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Michigan State University Museum
490 West Circle Drive Michigan, United States
The Michigan State University Museum was established in 1857 as a collections-holding unit primarily for research and academic teaching unit. Beginning in the 1970s the museum has aggressively sought ways to make its collections accessible to a much wider public and to engage the non-campus public in all phases of museum research, collection development and care, exhibition, and educational activities. It is now recognized by Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs as one of a handful of Michigan anchor museums and is one of five cornerstones of the Center for Great Lakes Culture. The museum now also regularly engages in regional, national, and international activities including a range of cultural heritage initiatives in South Africa.
It is now recognized as a center of quilt-related activities and its various quilt collection development, research, exhibition, publication, and education activities are now consolidated under the Great Lakes Quilt Center, a unit of the museum. It has played a key role in the Michigan Quilt Project, an effort that involved individual and organizational volunteers around the state to document, preserve, and present Michigan's quilting heritage, and has documented more than 10,000 quilts. The museum's own quilt collection numbers more than 900 and includes historical and contemporary examples from around the world, with special emphasis on African-American quilts, Native American quilts, and quilts with special ties to Michigan. It also houses the Mary Schafer Quilt Collection the collection of a nationally-acknowledged quilt historian), quilt blocks, sewing equipment, historic fabric, and quilt-related materials. Quilt research projects on North American Indian, African-American, and general Michigan quilting have generated over 100 tape-recorded interviews with quilters, photographs of quilters and quilting activities, field notes, and ephemera.