The Geneva History Museum has been awarded a $162,628 Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to redesign the archives and collections storage rooms.

Striving to improve best practices, the museum has participated in several museum assessment programs with the American Alliance of Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and The Institute of Museum and Library Services/The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.  The final reports from these assessments reaffirmed the need for a long-term goal of redesigning the storage areas to addresses overcrowding, to increase accessibility, provide for best practices in caring for the current objects and accommodate continued growth. This goal was made a high-priority in the Geneva History Museum’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.  The museum plans to install high-density mobile shelving storage systems that will improve the care, storage and environmental conditions for the collections and provide 46% more storage space.

“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 impact on their local communities, helping preserve and make collections more accessible and enriching life-long learning experiences.” 

The Museums for America grant 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.

Through the agency’s largest competitive grant program, Museums for America, and a special initiative, Museums Empowered, a total of 130 projects were selected from 511 applications.

“This is the first government grant I have secured for the museum,” added Geneva History Museum Executive Director, Terry Emma.  “We are ecstatic to have earned the support of the IMLS to be able to take on a project of this magnitude.  Congresswomen Lauren Underwood called me to let us know that she was proud that a museum in her district won this prestigious award.  Now, we start planning for this project that will take place in January of 2021.”

The Geneva History Museum is a non-profit organization with a mission to preserve and share Geneva’s story while inspiring and educating the community. For more information or to assist with the museum’s $50,000 financial commitment to this project, please contact Executive Director, Terry Emma at 630-232-4951