Ideal Preservation Process

An infographic of the ideal process for collections preservation and conservation.

Ideal Preservation Process Infographic

Needs assessment survey: “An evaluation of the policies, practices, and conditions in an institution that have an impact on the preservation of the institution’s collections.”

Preservation plan: A document that “defines and charts a course of action to meet an institution’s overall preservation needs for its collections… It provides the framework or context for carrying out established goals and priorities in a logical, efficient, and effective manner; it is a working tool for achieving agreed-upon priorities over a set period of time.” (Both definitions from Preservation Planning: Guidelines for Writing a Long-Range Plan by Roxana Adams, 1997.)

Emergency preparedness and response plan: A detailed document that identifies vulnerabilities and risks to the collection, recommends mitigation strategies, and outlines response preparation tasks.

Improvements to stabilize environmental conditions: May include storage furniture; climate control systems; instruments to track and document environmental conditions; installation of security, lighting, and fire prevention systems; etc.

Collection-level survey: Provides short- and long-term goals for the preservation of an identified collection. This type of survey involves the careful inspection of a collection, often in the form of a random sample, which results in detailed housing and/or treatment recommendations. These recommendations are designed to help the institution set priorities and formulate budget estimates.

Item-specific survey: Provides specific information needed to develop an action plan for conservation treatment and preservation of a collection. This type of survey involves the preparation of condition reports, proposed treatments, and estimates of valuable individual items or groups of items in a collection.

Conservation and accessibility: Conservation treatment; housing; cataloging; arrangement and description; microfilming; digitization; etc.