2008
Grant from federal group will help preserve valuable Jurica specimens

Grant from federal group will help preserve valuable Jurica specimens
March 3, 2008

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

Valuable specimens and rare artifacts displayed at the Jurica Nature Museum on the campus of Benedictine University will be preserved for future generations to enjoy thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The IMLS and its partner, the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), have awarded the Jurica Nature Museum a set of the “IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf.” The set includes books, DVDs and online resources which address such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally-specific conservation issues. “The Jurica Nature Museum is looking forward to utilizing this new set of resources for our collection management,” said Fr. Theodore Suchy, O.S.B., museum curator. “We know that we have a number of specimens that are valuable from a cultural as well as a biological perspective. “Some of our birds are from well-known early ornithologists such as C.B. Cory and Louis Agassiz,” Fr. Suchy added. “We have two beautiful passenger pigeons and many endangered animals that the public can see. We need to be sure these are available for future generations of visitors to see.” The Jurica Nature Museum is among the first institutions to receive the “IMLS Bookshelf.” The IMLS plans to award a total of 2,000 sets by the end of 2008. The “IMLS Bookshelf” focuses on collections typically found in art or history museums and in libraries’ special collections, with an added selection of texts for zoos, aquaria, public gardens and nature centers. “We will be able to share this information with the Benedictine Library, which also has a collection of rare and valuable books and other items that have been donated over the years,” said Mary Mickus, coordinator of education services at the Jurica Nature Museum. The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 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. “We are pleased to announce the first group of ‘Bookshelf’ recipients,” said Anne-Imelda Radice, director of IMLS. “These small libraries and museums are taking up the charge to care for America’s heritage. Without immediate action, we stand to lose important collections that are at the heart of the American story.” The “IMLS Bookshelf” is a crucial component of “Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action,” a conservation initiative that the Institute launched in 2006. IMLS began the initiative in response to a 2005 study by Heritage Preservation documenting the dire state of the nation’s collections. The multi-faceted, multi-year initiative shines a nationwide spotlight on the needs of America’s collections, especially those held by smaller institutions which often lack the human and financial resources necessary to adequately care for their collections. To learn more about the Institute of Museum and Library Services, please visit www.imls.gov. For more information about the Jurica Nature Museum, please contact Fr. Theodore Suchy, O.S.B., at (630) 829-6545 or by e-mail at tsuchy@ben.edu.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.