UNT’s Portal to Texas History Named as a National Medal for Museum and Library Service Finalist

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The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in recognition of exceptional service to the community and for making a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. We are grateful for the support and contributions of our more than 280 partners, and the UNT Portal to Texas History team is honored to be recognized as a finalist for the 2015 National Medal award.

This year’s finalists include individual public libraries, special and research libraries, a zoo, science museums, botanical gardens, and many other types of institutions that exemplify the great diversity of libraries and museums across the country.

This honor recognizes the contributions of the Portal to Texas History in engaging a broad public audience that includes our faculty and students, our collaborative partners, as well as a truly national and global audience. The online materials in the Portal are freely available to the public and encompass books, photographs, artifacts, posters, artwork, maps, newspapers, letters, manuscripts, video, audio, and other historic materials. We are grateful for your support and are honored to be recognized as a 2015 finalist.

“Museums and libraries are the lifeblood of our communities, serving as trusted providers of critical resources, educational training, skills development, and civic and cultural enrichment,” said Maura Marx, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We salute UNT’s Portal to Texas History for exemplary leadership in promoting lifelong learning while engaging and inspiring the public.”

“The Portal to Texas History enables access to the records, history, and culture of Texas,” said Dr. Martin Halbert, dean of UNT Libraries, “and it defines the important social context of our state in entirely new ways that have far-reaching impact.”

The National Medal winners will be named later this spring, and representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C., to be honored at the National Medal award ceremony. Winning institutions also receive a visit from StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs. UNT’s Portal to Texas History is one of 30 finalists, of which ten will receive the National Medal.

In acknowledgement of the National Medal’s celebration of institutions that are committed to community service, IMLS will feature the finalists on social media platforms and provide an opportunity for you to Share Your Story on the IMLS Facebook page.

Visit the IMLS Facebook page and Share Your Story today!

About the UNT Libraries

With more than 7 million print and digital cataloged items in six separate facilities, the UNT Libraries are the heart of learning and research at UNT. The UNT Libraries has been nationally and internationally recognized for its emphasis on digital preservation. The Portal to Texas History, created by the libraries in 2002, received the 2013 Project of the Year award from the Texas Library Association. It was also chosen as one of the best online resources for education in the humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities and named a Service Hub by the Digital Public Library of America.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.