16,179 mammal specimens into museum-quality cabinets with archival drawer liners, trays, and boxes in order to ensure their safekeeping and longer-term preservation and to improve access for the museum community as well as the general public. This grant is the final part of a three-phase project to rehouse the MSU Museum's mammal collection, which has also received previous IMLS support.

In addition to new storage cabinets and archival supplies for the specimens, the grant will fund students to assist with project activities. Project specimens include skins and skeletons from the mammal research collection, zoo and domestic animal specimens used for teaching, and rhino horns and ivory tusks. A temporary exhibit will be planned to highlight the project's activities so visitors can see how museums keep, store and share museum specimens for research and exhibitions.

"The mammal collection is one of the gems of the MSU Museum holdings, supporting research by scientists across the USA and around the world," said Dr Gary Morgan, MSU Museum director. "We also appreciate that the funds will support small displays of some of the mammal specimens that are being rehoused. It is vital that students at MSU and the broader public understand why these collections are of such significance, and public exhibits make that connection."

The MSU Museum Mammal Collection is accredited by the American Society of Mammalogists Systematic Collections Committee, ranks 25th in the western hemisphere, and is in the top 13 among U.S. university museums. The Museum's Mexican specimen holdings are the seventh largest in North America, and the MSU Museum holds the largest collection of mammals from Durango, Mexico, of any museum.

See the full list of IMLS grants here:

The MSU Museum is the natural science and culture museum at Michigan State University and the state's first Smithsonian Institution affiliate. The MSU Museum -- accredited by the American Association of Museums -- collects, preserves, studies and interprets cultural artifacts and natural history specimens, with collections numbering more than 1 million in four buildings on the MSU campus. One of the oldest museums in the Midwest, the MSU Museum is committed to education, exhibitions, research and the building and stewardship of collections that focus on Michigan and its relationship to the Great Lakes and the world beyond. Learn more at:

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. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit