As part of its FY 2006 federal appropriation, the Smithsonian requested and secured a $1 million increase to establish a new Institution-wide funding program – the Collections Care and Preservation Fund – to strategically address critical needs in care and preservation. The National Collections Program oversees the award and allocation of these central collections care resources to strategically improve the care, preservation, and accessibility of Smithsonian collections. Since FY 2006, NCP has been very successful in requesting and obtaining incremental increases to two related, but separate funding resources – the competitive Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF) and the non-competitive Collections Care Initiative (CCI). Both central funding streams utilize similar evaluation criteria and priorities, eligibility restrictions, and fund administration and reporting requirements. Through this flexible two-pronged approach, we have been very successful in making targeted improvements in collections care and accessibility based on sound assessment data; innovative collections care methodologies, economies of scale, and project-driven activities. This central funding resource continues to fulfill the original purpose of establishing this Institution-wide program – allowing flexible and strategic funding of the highest priority collections care needs and optimizing the annual allocation of resources.
From FY 2006—FY 2019, a combined total of $63.4 million has been allocated to support unit-based, multi-unit, and pan-Institutional collections care projects. By prioritizing and systematically addressing the stewardship needs of the national collections, our approach continues to strengthen the preservation and accessibility of millions of collection items – ranging from national icons to frozen bio-materials.