For Immediate Release
Contact:Dr. Frank Smith
202-667-2667 ext 103

IMLS Contact:
Mamie Bittner,
202-653-4630 or

Washington DC - Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), The African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum will use its grant to tell a more complete story of the more than 200,000 members of the Union Army's United States Colored Troops (USCT) regiments. It will use geographic information system (GIS) technology to survey and map relevant African American historical sites and provide training to volunteers and docents. Intensive training by experts in GIS mapping, archaeology, museum studies, and African American history will enable five staff members to become proficient in the technology. Training sessions for 30 docents will focus on best practices in museum interpretation and African American Civil War soldier history. The GIS data and site information will be available and accessible to the public through enhanced interpretation and through the museum's Web site.

“The museum is extremely grateful to have the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, in preserving this important history”- Frank Smith Jr., Ph.D. Director of the African American Civil War Museum

"This year's funding will help African American museums train staff, improve business practices and increase the use of technology to preserve and share African American history and culture. These organizations, their exhibits, programs and collections, and the people who lead them are truly inspiring. We are proud to support them." - IMLS Director Susan Hildreth

Vital Statistics
Number of applications received: 41
Number of awards made: 15
Total amount requested: $4,433,894
Total amount awarded: $1,455,606
Total recipient match: $1,668,215

Program Statement
Museum Grants for African American History and Culture are intended to enhance institutional capacity and sustainability through professional training, technical assistance, internships, outside expertise, and other tools. Successful proposals will focus on one or more of the following three goals: (1) developing or strengthening knowledge, skills, and other expertise of current staff at African American museums; (2) attracting and retaining professionals with the skills needed to strengthen African American museums; and (3) attracting new staff to African American museum practice and providing them with the expertise needed to sustain them in the museum field.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit