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St. John's Hill Museum earns national honor

St. John's Hill Museum earns national honor Click to Enlarge Photo:

Oct 25, 2011 at 11:23 am

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (KNSI) - St. John's University's Hill Museum & Manuscript Library is among 10 U.S. museums and libraries being honored with the nation's highest award for excellence, the university announced Tuesday.

The library is one of the 2011 recipients of a National Medal for Museum and Library Service for "extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions," according to a statement issued by award sponsor the Institute of Museum and Libary Services.

"The work they have accomplished is an inspiration to libraries and museums throughout the nation," said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. "With innovation, creativity and a great deal of heart, they have achieved an outstanding level of public service."

HILL MUSEUM & MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY: See hours, projects and other information for the Collegeville institution

Medal winners are chosen through nationwide nominations, highlighting institutions that take an innovative and engaging approach to public service. U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., nominated Hill for the honor.

With nearly 500 partnerships with libraries and archives worldwide, Hill is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost leaders in the study and preservation of historical documents. Library staff has photographed and digitally stored more than 120,000 manuscripts in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India.

"We are deeply gratified to receive this honor, HMML executive director Father Columba Stewart said. "These handwritten books and archival materials are the primary resource for understanding the evolution of humankind's diverse cultures."

Other institutions earning the IMLS medal this year include Weippe Public Libary & Discovery Center, Weippe, Idaho; San Jose Public Library, San Jose, Calif.; Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, Fla., Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, Ohio; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, N.Y.; EdVenture Children's Museum, Columbia, S.C.; Erie Art Museum, Erie, Pa.; Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, Va.; and Madison Children's Museum, Madison, Wis.

In addition to a $10,000 honorarium, the award-winning libraries and museums will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. later this year.

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