NEDCC provides several types of preservation needs assessments, which are often the first step in an institution’s long-term preservation initiative. Many granting agencies require such assessments before funding storage improvements, conservation treatment, and digitization projects.
For a description of the assessment timeline and instructions on how to request a proposal, visit Working with Preservation Assessments, or download a printable Assessment Fact Sheet to share with administration or planning teams. Learn more about the Benefits of Assessments.
All preservation assessments include:
- 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 (Digital preservation assessments may be conducted via video conference call)
- 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-, medium-, and long-term corrective strategies
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.
A General Preservation Needs Assessment will…
- Identify priorities for improvement by taking a holistic perspective to collections care;
- Document your accomplishments and help you build on your successes;
- Share templates of policies and procedures to manage your collections;
- Give you practical recommendations to improve the storage of your materials;
- Help you manage your building and environment to improve preservation conditions;
- Give you a roadmap to guide your preservation activities for the next five years; and
- Strengthen your organization’s applications for grant funding.
General Preservation Pre-Assessment
A General Preservation Pre-Assessment offers the same benefits, but has a slightly narrower scope that is suitable for small or very new collecting institutions. The site visit and report are accordingly shorter, and recommendations are designed to be completed within one to two years instead of five.
Community-based Preservation Assessment
A Community-Based Preservation Assessment provides a combination of general preservation needs assessments and pre-assessments for two or more collecting institutions within the same community (e.g. public library, historical society, town clerk’s office, tribal organizations, historic churches and synagogues). This powerful assessment encourages collaboration between local institutions and enables efficient and cost-effective preservation actions.
Digital PRESERVATION ASSESSMENTS
A digital preservation assessment evaluates how well an institution is preserving its digital materials and suggests next steps for improved long-term access to digital collections.
A Digital Preservation Assessment will…
- Make your organization more prepared to provide long-term access to its digital collections;
- Help your organization fine-tune its collecting policies for digital materials;
- Introduce organizations to sustainable and scalable strategies for digital preservation;
- Connect staff to communities of practice that will help them benchmark and troubleshoot their procedures;
- Evaluate the technological resources available to staff and identify opportunities for improvement; and
- Highlight existing strengths an organization can build upon to expand its capacity for digital preservation.
NEDCC Preservation Specialists provide consultation services on many preservation issues. Please contact the Center to discuss a customized consultation. Some of the most popular include:
- new building or renovation projects
- disaster planning
- environmental management
- exhibit practices
- digital collections policy development, etc.
LEARN MORE about our staff
Read about the experience and qualifications of the NEDCC Preservation Services Staff.
Complete information about how to work with NEDCC on a collection assessment, visit: Working with NEDCC on Preservation Assessments or download a printable Assessment Fact Sheet, to share with administration or planning teams. Learn more about the Benefits of Assessments.
Ann Marie Willer, Director of Preservation Services
(978) 470-1010 ext. 223