Collection Assessment and Preservation
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern)
Working with unique objects means being faced with the management of diverse materials and formats, ranging from parchment to digital videotape. Unfortunately, no one can be an expert on everything, and since there aren’t always funds to hire the specialists, collections care “blind spots” develop. We know how important the preservation of our objects is and are profoundly aware of the cost of inaction. So, how do we proceed past our preservation concerns toward preservation actions?
Preservation assessments are a key element of good collection stewardship as they allow collections managers and curators to become more familiar with the health of their collections and derive accurate metrics about collections. These metrics help managers both to determine preservation needs and to better articulate and document the needs of their collections in grant applications.
The Preservation Self-Assessment Program (PSAP) is a forthcoming (and free!) web application designed to address the evaluation and prioritization of preservation action among materials typically found in museums, special collections, archives, and historical societies. The PSAP considers many facets of preservation need: ranging from the condition of specific materials to understanding how the building, environment, policies, and usage all affect the health of the materials overall.
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