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University of Northern Iowa Museums awarded grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services

October 17, 2011
Contact: 

Jori Wade-Booth, public affairs coordinator, UNI Museums, 319-273-2188, jori.wade-booth@uni.edu

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728, stacey.christensen@uni.edu

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Museums recently received a Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to open a statewide collection of official documentation covering more than a century of rural school education in Iowa. Museums for America is the Institute's largest grant program for museums, supporting projects and ongoing activities that build museums' capacity to serve their communities.

The UNI Museums have recently become the repository for one of Iowa's richest historical treasures with an archive of 9,000 original documents relating to early Iowa education. Because Iowa has long been known for its high-quality educational system, this collection has national significance and is of great value to scholars, educators, students, museum interpreters, local historians and genealogists investigating educational, rural and women's histories. Through the IMLS grant, an intensive project of cataloguing, policy formulation and website development will make the collection of rural school documents, also known as the Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture (CHRIEC), more accessible to those wishing to understand and celebrate Iowa's national heritage.

"We are pleased to support Museums for America grantees through investments in high-priority, high value activities that benefit communities throughout the U.S.," said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. "These museums, small and large, will help to educate and inspire the public for years to come."

The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, visit www.imls.gov.

The University Museum is located at 3219 Hudson Road in Cedar Falls and is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays 1 to 4 p.m. The Marshall Center One Room School is located on the corner of Indiana and 23rd Street in Cedar Falls. The school is open by appointment only. For more information on UNI Museums and CHRIEC, visit www.uni.edu/museum or contact Jori Wade-Booth, public affairs coordinator for the UNI Museums at 319-273-2188 or jori.wade-booth@uni.edu.