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Assessments and Consultations


NEDCC Conservators and Preservation Specialists provide consultation services on many conservation and preservation issues, including collection storage and housing, exhibit practices, new building or renovation projects, etc. Please call the Center to discuss a consultation.


NEDCC offers three different types of assessments to evaluate collections.

  • Preservation Needs Assessments
  • Collection-Level Assessments
  • Item-by-Item Assessments

Preservation Needs Assessments

A preservation needs assessment identifies overall risks to your collections and helps better preserve your materials by recommending achievable strategies for today and tomorrow.

General Preservation Needs Assessments cover:

  • Overall collection management
  • Building and environmental conditions
  • Storage, handling, and exhibit practices
  • Security and disaster preparedness

Digital Collections Needs Assessments cover:

  • Standards, best practices, and guidelines
  • Digital collections acquisition and management
  • Rights and usage considerations
  • Institution-appropriate storage strategies

All NEDCC Assessments provide:

  • A review of policies, procedures, staffing, budget, and intellectual control
  • A site visit to meet with stakeholders, examine building and storage conditions, and review materials and workflows
  • A comprehensive written report presenting best practices, observations, and specific recommendations for phased improvement
  • An executive summary to present to administrators and stakeholders, outlining short-, mid-, and long-term corrective strategies
  • The preservation needs assessment is often the first step in an institution’s long-term preservation initiative. Many granting agencies require such assessments before funding storage improvements or treatment.

For information on obtaining a Preservation Needs Assessment, see:
How to work with NEDCC on a Preservation Needs Assessment.


For information about Preservation Needs Assessments, contact

Ann Marie Willer
Director of Preservation Services
(978) 470-1010 ext. 223

Collection Assessments

Collection-level Assessments

Collection-level assessments focus on a specific collection within an institution. Examples are photographic materials, rare books, maps, or architectural drawings. An NEDCC conservator will visit the institution to assess the collection, making recommendations for its care, including overall preventive maintenance actions as well as conservation treatment options. A collection-level assessment may also identify groups of objects and individual objects in need of treatment and provide treatment proposals along with cost estimates for treatment at NEDCC. Priorities for a treatment program are included in the written report and can also be used to prioritize items for digitization.

Item-by-Item Assessments

Item-by-item condition assessments focus on a preselected group of artifacts. These assessments are more detailed in their object-level assessment of materials than collection assessments and generally consist of in-depth examination of a relatively small group of objects. Treatment priorities are developed and cost estimates are prepared. Item-by-item assessments are often an appropriate next step after a more general collection-level assessment has been completed. Condition assessments are performed by members of NEDCC's conservation staff and can be undertaken for a group of books, works of art, photographs, or archival materials with little attention addressing general preservation needs.

For information on obtaining a Collection or Item-by-Item Assessment, see:
How to work with NEDCC on a Collection or Item-by-Item Assessment


For information about collection-level or item-by-item assessments, contact

Michael Lee, 
Director of Paper and Photograph Conservation
(978) 470-1010 ext. 228

Bexx Caswell-Olson,
Director of Book Conservation
(978) 470-1010 ext. 234