The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal support for the nation’s museums and libraries, announces that 13 institutions are receiving National Leadership Collaborative Planning Grants (NLG) totaling $763,715. Grantees will contribute $491,995 in matching funds. There were 62 applications to the program with requests totaling $3,752,309.

Michigan State University Museum is one of the organizations to receive funding and the nearly $100,000 grant will be used to expand technology and access for its innovative online resource, the Quilt Index.

The NLG program includes two types of collaborative planning grants, which enable multi-institution project teams to work together to either plan a single project or to produce a white paper that will encourage multiple projects; and project grants, including both research and implementation grants, for which that preliminary work has already been done.

The Quilt Index project encompasses:
Award Amount: $98,173; Matching: $54,136
Grant Category: Library-Museum Collaboration–Level II Collaborative Planning Grant

Project Title: “The Quilt Index: Collaborative Planning for Internationalization”
The Quilt Index is a popular online scholarly and cultural resource that is growing increasingly global in its content and the communities it serves. Internationalization is encouraging, but it presents new challenges, such as supporting multilingual indexing, searching, and retrieval of information. The Michigan State University Museum, partnering with the MATRIX Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online, the Alliance for American Quilts, and the International Quilt Study Center will identify key challenges for globally constructed and shared online resources, and develop a model plan that responds to those challenges.

“National Leadership Collaborative Planning Grants provide opportunities to conduct research and develop the framework to support future projects that have the potential to generate new tools, research, models, services, practices, or alliances that will positively impact museums, libraries, and the communities they serve,” said IMLS Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel. “These projects encourage partnerships that address national issues of importance impacting education, scholarship, and public service and encourage the broad application of standards and models to improve professional practice.”

IMLS National Leadership Collaborative Planning Grants position museums and libraries as partners with other community institutions — from medical centers to gardens and nature centers — in ways that explore assess community needs, solve problems and share data more widely.

About the Quilt Index
The Quilt Index ( launched seven years ago, and was developed at Michigan State University by the MSU Museum and MATRIX, the Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online. The third primary partner is the Alliance for American Quilts, based in Asheville, N.C., a non-profit organization comprised of a broad range of key scholars, curators, librarians, and quilt artists in the U.S. dedicated to the study, preservation, and sharing of American quilt history. Over the years, the Quilt Index’s growth and expansion has been supported by grants from IMLS and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Quilt Index merges tradition with technology and springs from the work of a uniquely-specialized team of researchers and experts who are committed to making significant quilt-related data accessible for research and teaching as well as developing replicable applications of technology in the humanities.

The online resource extends understanding and use of the museum’s textile collections. The MSU Museum’s Great Lakes Quilt Center has evolved from the sustained and significant quilt-related activities and resources at the Michigan State University Museum and the museum’s long-standing interest in and commitment to preserving and presenting traditional arts history. More than 700 historic and contemporary textiles in the MSU Museum’s collections are used for exhibition and research, and the Quilt Index, in part, helps make these collections – and others — more connected to repositories and users worldwide.

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