Philadelphia Stewardship Program Track 2: Preservation Planning

“Every institution has a responsibility to safeguard the collections that are entrusted to it. That responsibility includes incorporating preservation and conservation awareness into all facets of the institution's activities so as to ensure the long-term preservation of its collections. The institution's commitment will be reflected in the accurate assessment of condition, thorough and comprehensive planning, and the assignment of appropriate financial resources.”

Position Paper on Conservation and Preservation in Collecting Institutions
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2004

Track 2 of the Philadelphia Stewardship Program is based on two simple propositions:

•    Effective stewardship does not simply happen.  It must be thoughtfully planned.
•    In order to be successful, a preservation plan must be implemented and evaluated based upon measurable criteria.

Through Track 2 of the Philadelphia Stewardship Program, the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) is offering expertise and financial support in the area of collections care to museums, libraries, archives, historic houses, and other organizations with historic collections.  CCAHA will work with program participants to develop and write a 3 to 5 year strategic preservation plan, and will provide guidance, assessment tools, and technical information in consultation with the staff at each participating organization.  

A preservation plan provides a strategic framework for moving forward preservation and collections care initiatives.  Working collaboratively the CCAHA staff each selected institution will develop a strategic preservation plan for their collections.  The preservation plan will address: institutional policies and procedures; collection development policies and priorities; emergency preparedness and response; environmental conditions and monitoring (temperature, relative humidity, light, pests and mold); storage furniture and materials; security; housekeeping; staffing; financial resources; repair and conservation treatment needs; reformatting options (microfilming, photoduplication, photocopying, and digital imaging); and exhibition needs.  The plan will include timetables with benchmarks and assign responsibilities.  

After the organization’s Board of Directors has formally approved the preservation plan, CCAHA will continue to work with the organization to accomplish measurable first year goals.

The long-term benefits of participation are considerable.  Participating organizations will receive:
•    Assistance in writing a long-range (3 to 5 year) preservation plan.
•    Assistance in achieving the plan’s first year benchmarks.
•    Opportunity to apply for a competitive 1:1 matching grant of up to $5,000 for preservation projects.
•    A 1-2 hour consultation with CCAHA’s Director of Development specifically about development, resource allocation, and fundraising to implement preservation strategies.

Criteria for Participation

Successful applicants will need to demonstrate that they have laid the groundwork for developing a preservation plan, and that they are firmly committed to participating in this program of collections care activities. 

To be considered for participation in Track 2 of the Philadelphia Stewardship Program, an organization must be located within the counties of Bucks, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia, and have completed a preservation needs assessment.  In addition, the collections at the institution must be available to the public.  Preference will be given to organizations that: 

•    have collections that are unique or of significant historical or artifactual value; and 
•    demonstrate a willingness to develop and maintain a preservation program.

Track 2 requires a commitment throughout the rest of 2022.  Because the elements of the program will involve some staff time, organizations are expected to allocate adequate resources to the program.  A staff member who will coordinate the planning initiative must be identified. 

At the end of the year, all organizations participating in the program will be eligible to apply for a competitive regrant of up to $5,000 in restricted funding which must be matched 1:1 by the organization.  All projects must be related to the organization’s preservation plan.  Eligible expenses will include fees for consultant services; purchase of storage materials, environmental monitoring equipment, or appropriate exhibition display materials; and conservation treatment of selected items. Up to 30% of the match may be designated for staff salaries covering time restricted to work on the project.  Ineligible expenses include organizational overhead costs, building construction or repair, and capital improvements.

Participants are also eligible to receive a free 1-2 hour consultation with CCAHA’s Director of Development specifically about development, resource allocation, and fundraising to implement recommendations.

Track 2 of the Philadelphia Stewardship Program is intended for organizations that have completed a preservation needs assessment survey within the last 10 years. Organizations that do not have a preservation needs assessment survey that reflects current conditions should contact CCAHA to discuss participation in Track I of the program.

Application Process

Applications for the Philadelphia Stewardship Program are currently closed.

Established in 1977, the mission of the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) is to provide expertise and leadership in the preservation of the world’s cultural heritage.  CCAHA is a non-profit conservation laboratory serving other non-profit cultural, educational, and research institutions, as well as private individuals and organizations.  CCAHA specializes in the treatment of works of art and historic artifacts on paper. It also offers on-site consultation services; educational programs and seminars; internships, fellowships, and apprenticeships; and emergency conservation assistance.

The Philadelphia Stewardship Program is funded by the William Penn Foundation which strives to improve the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that foster rich cultural expression, strengthen children’s futures, and deepen connections to nature and community.  In partnership with others, the William Penn Foundations works to advance a vital, just, and caring community.