MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The Middlebury College Museum of Art has received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to improve the management of its collection. With the federal funding, the museum will purchase a new database system that will be more reliable and easier to access and navigate than its current outdated system.

“To say we are thrilled with this news is an understatement,” said Richard Saunders, director of the museum. “This is an enormous opportunity for us to share our rapidly expanding collection with all Vermonters and beyond.”

The new database system will allow the museum to better track loans, conservation records, images, and exhibition and publication progress, and it will be able to publish its collection online, thus broadening access and potentially expanding use. As part of the improvement, the museum will purchase new collection management and digital publishing software along with associated licensing and employee training, and engage data consultants to facilitate a successful data migration and integration of the new platform works with the museum’s current Internet presence.

Students, faculty, researchers, and the public will be able to access collections information simultaneously in multiple locations and languages. Museum staff will be able to track inquiries, identify those areas of the collection that are of greatest interest, and make more-informed decisions about potential publications and exhibitions.

IMLS, an independent federal agency, is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums.