Institute of Museum and Library Services Awards $150,000 Grant to the Museum of the City of New York

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Substantial Grant will Fund Redesign of Museum’s Website, Providing a Richer Online Experience

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The Museum of the City of New York was awarded a $150,000 grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Museums for America Program, which will enable the Museum to embark on an extensive redesign of its Website,, and make Museum content more readily accessible and engaging for online visitors.

With this grant, the Museum will provide a richer online experience to its diverse and growing audience, including expanding public access to its Collections Portal, which features over 100,000 images from the Museum’s photography, costume, and print and map collections.

The award will also allow the Museum to create a site with substantially enhanced multi-media capabilities and social networking functions. It will vastly improve upon current features and functionality, providing the ability to purchase tickets on line; and interactive features and audio-video components, including curator-led highlight tours to enliven descriptions of current and upcoming exhibitions. The new site will also make available a calendar presenting the Museum’s wide array of public and education programs, with the opportunity to sort the calendar by department, public programs, education, special events, or date.

The Museum of the City of New York was one of only 12 New York City institutions awarded a Museums for America grant, and received the maximum amount for its Website redesign project. For this grant cycle, the IMLS received 470 applications requesting $52,296,907 and awarded a total of $18,113,376, matched with $34,666,759 of non-federal funds. The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through grant making, policy development, and research, the agency provides communities and individuals with broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.

Susan Henshaw Jones, the Museum’s Ronay Menschel Director, said, “We heartily thank the IMLS for this generous grant. At a time when education has become increasingly Internet-based, this award will enable the Museum to extend its outreach, providing New Yorkers, and people from around the world, with unique content that enhances their understanding of New York City’s rich history. The redesign and revitalization of the site supports an institution-wide renaissance that is now firmly underway, and will also help foster the interest and commitment of our visitors, building on their Museum experience.”

A priority for the Website project is to make Museum content more shareable for online visitors. The Museum plans to give site users the opportunity to upload their own exhibition-related stories, improving upon existing features such as the Activist New York blog, which encourages people to converse and post photos of activism today in New York City, as part of the ongoing Activist New York exhibition. The exhibition explores social activism in New York City from the 17th century right up to the present. Additionally, public programs will be accessible by podcasts and will include a comments section, opening these programs to a wider audience and inciting discussion.



Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. The Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City, and serves the people of the city as well as visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections.

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