But thanks to a $42,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), that pipe dream can now become a reality.
Green-Wood’s collection includes paintings, fine art, photographs, historic documents, maps, architectural plans, books and other objects. They own pieces of history from famous residents like Samuel Morse, Leonard Bernstein, DeWitt Clinton and Horace Greeley.
In its entirety, the collection helps to tell the story of the Green-Wood Cemetery, the people who are buried their, and their contributions to Brooklyn, the city and the nation.
With the “Museums for America” award and grant money, Green-Wood will hire professional conservators and consultants to survey the collection. The organization will then have a conditions report of all of its holdings and a report on necessary long-term preservation needs.
The process will also ensure that the collection is documented not only physically, but digitally.
IMLS Director Susan Hildreth emphasized the importance of museums to American culture when explaining the impact the grant would have on Green-Wood.
“Millions of Americans visit museums each year,” Hildreth said. “These federal investments will ultimately help museums deliver enhanced learning experiences, improve collections care and address community needs.”
President of Green-Wood Richard Moylan agreed, noting the grant’s importance in helping Green-Wood grow into a stronger museum and cultural institution.
“This award could not come at a more opportune moment for Green-Wood as we work to strengthen our position as a beacon of history, not only in New York but across America,” Moylan said. “During this critical period when are beginning to transition from an active burial ground to a cultural institution, this grant will help us preserve our past and grow as a ‘living museum’ and cultural institution for future generations to enjoy.”