Peabody receives federal grants for education program, collection stewardship

The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History will receive two grants — one to support an educational program and another to bolster its mineralogy collection — from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The grants are among 244 awards totaling nearly $30,000,000 presented to museums across the nation through the IMLS’s “Museums for America” program. The 2013 winners will be honored on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at a ceremony on Capitol Hill.

In the category of “Learning Experiences,” the Peabody received $149,585 to administer a free after-school program, EVOLUTIONS, which serves 60 New Haven public high school students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. The program focuses on science literacy, college preparation, and career awareness — with the added goal of developing transferable skills to foster success in academics and beyond. The grant will support the program for the academic years 2013-2015 and will enable approximately half of the students to participate in career-ladder internships or summer internships.

In addition, the Peabody will receive $121,145 through the Museums for America “Collections Stewardship” program to purchase 64 museum-quality storage cabinets to rehouse its Systematic Mineralogy Collection, which includes over 40,000 specimens. The collection is a resource to scholars worldwide. It includes minerals from lost and/or permanently inaccessible localities, and is used by students and researchers to support significant studies and publications. The rehousing of the Peabody’s mineralogy collection will help improve storage conditions and increase access to the collection.

“IMLS recognizes three valuable roles museums have in their communities: putting the learner at the center, serving as community anchors, and serving as stewards of cultural and scientific collections,” said IMLS director Susan Hildreth. “It is exciting to see the many ways our newly announced grants further these important museum roles.”