Woolaroc accepted into special program to preserve prized collection

Andy Dossett
Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise
Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve is located 12 miles southwest of Bartlesville, OK.

One of Bartlesville's greatest assets was selected for a federally funded program to help bolster and preserve its prized collection.

Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve, a 3,700-acre museum, wildlife preserve and historical attraction, was selected as one of 44 institutions in the U.S. to participate in the Collections Assessment for Preservation program in 2023.

Established in 1925 as the ranch retreat of oilman Frank Phillips, the museum now boasts a world-class collection of Western art and artifacts, including Native American relics and one of the finest Colt firearms collections in the world.

Administered by the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the CAP program plays a pivotal role in supporting museums across the United States.

CAP's mission is to empower museums by helping conduct comprehensive conservation assessments of their collections and buildings.

Woolaroc was awarded the maximum funding needed to hire two assessors. The assessors will provide a priority list of improvements and develop long-term strategies to ensure the preservation of its collection.

"We are beyond thankful that we were selected and awarded grants to participate in the Collections Assessment for Preservation program," Woolaroc Museum Director Shiloh Thurman said. "This is a critical step to ensure that we are utilizing best practices to manage and preserve our world-class collection."

The partnership between FAIC and IMLS enables small and mid-sized museums like Woolaroc to access resources and expertise that contribute to their collections' continued growth and excellence.

Woolaroc Museum expects to complete the first phase of the CAP program by early fall. The final assessment report will serve as a valuable guide, assisting the museum in prioritizing its collections care efforts for years to come.