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Conservation Assessment Program
Application Information

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Sotterly Plantation, Hollywood, Maryland.


Sample CAP Application

How Do I Apply?



To be eligible for the 2015 Conservation Assessment Program, museums must meet all five of the following criteria:

What types of museums are eligible?
Museums include, but are not limited to, aquariums, arboretums, art museums, botanical gardens, children’s/youth museums, general museums (those having two or more significant disciplines), historic houses/sites, history museums, natural history/anthropology museums, nature centers, planetariums, science/technology centers, specialized museums (limited to a single distinct subject), and zoological parks.

What does it mean to be using a professional staff?
An institution uses a professional staff if it employs at least one staff member, or the full-time equivalent, whether paid or unpaid, whose responsibilities relate to the museum’s administration and operations. Such responsibilities include museum governance, administration, programming, and collections management. If selected to participate in the program, the museum must designate one of the professional staff members to serve as the project contact and oversee program activities. If a museum does not have a full-time professional staff member, it may be eligible if it can demonstrate in the application that it has the full-time equivalent: one or more staff members with administration and operations responsibilities.

What does it mean to exhibit the museum’s objects to the general public?
An institution exhibits objects to the general public if such exhibition is a primary purpose of the institution. An institution that exhibits objects to the general public for at least 90 days per year is deemed to exhibit objects to the general public on a regular basis. If a museum is not scheduled to be open to the public 90 days per year, it is still eligible for CAP if it can demonstrate that it was open at least 90 days in the preceding year through a combination of scheduled days open and days open by appointment.

If a museum has collections too numerous to be assessed within two days or has previously received federally funded assessments, Heritage Preservation, in consultation with the CAP Advisory Committee, reserves the right to determine whether a museum is appropriate for CAP.

Museums whose collections and/or facilities are too large to be surveyed within two days should apply for a general conservation survey grant through the IMLS Museums for America program. Additionally, museums that wish to have a detailed condition survey of a portion of their collections should apply for Museums for America. Additional information is available at or by contacting the IMLS Office of Museum Services at 202-653-4789.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page may answer some of your additional questions about eligibility or appropriateness.

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Sample Application:
A sample CAP application may be downloaded here. This sample application will help you gather the necessary information to complete a CAP application, but it may not be submitted as your museum’s actual CAP application.

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How Do I Apply?

The 2014 CAP application is now closed. Awards will be announced in early spring. The 2015 application will be available October 1, 2014. If you would like to be added to the notification list, please email the CAP staff.

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