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Collection Assessments and Consultations

How to Work With NEDCC on Collection-level or Item-Level Assessments

Obtaining a Letter of Committment

To obtain a letter of commitment for a collection-level or item-by-item assessment, contact the Director of Book Conservation or Paper Conservation, depending on the nature of your collections and your goals for the assessment.  Be prepared to provide information about the scope and size of the collections. This will allow the Director to determine the appropriate personnel needed (e.g., specialists in bound material, unbound material, maps, photographs, etc.) and the amount of time needed on-site.  A written letter of commitment outlining the scope of the assessment and a cost estimate, along with a copy of the consultant’s resume, can generally be sent within a few business days.


Contact the Director directly to schedule your site visit. To allow both the consultant and the client adequate preparation time, site visits are generally scheduled a minimum of one month in advance.  Please allow ample lead-time to plan for your consultation, as consultants’ schedules can be booked well in advance.

Preparing for the Assessment

Upon scheduling the site visit, the consultant will send a copy of NEDCC’s Pre-Visit Questionnaire, to be completed and returned by the client approximately two weeks prior to the date of the site visit.  The Questionnaire is an important component of the assessment process, providing the consultant with information about project goals, local priorities, and basic information about the building, collection management, storage practices and staffing.

Delivery of the Report

A final report is generally sent to the client 8 to 10 weeks after completion of the site visit. 


Letters of commitment are provided free of charge.  Cost estimates include consulting time (number of days for on-site visit and report writing vary depending on size and scope of assessment) and travel expenses.

Letters of Commitment for Grant Applications

NEDCC frequently works with cultural institutions to provide letters of commitment and staff resumes to support grant applications.  If you are planning to apply for a grant, please be sure to take note of the grant application deadline, and contact NEDCC as early as possible in the process to discuss your project.

Appraisal and Authentication

NEDCC does not authenticate, appraise, date, or attribute historic and artistic works. If you wish to consider the market value of an object, please consult a professional appraiser.  To find an appraiser, please visit the websites of either the Appraisers Association of America at or the American Society of Appraisers at

Financial Terms

Payment is due when an invoice has been issued.  This is generally done upon delivery of the final report.  Any other payment terms must be authorized through the Center’s financial office.


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


Questions about collection-level or item-by-item assessments should be directed to:


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

Bryce Roe,
Director of Audio Preservation Services
(978) 470-1010, ext 237