The MSU Museum was awarded a substantial grant that will enhance preservation and expand educational opportunities for teaching and research with the Museum’s vertebrate specimen collection.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently awarded grants totaling $29,681,960 for 199 projects at museums across the nation to improve services to their communities. The MSU Museum was awarded a Museums for America Collections Stewardship grant of $92,129 to enhance the preservation of and access to 2,476 vertebrate specimens. Institute of Museum and Library Services logo.

The newly funded project will focus on specimens that have proved particularly challenging to curate, e.g. eggs and taxidermy mounts. Many date from the early days of the University. They include rare, endangered, threatened, and extinct species from the Great Lakes Region, as well as North, Central, and South America, and provide a record of biodiversity extending back to the 1860s.

“These specimens are a critical resource for MSU and the global scientific infrastructure. Every day, our specimens and their online data are accessed by scholars and students both locally and globally. We are grateful to the IMLS for supporting our work to preserve these irreplaceable collections” said MSU Museum Vertebrate Collections Manager Laura Abraczinskas.

The award also provides a platform for student training in collections management, care, and digitization.

“Hands on experience solving real problems is a powerful tool for engaging students and stimulating their interest in the discipline,” according MSU Museum Curator of Mammalogy and Ornithology Barbara Lundrigan.

The grant will fund undergraduate students to assist in moving, imaging, and rehousing specimens. Images and updated records will be shared online to increase the accessibility of the material for scholarship and learning. Additionally, students will participate in developing changing temporary displays that highlight collection stewardship and digitization activities and help build awareness of the collections.

“As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore, and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities.”

Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and the state’s first Smithsonian Affiliate, the MSU Museum has been collecting objects and specimens and creating exhibitions that reflect our shared histories and experiences since 1857. Collections and exhibitions are used as a catalyst in teaching, learning, and research creating a vital collaboratory for student and faculty success.

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 libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Back To Top