The Computer History Museum announced today that it is a recipient of a 2013 Museums for America grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This program extends the Museum’s ability to perform its mission of preserving and presenting the artifacts of the Information Age.
The Museum will catalog and create access images for 10,000 computer-related artifacts representing new acquisitions and backlogged collections. The Museum will recruit and train collections specialists, volunteers, and interns, and build on experience gained in a previous IMLS-supported project, which implemented effective cataloging processes and equipment. The project will broaden and deepen the Museum’s searchable online catalog to provide richer collections access for staff, visitors, educators, students, researchers, and other museums and organizations. The project will support enhanced, content-rich experiences through exhibitions, K-12 STEM-infused educational programs, and lectures.
“We are delighted to receive this grant and to expand the cataloging of our collection, which is the largest in the world,” said Museum President and CEO John Hollar. “Access to the collection is a priority for us and a benefit to scholars, historians and users everywhere. As one of the most rapidly growing museums in the world, we see this as a huge step forward."
A secondary goal for the Museum this year is to revise the Museum's collections management policies, to strengthen acquisitions and preservation strategies, and to increase overall professional knowledge. These goals, along with the IMLS cataloging grant, demonstrate the Museum’s commitment to best practices in collections stewardship.
“Our past achievements with a similarly structured cataloging project was recognized by the Institute, which noted that the Museum excels at engaging an intergenerational team of catalogers, “said Senior Registrar and Collections Manager, Karen Kroslowitz. “Our volunteers are often retired computer industry professionals and our staff and interns are graduates of local museum studies programs. They complement each other’s skills perfectly and their short-term commitment to the project directly supports the long-term success of the Museum.”
A total of 170 museums, libraries, and archives were selected to receive funding totaling $19,843,201. IMLS’s peer reviewers evaluated all eligible and complete grant applications, assessing the merit of each proposal and its fit with the goals of the grant program and project category. The IMLS Director made the final funding decisions.
To browse the Museum’s collection, please visit: http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/search/.
The Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mountain View, California is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history as the world’s leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs and moving images.
The Museum brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, a dynamic website, docent-led tours and an award-winning education program. The Museum’s signature exhibition is “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing,” described by USA Today as “the Valley’s answer to the Smithsonian.” Other current exhibits include “Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2,” and “Going Places: The History of Google Maps with Street View.”
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 inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more about the Institute, please visit: http://www.imls.gov.