Collection Survey

Lisa Duncan, Art Conservator, LLC
Photograph and Paper Conservator

Lisa Duncan, Art Conservator, LLC can consult on the preservation of your collection.  This often encompasses an on-site assessment.  The survey can be set up to address general collection needs or can be an item-by-item survey.

The general survey addresses several main topics of pest management, climate control and environment, collections and collections policies, exhibitions, storage, emergency preparedness, security and safety, and staffing. The survey usually involves a 2-day on-site visit to the collection and also includes 3-days of off-site report writing.  The outcome is a final report that can be used to apply for further funding or other purposes.

There are several granting organizations in the United States funding small and medium sized institutions.  National granting agencies are the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  There are also several state agencies that provide small grants for preservation.  links to the local sites are located in the “Helpful Links” section.

An item-by-item survey is usually done after an initial general survey has been completed.  This addresses the collection on a more personal level.  It can cater to the needs of the collector or institution.  These surveys are often longer in time-frame and involve individually surveying each item in a collection.  The current condition of the objects and recommended storage are compiled in a database.  Statistics can be gleaned from the database and used to better preserve a collection.  This service can also include the digital documentation of each object.  A final report is submitted upon completion of the survey.