Grand Rapids Public Museum receives $30K grant for preservation project

Grand Rapids Public Museum Courtesy GRPM

The Grand Rapids Public Museum was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for its Magic Lantern Preservation and Access Project.

The project will ensure that 5,000 rare and significant historical images on glass slides are preserved and properly accessioned into the museum’s collections while making the artifacts accessible to the community online.

“The museum is honored to have been awarded this grant to continue using technology to make our collections more accessible for the community,” said Alex Forist, GRPM’s chief curator. “Our team has been working diligently to adapt to an increase in demand for digital cultural resources by families, students, educators, historians and more.”

The magic lantern slides represent the museum’s educational outreach program between the 1920s and the 1970s. Teachers can see projectors and magic lantern slide shows with scripts of Michigan views of the 1920s, Michigan mammals, General Motors, canoeing down the Muskegon River and lumbering in Michigan.

The slides also depict local and international scenes, many with artistic hand-colored embellishments.

Teachers, students and researchers can view a collection of more than 250,000 artifacts and specimens online at

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