LEAD, S.D. — A museum in western South Dakota is receiving a federal grant to help preserve the mining history of the Black Hills.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded a $7,800 grant to the Black Hills Mining Museum in Lead. The museum opened in 1986 and has been dedicated to both the mining history in the Black Hills and to telling the stories of the people who the area their home, the Black Hills Pioneer reported .

Officials said the grant will go far in helping the museum continue its work. But two experts sent by the institute to conduct an inspection of the facility said there’s still a lot of work to be done, including the museum’s parking lot that engineers deemed structurally unsound.

“It’s an older building, and it was built as an old grocery store,” said Bob Phillips, secretary for the museum’s Board of Directors.

Experts with the institute also wanted to inspect the museum’s collection itself.

“Everything you see here hanging on the walls are original,” said Todd Duex, president of the board. “And that’s not ideal.”

Philips said that most museums make photocopies of the pictures and documents they wished to display in order to preserve archives.

“Our problem is, where are we going to put them?” he asked.

Duex also said the museum has never had a full-time director on staff and that securing funding to hire one is paramount to the museum’s success.

Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, http://www.bhpioneer.com

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