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Heritage Health Index Resources for Collections Care

Disaster plan help | Locate a conservator | Locate staff training opportunities | Funding collections care | Additional resource organizations

For help writing a disaster plan:

Amigos Library Services, Inc. (Dallas, TX, 972-851-8000) makes Amigos Preservation Services (APS) available to archives and libraries in the Southwestern U.S., primarily the states of Arizona, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

California Preservation Clearinghouse (info@CalPreservation.org) provides a generic plan that can be downloaded, lists numerous resources, and features a Disaster Plan Exercise that can be used to test an already existing plan and help train staff.

Conservation Online (CoOL) includes plans, case histories, and other documents, as well as links to numerous resources in its Disaster Preparedness and Response section.

Georgia Department of Archives and History (Marrow, GA, 678-364-3700) has preservation technical leaflets and disaster recovery and preparedness guidelines, as well as information on the Southeast Regional Conservation Association.

Getty Conservation Institute  (Los Angeles, CA,  310-440-7325) has Building an Emergency Plan: A Guide for Museums and Other Cultural Institutions available for download.

The Heritage Emergency National Task Force  provides a comprehensive list of links for emergency preparedness and response for cultural institutions.

Library of Congress Preservation Directorate (Washington, DC, 202-707-5213) includes A Primer on Disaster Preparedness, Management and Response: Paper. Emergency Preparedness for Library of Congress Collections.

Library Preservation at Harvard (Cambridge, MA, 617-495-8596) provides useful information about emergency response and salvage of library materials. Includes planning templates and salvage information for many types of collections.

The Michigan Alliance for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage is a statewide nonprofit organization composed of libraries, archives, museums, historical societies and preservation networks. The Alliance provides updated information on disaster planning, mitigation and recovery, as well as a list of local suppliers for disaster preparedness.

Michigan State University Libraries Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Website (a joint project with the Center for Great Lakes Culture and the California Preservation Program) provides a searchable database of whom to call for help and where to obtain services and supplies. The results may be downloaded into an Excel document for updating into an institution's disaster plan. Sample plans are also available on the Web site.

Midwest Art Conservation Center (formerly the Upper Midwest Conservation Association, Minneapolis, MN, 612-870-3120) offers assistance in emergency preparedness planning in the form of telephone consultations, on-site visits, and workshops.

National Archives and Records Administration (College Park, MD, 301-837-0482) has Vital Records and Records Disaster Mitigation and Recovery online. This guide focuses on identifying and protecting records vital to conducting business under emergency conditions or protecting the legal and financial rights of the Federal government.

National Park Service Park Museum Management Program (Washington, DC) has links to disaster-related resources available for free download, including a sample Disaster Plan, the Conserve O Gram series of preservation-related technical publications, and the National Park Service Museum Handbook.

Northeast Document Conservation Center (Andover, MA, 978-470-1010) includes Emergency Management Technical Leaflets and links to other resources.

SOLINET, the Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (Atlanta, GA, 404-892-0943) includes Contents of a Disaster Plan, Disaster Recovery Services & Supplies and list of Internet disaster resources.


To locate a conservator:

Many times, collections care and maintenance requires the help and direction of a professional conservator. A conservator can diagnose problems, provide treatment when necessary, prescribe a maintenance plan, and advise on proper conditions for display and storage of objects and collections. You should select a conservator in the same way you would choose a doctor, lawyer, or any other professional:

Many conservators work independently in private practice.  Others are employed at regional conservation centers.  The following links can help you find the right conservator for your collection.

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) (Washington, DC, 202-452-9545) provides Guidelines for Selecting a Conservator and referrals to conservators by specialty and geographic location through the Guide to Conservation.

Conservation Online (CoOL) Web site contains an alphabetical list of conservation professionals.

Amigos Library Services, Inc. (Dallas, TX, 972-851-8000) provides education and training, preservation management, site surveys, consultations.

Balboa Art Conservation Center (San Diego, CA, 619-236-9702) provides conservation and analytical services for paintings, paper, photographs, and frames.

Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (Philadelphia, PA, 215-545-0613) provides services for books, paper, parchment, and photographs.

The Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center (Omaha, NE, 402-595-1180) provides services for objects, paper, textiles, photographs, books, frames, archaeology, and sculpture.

Intermuseum Conservation Association (Cleveland, OH, 216-658-8700) provides conservation and analytical services for paintings, paper, photographs, books, objects, textiles, frames, and fine art storage.

