12 Aug Maritime Museums awarded $99,000 grant
BEAUFORT, N.C. — The North Carolina Maritime Museums has been awarded a substantial grant that will help enhance conservation work within the three-museum system.
The North Carolina Maritime Museums will receive $99,209 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which recently awarded a total of $29,545,363 grants toward 208 projects at museums across the nation. The maritime museum grant will be used to expand work in the conservation lab housed at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort. The museum’s Friends group will provide the needed matching funds.
Museum Conservator Michelle Crepeau is based at the Beaufort site but supports operations of all three maritime museums, which also include sites in Southport and Hatteras. She said the money will be used toward the current lab’s new archaeological extension, which is currently under construction.
Specifically, the grant will allow the purchase of new equipment to help treat larger and more complex archeological artifacts in-house. That equipment includes a micro-air abrasive blasting unit and a combined workstation and dust collector, a portable down draft work bench and a high-grade air compressor for the operation of pneumatic tools.
Crepeau said that the lab enhancements will help expand treatment, outreach and educational capabilities as a whole.
“The expanded lab will be fully visible to the public,” Crepeau said. “This will bring a greater variety of conservation practices to the public, creating new opportunities for educational programming and public engagement.”
That’s part of the goal of the grant program itself. The Institute of Museum and Library Services describes itself as the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. That support includes grants, research and policy development.
“This year’s awardees exemplify museums as learning institutions,” Laura Huerta Migus, deputy director of IMLS Office of Museum Services, said in a news release. “These projects reflect the varied roles that museums occupy in the fabric of their local communities and the focused investments needed to improve their capacity to be of service.”
For Crepeau, that includes the opportunity to “pay it forward.” She said the IMLS grant will also go toward hiring a paid intern to help with conservation tasks. Crepeau noted that conservation can be a difficult field to break into as it requires a substantial investment of pre-graduate training but offers limited opportunities and even fewer that are compensated.
“I am very grateful for the opportunities I was afforded back when I was struggling my way into this profession,” she said. “I count it as my biggest success that I am now in a position to support others in their exploration of and first steps into this field.”
For more information about the museum system, visit ncmaritimemuseums.com. For more information about the Institute of Museum and Library Services, visit imls.gov.
About the N.C. Maritime Museums
The North Carolina Maritime Museum system is comprised of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Beaufort and the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport. All three museums are part of the Division of State History Museums in the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
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 www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook, facebook.com/USIMLS, and Twitter, @US_IMLS.