MAM CARES

Launched with a $25,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, CARES (Collection Access, Research, and Education Solutions) will determine the potential for community and statewide collaborations in collections-driven research, education, storage, preservation, and conservation efforts, and inform the conceptual design of a MAM collections center in Missoula.

In fall 2017, MAM received a prestigious $25,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) program, Museums for America. Only 24% of applications to this highly competitive program were funded, placing MAM in the national ranks of 138 projects that support the IMLS goal to to connect communities to their artistic and cultural resources. IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew says, “As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other.”

Montana has a rich history, and its institutions hold important collections of artwork, documents, and archival materials. However, many of the state’s museums and libraries are experiencing shrinking capacity as collections continue to grow. CARES will determine the potential for collaborations in collections-driven research and inform the conceptual design of a MAM collections center in Missoula.

Project Director Brandon Reintjes says, “Museums and libraries tend to develop and expend resources independently. However, there are significant opportunities for us to collaborate with our colleagues throughout the state, specifically in regards to collections. We’re extremely proud to have received this important national grant.” Nearly $22,000 of the total grant will stay in Montana communities and provide direct benefits for Montanans, including training stipends and new access to much-needed resources.

Denver-based book and paper conservator Beth Heller to Missoula to provide training to statewide museum and library staff. Local experts also contributing to the project include consulting architect Warren Hampton, Mansfield Library Head of Archives and Special Collections Donna McCrae, and Sue Near, a 35-year veteran of collections and administration at the Montana Historical Society. Their efforts will benefit an estimated 50 staff from institutions across the state, and by their efforts, help the public to enjoy, study, and understand our cultural collections.

CARES Activities

  • Statewide Collection Assessment
    In fall 2017, MAM contacted the directors of more than 230 Montana museums, libraries, and archives with a request to participate in a survey to identify significant needs, challenges, and opportunities. MAM will post the analysis prepared by conservator Beth Heller in early 2018.
  • Community Design Charrettes
    The public is invited to help MAM develop conceptual plans for a new collection center in Missoula. We want to your input on solutions that will make art and cultural information more accessible. Architect Warren Hampton will join MAM staff in facilitating open discussions and brainstorming in three major areas:
    • Preservation and Conservation: Friday, March 16, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
      How can a new facility improve the long-term care of art, documents, and other cultural materials? To register for this charrette, provide your first and last name, organization name, and telephone number.
    • Education and Scholarship: Monday, April 23, 9 a.m. - noon
      How can a new facility meet the needs of K-12 and higher education? What are opportunities for collaborating to generate new research and educational materials? To register for this charrette, provide your first and last name, organization name, and telephone number.
    • Physical and Digital Storage: Friday, May 11, 1 - 4 p.m.
      How can a new facility improve the security of cultural collections in Missoula and across the state? How can it support collaborations that make digital information more accessible? To register for this charrette, provide your first and last name, organization name, and telephone number.
  • Professional Development Workshops
    Cultural collections staff and volunteers are invited to attend these free workshops presented by experts in the field. Registration is required and limited to 25 participants for each workshop. Limited travel funds are available for those who also attend the design charrette following the workshop; inquire with Project Director Brandon Reintjes.
    • Collection Preservation and Conservation , Friday, March 16, 9 a.m. - noon
      Presented by Beth Heller Conservation of Denver, CO. Beth will focus on care of books, historic and archival documents, and works of art on paper. To register for this workshop, provide your first and last name, organization name, telephone number.
    • Basic Archives Management, Friday, May 11, 9 a.m. - noon
      Donna McCrea, Head of Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana, will introduce policies and procedures, and cover topics such as identifying and organizing physical and digital archival material, best practices for storage and handling, and options for providing access to internal and external users. To register for this workshop, provide your first and last name, organization name, and telephone number.



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