WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Colonial Williamsburg is studying the effect of fire extinguishing agents on collections in cultural heritage environments.
The historic area has received a more than $210,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to fund a three-year research study.
The institute is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
Colonial Williamsburg owns more than 70,000 antiques and works of art from 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century Britain and America, and about 15,000 architectural artifacts and 20 million archaeological artifacts.
They won't be setting any of their artifacts or museums on fire. But researchers will put sample materials near flames and see how different fire extinguishing agents will affect those samples. They'll also look at how to clean the materials without damaging them.
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