Mystic Seaport Museum Receives $296,300 Grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to Propel Long Island Collections Cataloging and Digitization Project

Mystic, Conn. (January 4, 2023) – Mystic Seaport Museum has been awarded a $296,300 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to support a comprehensive cataloging and digitization project for its Long Island Collections. This initiative will facilitate hiring two full-time, temporary positions: a Project Curator and a Project Cataloger for Long Island Collections. Additionally, the funding will enable collaboration with an external web developer.

“The Museum is honored to receive this very generous grant award from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation,” said Peter Armstrong, President of Mystic Seaport Museum. “We are excited to begin mining our collections for hidden content associated with the history of Long Island for the benefit of researchers and others interested in this heritage.”

The Museum’s proximity to Long Island and its dedication to collection preservation positions it as an excellent partner in promoting Suffolk County’s heritage. The project’s priorities include surveying existing holdings, identifying relevant materials, and digitizing selected objects, images, and archival material across all collections. It also involves improving catalog records, enhancing searchability through metadata tags for Long Island towns, and creating a dedicated website as a centralized resource for exploring Long Island’s history.

A crucial part of the project is building relationships with external organizations with Long Island holdings. The long-term vision is to develop the Long Island Collections website into an aggregator of images and information from various historical institutions.

The project will be based in the Museum’s 40,000 sq. ft. Collections Research Center (CRC), which has cataloging, digitization, and preservation facilities. Established in 2000 and expanded in 2006, the CRC consolidates collections and administrative functions under one roof, ensuring secure and environmentally sound storage.

“Mystic Seaport Museum’s vast collection of art, artifacts, and archives is a treasure trove for Long Island historic research. It is the vision of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to make collections relevant to our regional history accessible to all,” said Kathryn Curran, Executive Director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

About The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation

The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, established in 1987, primarily supports the study of Long Island history and its role in the American experience. The Foundation’s philanthropy is inspired by Robert David Lion Gardiner’s personal passion for New York history. For more information, please visit www.rdlgfoundation.org.

About Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum is the nation’s leading maritime Museum. Founded in 1929 to gather and preserve the rapidly disappearing artifacts of America’s seafaring past, the Museum has grown to become a national center for research and education with the mission to “inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience.” The Museum’s grounds cover 19 acres on the Mystic River in Mystic, Connecticut, and include a recreated New England coastal village, a working shipyard, formal exhibit halls, and state-of-the-art artifact storage facilities. The Museum is home to more than 500 historic watercraft, including four National Historic Landmark vessels, most notably the 1841 whaleship CHARLES W. MORGAN. For more information, please visit mysticseaport.org and follow the Museum on FacebookXYouTube, and Instagram.