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Judy Kirk
Mathers Museum of World Cultures

Last modified: Tuesday, August 11, 2009

IU's Mathers Museum honored with prestigious grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services

Aug. 11, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new exhibit exploring humanity's cosmic, terrestrial, biological and cultural origins will open in Bloomington in fall 2010, thanks in part to a $149,000 grant recently awarded to Indiana University Bloomington's Mathers Museum of World Cultures.

Mathers Museum

Mathers Museum

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded the grant in support of "From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything." The exhibit is being developed by the Mathers Museum in conjunction with the Stone Age Institute, a research center dedicated to the archaeological study of human origins and technological development, and IU's Center for Research into the Anthropological Foundations of Technology (CRAFT), an institute dedicated to investigating the archaeological origins and evolution of human technology over the past three million years.

"We're delighted to have received this award, and are especially pleased to move forward on this exhibit," said Geoffrey Conrad, director of the Mathers Museum. "We're grateful for the participation in the project by our university colleagues and for the ongoing support on the Office of the Vice Provost for Research."

Numerous scholars and researchers will participate in the project, reviewing text and artifact selections and assisting in programming. The leading members of the project team are Kathy Schick and Nicholas Toth, co-directors of the Stone Age Institute and CRAFT, which proposed the exhibit, developed its concept and will serve as the primary curators.

Additionally, IU Bloomington faculty from a wide range of disciplines will assist in the exhibit, including Domenico Bertoloni-Meli, history and philosophy of science; George Brooks, history; Claudia Johnson, geological sciences; Erle Kaufmann, geological sciences; Elisabeth Lloyd, history and philosophy of science; Tim Londergan, physics; Catherine Pilachowski, astronomy; P. David Polly, geological sciences; Elizabeth Raff, biology; Rudolf Raff, biology; and Robert Sherwood, education.

Anne-Imelda Radice, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, said the Mathers Museum was one of 167 museums in the U.S. awarded funding. "By making it their mission to provide the public with top-notch programming and knowledgeable staff, the 2009 grantees have demonstrated that they know what is important to their communities," she said.

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.

About the Mathers Museum of World Cultures

The Mathers Museum of World Cultures is located at 416 N. Indiana Ave., Bloomington. Its exhibit hall and Museum Store are open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Admission to the Museum is free. For more information please call 812-855-6873; e-mail, or visit the museum's Web site at