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UA Museum of the North Designated Cultural Repository

HB 154 helps Fairbanks museum gain grants, keep collections available in AK

Monday, April 08, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska House of Representatives today unanimously passed a bill designating the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North as a cultural and historical repository. The move, contained within House Bill 154, means to protect the museum’s collections and help it gain access to federal and state grants and donations.

Representative Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, sponsored the bill, which also allows the University of Alaska to designate other repositories as needed.

“The museum collections include more than 1.4 million artifacts and specimens representing millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions. They are crucial for research and allowing UA students and others to have access,” Thompson said. “Designating the Museum of the North as a repository will help ensure that the collections remain available, and offer new funding opportunities.”

The Alaska State Museum in Juneau and Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka are considered de facto repositories, along with the Museum of the North.

The bill also defines in state law what a repository is: a museum that is managed by an educational institution and is able to provide long-term professional, systematic, and accountable curatorial services.

HB 154 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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