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Grant number: PF-50428-14

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Franklin Institute Science Museum (Philadelphia, PA 19103-1115)
Karen J. Elinich (Project Director: December 2013 to present)

Planning for a Curatorial Center at The Franklin Institute

A planning project for a new curatorial center that will house collections of material culture and archives related to the history of science, technology, photography, design and the arts. The Franklin Institute seeks to combine nine separate collections storage areas scattered around the museum and two rented storage facilities into approximately one offsite and two onsite spaces. The Franklin Institute would review and update its design plan based on the most current research in preventive conservation, with a focus on passive measures.

The Franklin Institute is a hands-on science and technology center that in 2013 served over 1.4 million people of all ages in Philadelphia and beyond. The Institute's holdings include records of its early activities as one of the nation's leading mechanics institutes, the Benjamin Franklin and Wright brothers collections, and collections of visual and material culture. These document the rise of technology and science in the US and how they shape and are shaped by broader culture. After many years of making do with repurposed spaces, the Institute's collections facilities must be improved to permit proper preservation and broader use of this valuable resource. This project will assemble an interdisciplinary planning team of outside experts and Institute staff to produce a curatorial center design that integrates sustainable preservation strategies, improves conditions for and access to the collections, and supports their increased use in the Institute's educational programs.

[White paper]

Project fields:
History of Science; U.S. History

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$17,968 (approved)
$8,413 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2014 – 9/30/2018