Fort Ticonderoga has been awarded a prestigious national grant of $147,006 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services: Museums for America for a fifteen-month project to inventory, catalog, assess conservation needs, and re-house thousands of internationally significant collection items. These objects will be moved from the unsuitable environment to a modern, climate-controlled, storage facility.
Some of the most important subsets of the archaeological collections included in this project are the 18th-century entrenching tools. Over 500 shovels, spades, billhooks, hammers, picks, and mattocks have been assembled as a result of Fort Ticonderoga’s restoration in the early 20th century, and chart the range of techniques used to fabricate structures in France, Britain, and North America. These tools represent the largest assemblage of 18th-century entrenching tools in the United States. As part of the grant project, professional conservators will visit the museum to produce a conservation assessment of this singular collection.
“The generous funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services: Museums for America (IMLS) grant will completely transform our collections program,” said Miranda Peters, Fort Ticonderoga Collections Manager. “This project will ensure the preservation, documentation, and physical control over the historically significant and irreplaceable archaeological objects that were discovered on-site in the early 20th century, along with early institutional records and collections that are currently housed in an unsuitable environment.”
The IMLS project will support Fort Ticonderoga’s experiential and learner-driven approach to preservation and programming by supporting several strategic plan long-range goals, including: developing a conservation and preservation plan for our archaeological collection, expanding exhibitions-focused and collections management staff, creating a long-term plan for appropriate storage in an updated storage facility, providing better storage, management, and accessibility to our renowned collections, and finally to update the information the museum has surrounding the collections and import it into museum collection management software.
This project will span from October 2016 through December 2017 and will support four temporary collections staff positions.
This was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant # MA-30-16-0178-16.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.
America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.
Photo: Humble tools like picks and hoes were among the most important weapons soldiers used in the 18th century. They were used to build defenses to protect troops from attack. These tools are just a sample of the hundreds Fort Ticonderoga has in its collection. Photo credit: Fort Ticonderoga