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IMLS Grant to Bienes Center

           See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.

Broward County Libraries Division has been awarded a grant by the Institute=
 of Museum and Library Services ((IMLS), a federal agancy in Washington, D.=
C. that fosters leadership, innovation, and a lifetime of learning by suppo=
rting museums and libraries.
The grant funds will be used to digitize the library's unique collection of=
 Museum Extension Project ojbects and texts produced during the Works Progr=
ess Administration (WPA) from 1935-1943. The digital exhibit and searchable=
 image databases of over 1200 artifacts will be available at the library we=
bsite, www.broward.org/bienes.=20
The collection, the only one of its kind, is part of the Bienes Center's la=
rger New Deal/WPA research collection. Because of its under-representation =
in the scope of WPA research, lack of accessibility, historical significanc=
e and present-day applications, it was chosen to be the inaugural project i=
n a series of digital exhibits on many of the New Deal/WPA agencies.
The WPA Museum Extension Project was a division of the WPA's Women's and Pr=
ofessional Division. It produced, on the state level, three-dimensional obj=
ects and printed materials that were used as visual aids in tax-supported s=
chools, libraries and museums. The state projects created hand puppets, pup=
pet scripts, marionettes, figurines, dolls, posters, lantern slides, archit=
ectural models, ship models, machinery models, costume plates, textiles, pa=
tchwork quilt patterns and dioramas. The Bienes Center has approximately 60=
0 pieces, which is the largest collection of artifacts from the Museum Exte=
nsion Project in the U.S.
The Bienes Center for the Literary Arts, located on the sixth floor of Brow=
ard County Main Library, is a state-of-the-art facility where rare books an=
d special collections are housed, preserved, and shared, and includes space=
 for programs and exhibits. The Center opented in 1996 and was made possibl=
e through the personal involvement and generosity of Fort Lauderdale philan=
thropists Dianne and Michael Bienes.

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