Midwest Art Conservation Center (formerly the Upper Midwest Conservation Association, Minneapolis, MN, 612-870-3120) provides conservation and analytical services for paintings, paper, objects, and textiles.

National Park Service, Division of Conservation, Harpers Ferry Center (Harpers Ferry, WV, 304-535-6139) provides conservation and analytical services for paper, textiles, objects/ethnographic, and wooden artifacts.

Northeast Document Conservation Center (Andover, MA, 978-470-1010) provides conservation and digitization services for books, paper, and photographs.

Peebles Island Resource Center, Bureau of Historic Sites (Waterford, NY, 518-237-8643, ext. 3225 or 3226) provides conservation services for frames, paintings, paper, objects, textiles, furniture, archaeology.

SOLINET, the Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (Atlanta, GA, 404-892-0943) provides education and training, preservation management, site surveys, consultations.

Straus Center for Conservation, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 617-495-2392) provides conservation and analytical services for paintings, paper, and objects.

The Textile Conservation Center, American Textile History Museum (Lowell, MA, 978-441-1198, x. 256) provides conservation and analytical services for textiles.

The Textile Conservation Workshop (South Salem, NY, 914-763-5805) provides conservation and analytical services for textiles.

Williamstown Art Conservation Center (Williamstown, MA, 413-458-5741) provides conservation and analytical services for paintings, paper, objects, furniture, and frames.


To locate staff training opportunities:

American Library Association, Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS)  (Chicago, IL, 800-545-2433 x. 5037) posts upcoming workshops and has the Preservation Education Directory (8th Edition).

The Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies (Mount Carroll, IL, 815-244-1173) offers continuing education in historic preservation, museum studies, preventive collections care, and conservation. The Center offers the participant a scholarship-supported program of certification in preventive collections care for the beginning, mid-career, and senior-level heritage professional.

Conservation Online (CoOL) includes links to educational opportunities in museum, library, and archives conservation/preservation.

Heritage Preservation (Washington, DC, 202-233-0800) maintains a Preservation Calendar that includes educational workshops and association conferences.

The National Preservation Institute (Alexandria, VA, 703-765-0100) offers specialized information, continuing education, and professional training to those involved in the management, preservation, and stewardship of cultural heritage.

Society for American Archivists (Chicago, IL, 312-922-0140) maintains and education calendar and Directory of Archival Education.


For funding collections care activities

The Institute of Museum and Library Services ( 202-653-IMLS) is an independent federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities. IMLS’s Conservation Project Support program awards matching grants to help museums identify conservation needs and priorities and perform activities to ensure the safekeeping of their collections.

Heritage Preservation (202-233-0800) administers the Conservation Assessment Program (CAP), a technical assistance program that provides for a general conservation survey of small museum collections, environmental conditions, and sites. CAP is supported through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Heritage Preservation also published Capitalize on Collections Care (2007) for free download.

National Endowment for the Arts ( 202-682-5452) supports museums and other exhibiting institutions and organizations that serve the field and the American public through grants for projects of the highest artistic quality, which include activities such as conservation and documentation.

National Endowment for the Humanities (202-606-8438) is dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. Its Division of Preservation and Access offers several grant programs for caring for humanities resources.   

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission, a statutory body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration, supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium ranging from quill pen to computer, relating to the history of the United States.

National Science Foundation (703-306-1218) promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering. The Division of Biological Infrastructure includes several grants that support scientific research collections.

Save America’s Treasures, a federal partnership, funds the preservation and conservation of irreplaceable and endangered documents, artistic works, artifacts, historic properties, and sites of national significance.

The Foundation Center (New York, NY, 800-424-9836) is a national clearinghouse for information on foundations and corporate giving. It provides library services at its four reference centers in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Cleveland. It offers a wide variety of publications and has a database available on CD-ROM.


Additional resource organizations

American Association for State and Local History

American Association of Museums

American Institute of Architects

Association for Preservation Technology International

Association of Art Museum Directors

Canadian Conservation Institute

College Art Association

Council on Library and Information Resources

Federal Emergency Management Agency

The Getty Conservation Institute

International Center for the Conservation of Monuments

International Institute for Frame Study

National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers

National Gallery of Art

National Museum of American History Collection Management ServicesSmithsonian Institution

National Park Foundation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

North Carolina Preservation Consortium

Northern States Conservation Center

OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc.

Preservation Directory

Regional Alliance for Preservation

Smithsonian American Art Museum Art Information

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections

U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites

University of California at San Diego Preservation Department

Washington Conservation Guild

Updated July 2007

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