Society says Vermont cultural heritage at risk

The focus of the Middletown Springs Historical Society Museum Open House on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2 - 4 p.m., will be impending crisis in the preservation of Vermont's cultural heritage, featuring a slide presentation by Laura Brill of the Vermont Connecting to Collections Project.

Vermont is home to diverse cultural collections including archives, genealogical records, books, photos, works of art, and archeological artifacts. These collections are an important part of Vermont's cultural heritage. A statewide survey conducted by the Vermont Connecting to Collections Project in the summer of 2008 showed many of them are at risk for damage that could be prevented. Unless measures are taken to preserve these collections soon, they may not survive to benefit future generations.

The Vermont Connecting to Collections Project is a partnership between the Vermont Historical Society, the Vermont Museum and Gallery Alliance, the Vermont Department of Libraries, The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, and the Vermont State Archives; and is funded by a two year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Brill, a conservator in private practice who is a part of the project, will present a summary of the project and survey results. In addition, she will also discuss the current and future actions of the project, including the possibility of an IMLS non-matching grant of $250,000.

The museum open house, including behind the scenes tours of the Middletown Spring Historical Society collection storage facilities led by collections manager Jon Mathewson and other historical society volunteers, is a unique opportunity to see artifacts not currently on display and to learn how they are cared for and organized.

Refreshments will be served. The historical society building is located on the green in Middletown Springs and is handicap accessible.

For more information call David Wright at 235-2376.

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