Congresswoman Kelly announces federal grant for Museum of Science and Industry

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(Bill Healy/WBEZ)

Congresswoman Robin Kelly announced this week that the Museum of Science and Industry has been awarded a $225,782 federal grant that will help digitize a significant portion of its artifacts and build a new online website providing free public access to thousands of those artifacts.

“The Museum of Science and Industry is a classic gem of the Chicagoland region visited by more than a million people every year,” Congresswoman Kelly said. “By providing free online access to thousands of artifacts, the museum is expanding its physical boundaries and making its incredible collection accessible to millions of young people and researchers across the Chicago area, our nation and the world.”

The grant, awarded by the Museums for America (MFA), will digitize more than 35,000 artifacts and allow the Museum of Science and Industry to build a new online collections website that will provide unprecedented free public access to 7,000 artifacts from the Museum’s collection for the first time ever. A selection of artifacts in the digital collections will include high-resolution, 360-degree photograph, 3D models, and in-operation videos. Another key part of the project will be preserving the story of an artifact’s functionality to make it more useful for researchers, entrepreneurs, educators and students.

“Our artifacts tell the story of the human ingenuity used to solve challenges and build a better future,” said Kathleen McCarthy, director of collections. “We’re thrilled to be able to make our collection accessible and a free resource for the public to learn more about these amazing histories of innovation.

Museums for America (MFA) grants are awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Museums of America is the agency’s largest discretionary grant program for museums, and supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public. Institutions receiving the awards match them with non-federal funds.

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