Museum Village awarded $72,000 federal grant

| 22 Feb 2012 | 01:30

Funds will be used to complete inventory of its vast collection Monroe - Museum Village is conducting an inventory of its collection of more than 20,000 objects and artifacts, the majority of which are not on display. Thanks to a $72,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, though, Museum Village will be able to access new equipment, professional training and additional staff to make sure the inventory is complete, accurate and timely. The museum has recruited a number of volunteers to work in the stacks, exhibits and storage areas to document the holdings over the next 11 months. From wagon wheels, quilts and pitch forks to porcelain, pewter and telegraph machines, the museum’s collection spans the early 1800s to 1930. Most of the items are not on exhibit. “Things have been in storage for years. The point of the inventory is to photograph and document everything we have and note their storage locations,” said Mary Kaldany, collections chair of the museum’s board and senior conservator at the Textile Conservation Workshop in South Salem. “I expect lots of little discoveries of unique and unusual objects. I don’t expect any major discoveries, but you never know.” The inventory is the first step in getting more and varied artifacts out on exhibit. While the museum’s mastodon may be one of the most notable objects it has on display, one storage area has a collection of sewing machines, bath tubs, early appliances and a grandstand. Mimi Sherman, an expert in domestic technologies of the past 300 years, has worked as a consultant on this project and will be providing training for volunteers in the coming weeks. “Even with this very generous grant, there is no way we could get this project done without volunteers,” said Kate Mitchell, the museum’s executive director. “We are putting together a great team to do this work and welcome more people. This is a chance to work with other people, help the community, learn about history and explore some really neat old things.”

For 60 years Museum Village has served the Hudson Valley. Millions of students have learned about early America and the Industrial Revolution through visits there. It is imperative that we support the preservation and understanding of our unique history. Museum Village helps us do just that.” U.S. Rep. John Hall, D-Dover Plains, who advanced Museum Village’s application from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for a $72,000 grant to inventory its collection.

More volunteers are needed to help with Museum Village’s inventory of its collection of more than 20,000 objects and artifacts.
Volunteers will work in teams and are welcome to come already paired up, but the museum can assign partners based on schedules and availability.
Contact Kate Mitchell at or at 845-782-8248.