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Grant number: PG-52231-14

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Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL 60115-2828)
Jennifer Kirker-Priest (Project Director: May 2013 to present)

Textile Storage and Environmental Monitoring

The purchase of preservation supplies and environmental monitoring equipment and the training for museum staff to improve the care of a collection of 1,011 textiles from Southeast Asia and the Americas. Among them are tapestries, rugs, garments, embroidery, needlework, and pictorial textiles, mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum also holds three full looms, a collection of Peruvian spindles, and several spinning wheels. Items from the collection regularly appear in exhibits sponsored by the museum.

The Textile Storage and Environmental Monitoring project empowers the NIU Anthropology Museum to achieve one of its stated strategic goals to provide stable, secure, and environmentally sound conditions for the permanent collections. By addressing storage conditions for its textile collection and developing an environmental monitoring plan for the museum, the Museum will better demonstrate integrity and accountability in collections management. This collection of 1011 ethnographic textiles represents 10% of the permanent collection and is one of the strengths of the museum. Although museum staff have worked diligently to properly store the textiles, 20% of the collection remain incorrectly rolled on acidic cardboard tubes. This project provides acid-free tubes to complete proper storage of the textile collection, professional training for the Museum curator to learn the special care of textile collections, and dataloggers and software as part of a new environmental monitoring strategy.

Project fields:
Cultural Anthropology

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,939 (approved)
$5,939 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2014 – 10/31/2015