Conservation and Preservation at MNA

Conservation and Preservation at MNA

Guided by its Preservation Plan, MNA has made steady progress in building institutional capacity to achieve physical and intellectual control and improve the preservation of its collections. This work would not have been achieved without the support of Betsy and Harry Easton in the construction of the Easton Collection Center (ECC) or the essential support of numerous Federal agencies and Foundations.  In the past 14 years the Collections Department has secured 44 grants totaling $2,767,528.

With funding from IMLS Museums for America (2005, 2008) and the Southwestern Foundation (2011), MNA hired an Archivist and Registrar to become part of regular staff. Funding from the NEH Stabilization program allowed MNA to hire a Move Coordinator (Carmen Li, professional conservator) to direct efforts to move 1st and 2nd priority collections into the ECC.

Grants from Save America's Treasures (2006), IMLS (2008, 2009, 2013, 2018), NEH Preservation Assistance (2003, 2011), NEH Stabilization (2007), and NEH Sustaining Cultural Collections (2011) allowed MNA to purchase storage furniture and compactors for the ECC and the paleontology collections in the Brady Building.

Additional grants from AAM's CMAP (2002), IMLS (2005, 2007), IMLS Museums for America (2013, 2015, and 2016), NEH-Preservation Assistance (2009 and 2013), Arizona Historical Records Advisory Board (2006, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2018), Antique Tribal Dealers Association (2008, 2009, 2012, 2017), Museum Loan Network (2004), National Film Preservation Foundation (2013), and the Southwestern Foundation for Education and Historical Preservation (2007, 2008, 2009, and 2015) provided funds to identify additional challenges, address urgent collection needs, expand inventories, conduct condition assessments, rehouse holdings, and plan for cold and cool storage for photographic media.

Funding was also provided by the National NAGPRA grant program to send tribes updated summaries (2005), consult with the Hopi, Navajo, Zuni Tribes and Apache Bands (2006), and identify and remove NAGPRA holdings from the Ecofact Collections (2007).

MNA's first Preservation Plan was developed with funding from a 2002 NEH Preservation Assistance grant, and was based on surveys conducted between 1988 and 1991. Many of the priorities identified by these early surveys have been completed. For this reason MNA developed a new Preservation Plan with the support of an IMLS Conservation Project (2012) and Southwestern Foundation (2012) grants. In August 2012 MNA was reassessed by a new team of conservators and preservation specialists (Wendy Jessup, Michael Henry, Matthew Crawford, Kim Du Boise, Susan Duhl, and Tom Fuller). The priorities identified in their reports serve as the backbone for MNA's 2014 Preservation Plan.

For a full list of Collections grants, click here for a grant summary.