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Grant To Help Improve Natural Science Collections Care

front of msu museum
horn bill bird perched on a stand

A taxidermy-mounted Rufous Hornbill was donated to the Museum in 1917 by J.H. Tibbs. The focus of the grant project is to improve environmental conditions and accessibility of over 5,000 bird and mammal specimens that are preserved as taxidermy mounts, tanned skins, study skins or skeletons in the MSU Museum. Photo by Barbara L. Lundrigan

The Michigan State University Museum recently received a $113,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, or IMLS, to improve accessibility, environmental conditions and housing for more than 5,600 vertebrate specimens, including rare, endangered and threatened species.

Some of the specimens date back to the 19th century, reflecting collecting and research undertaken during the early days of MSU. The specimens will be protected in new cabinets or on mobile shelving, greatly enhancing access to these time-deep scientific collections for MSU faculty, students and external researchers.

“The success of this grant reflects concentrated work and attention by vertebrate collections manager Laura Abraczinskas and mammalogy curator/division head of natural sciences Barb Lundrigan, to whom we are deeply grateful,” said Mark Auslander, MSU Museum director.

The IMLS granted more than $21 million for museums across the nation to improve services to their communities.

“We received a very rich slate of applications this year, making the award process extremely competitive,” said Paula Gangopadhyay, deputy director of the IMLS Office of Museum Services. “IMLS is pleased to fund projects in museums across America that are making an impact on their local communities, helping preserve and make collections more accessible and enriching life-long learning experiences.”

Museums for America supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public by providing high-quality, inclusive learning experiences by serving as community anchors and essential partners in addressing community needs and by preserving and providing access to the collections entrusted to its care.

For more information and the complete list of IMLS projects, click here.

Stephanie Palagyi Via MSU TODAY

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