The Midway Museum recently competed and was selected from 776 museums and libraries across the nation to receive the Connecting to Collections Bookshelf grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The resource set's estimated worth is between $950-$1,000 and includes books, DVDs and online materials to give curators how-to guidance in preserving the local museum's artifacts, which date from 1750 to 1850.
According to Dianne Behrens, the museum's assistant curator, the collection provides maintenance instructions on everything from paper documents and photography to wooden pieces and quilts.
"There's a lot of things online that you can look for, but this is actually like a goldmine," Behrens said. "It's just right here."
Behrens said she's already reading up on climate control, ultraviolet light exposure and the advances in caring for archives.
"Now that they have come out with archival papers, we'll be able to follow the directions and do it," Behrens said. "Before, we didn't know."
In addition to learning about collection management and planning, Behrens said she's most looking forward to understanding procedures for keeping history intact for the next generation.
"We need to educate — as to, we need to save this for a lot longer," Behrens said. "Because it deteriorates so rapidly."
The Midway Art Gallery has helped to preserve artifacts by following the guidelines in a couple of the books they had.
"According to a recent national survey, our important collections are at great risk and without them, the American story simply cannot be told to future generations," said Anne-Imelda Radice, IMLS director.
The museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year and Behrens hopes to have a media center and Native American display put up.
"So now we really need to look for at least another 50 or another 100 so we've got to try to preserve it," Behrens said.
But it all starts with education on proper preservation.
"Now I just need somebody to come help me read all this," Behrens joked.
The Midway Museum offers private tours for everyone who visits.
"We want people to be able to walk up, look at the stuff," Behrens said. "We don't want the coldness of a (regular museum)."
The Midway Musuem is open Tuesday through Sunday and admission ranges from $3 to $6.
For more information, call 884-5837 or visit www.themidwaymuseum.org.