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From Weathered Wood to Gilded Age:
IMLS-Funded General Conservation Surveys for Organizations with Multiple Sites
American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting, Providence, Rhode Island
September, 2003


Two institutions undertook IMLS-funded General Conservation Surveys. In historic Virginia City and Nevada City, the state of Montana maintains over 200,000 objects exhibited or stored in 80 gold-rush era buildings. The Preservation Society of Newport County exhibits 11 historic house museums, the most prominent being of the Gilded Age, including the homes of the Vanderbilts, Berwinds, and Oelrichs. The sites differ in size, focus, appearance, and institutional structure. Application of the IMLS grant to those differences will be a focal point of the panel. The commonalties of logistics, reporting, short and long-term goals, and project assessment will also be addressed. The significance of the discussion lies in the importance of such surveys to large, multiple-building sites in setting priorities and developing useful information for all stakeholders.


  • Charles J. Moore, Chief Conservator, The Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, RI


  • Helen Alten, Objects Conservator, Northern States Conservation Center, St. Paul, MN
  • Pat Roath, Curator of Collections, McFarland Curatorial Center, Virginia City, MT
  • Philip Cryan Marshall, Associate Professor, Historic Preservation Program, Roger Wiliams University, Bristol, RI