Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Receives $109,925 Grant
IMLS Funding Supports Digitization of Portions of the Clark's Library

For Immediate Release

September 06, 2012

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute has received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Museums for America program to support digitization of portions of the Clark’s library collection.  The $109,925 grant will be used to digitize portions of the Mary Ann Beinecke Collection of Decorative Arts, which is housed in the Clark’s library, and to make these materials publicly available worldwide.

In the mid-twentieth century, weaver and author Mary Ann Beinecke assembled an important collection of books on decorative arts with particular strengths in costume history, handicrafts, and textile design. The collection, which spans the period from 1550 to the 1970s, is an important resource for scholars, curators, and textile artists.

 “This grant is an affirmation of the quality and depth of the Clark’s library and will assist the Clark in realizing our commitment to make the library’s vast resources available to the public,” said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark. “We are grateful to IMLS for supporting this important project and look forward to sharing this important collection with a wordwide audience.”

The Beinecke Collection is a rich and diverse resource including examples ranging from French textile manufacturers’ sample books, treatises on textile production, and dye manufacturers’ formula books to sketchbooks of kimono patterns and textile sample books offering numerous examples of traditional Japanese Ukiyoe textile design. Also of note is a rare collection of seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century weavers' pattern books.

The Clark library

Established in 1962, the Clark’s library is one of the major art history reference libraries in the country.  Unlike most research collections, the Clark’s library is open to the public without qualification.  .  Arranged in open stacks, the non-circulating library maintains study areas throughout its four floors.  Its resources include approximately 250,000 books, bound periodicals, and auction sales catalogues, with current journal subscriptions numbering around 650. The library is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, on a year-round basis.  Visit for further details or to search the library’s database.


The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through grant-making, policy development, and research, IMLS helps communities and individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning. The Clark library grant is one of 152 projects receiving funding totaling $18,113,376 in 2012.  To learn more about IMLS, visit

About the Clark

Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June, (daily in July and August), 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31; free November through May; and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit

Sally Morse Majewski
The Clark
413 458 0588


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