The Lake County Historical Society has received a grant for $75,270 from the Minnesota Historical Society, made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.
The LCHS is one of 42 organizations in 27 counties to received grants of $10,001 and up, totaling $4.84 million.
The LCHS will use the money to further an inventory of 3D artifacts to provide better organization of the museum collections, allowing for greater public access to the community's historic resources.
According to museum manager Ellen Lynch, a museum typically performs an inventory to take stock of the extensive collections.
"It consists of photographing the objects and entering pertinent data for each artifact," Lynch said. "And it records a location where you can find that artifact."
The museum is in the process of inventorying the collection of approximately 10,000 3D artifacts, which entails everything that's not paper in the collection, from large chairs to small miniatures.
"It's really important for museums to have a good feel for everything in the collection and be able to know exactly where it is," Lynch said. "The database we create will be searchable by museum staff and make it easier to rotate items onto display. That way the public sees more of the collection."
Lynch said the inventory process usually takes three to four years to complete, but the grant is a great step in moving the inventory along as it will allow the museum to hire two inventory workers.
"We have a small staff here at the Historical Society, so we do need to hire outside help to go through that process. It really is a full-time job," Lynch said.
Lynch plans to continue to apply for grant help to aid the inventory, which she hopes to shift to the approximately 60,000 images in the society's collection in the future.
"It's not part of this grant, but now that we've been through the grant process once, hopefully it can be applied to our photography collection," Lynch said.
Grants are available for history and historic preservation projects in two funding tiers. Small grants of $10,000 or less are awarded quarterly and large grants are awarded once in each fiscal year of the biennium. All grants are administered through a competitive process using professional standards and criteria.