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Ross Merrill Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections

Awards to USA and Canada Nonprofits for the
Outstanding Care of Historic Collections and Sites

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) and Heritage Preservation

Deadline Date:

12/15/17 Receipt


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Awards to USA and Canada nonprofit museums, libraries, and other organizations to recognize outstanding commitment to the care of collections and historic sites or structures. Nominations must demonstrate the organization’s commitment to collections care within a context of a broader mission, which may include research, interpretation, scholarship, education, and public outreach.

The nominator should provide evidence of the nominee’s sustained and exemplary commitment to the preservation and care of its collections through a description of its conservation and preservation activities, special programs and involvement of conservation professionals in decision-making processes.

Providing evidence of how the organization has broadened its community’s understanding of the goals of conservation and the importance of preserving cultural property through its conservation activities can strengthen a nomination.

The committee members have found that it is helpful to see evidence of:

-Involvement of senior conservation professionals who are recognized by their peers, such as Fellows or Professional Associates of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). (Please note: basic membership in the AIC is not an indicator of professional status, as this is available to anyone who pays dues as an Associate Member or subscribes to the journals. Fellowship or Professional Associate status is awarded only after peer review.) Please include brief (one page or less) summaries of the professional credentials of key conservation professionals and describe the role they have played at your institution.

-A systematic approach to long-term planning for collections care. This can be demonstrated by descriptions of maintenance plans, condition surveys, future treatment priorities, staffing plans, disaster preparedness guidelines, or storage redesign and upgrades.

-Community impact and involvement. This can be demonstrated by fundraising efforts, volunteer programs, or educational activities with community groups and schools.

-Outreach in the form of websites, radio and television coverage, or local newspaper articles.

-Attempts to recruit support from multiple financial and or personnel resources.

-Exemplary work and achievements. This award seeks to recognize organizations and programs that can be held up as models for others to emulate.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161163

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The nominee should be a North American (USA and Canada) not-for-profit organization of any size responsible for cultural property that may include collections, historic sites and structures.

Cultural property is defined as material that may be artistic, historic, scientific, religious or social and is an invaluable and irreplaceable legacy that must be preserved for future generations.

Collections can include fine arts, library and archival materials, natural history, natural science, musical instruments, textiles, technology, archaeology, ethnography and photography. If a collection is located in a historical building or site, that building or site should be considered part of the collection.

If the nominee does not own objects, historic structures or sites, a case may be made regarding how its activities affect cultural property, for instance through funding or advocacy.

Organizations that have preservation or conservation as their sole and exclusive purpose are not eligible recipients of this award.

Pre-Application Information:

The nominator can be any individual within or outside the organization, although when the nomination comes from outside it is useful if the nomination package includes a letter from the institution's director.

Letters of support are welcome, and are most appropriate when they come from outside the organization and from individuals knowledgeable about conservation.

Organizations may act as their own nominators, but additional letters of support are welcomed.

All nomination materials, including letters of support, must be received by December 15.

Criteria, Guidelines, and How to Nominate:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Email nomination materials to:

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works
72715th Street NW, Ste. 500
Washington, DC 20005

P: 202.452.9545
F: 202.452.9328

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon