BACC - Balboa Art Conservation Center
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Collections Care

Surveys and Assessments
Preservation-focused surveys and assessments are important tools for planning and funding conservation and collections care programs, as well as for implementing improvements in the most efficient manner. BACC has more than thirty years of experience in the development of both general assessments and collections-oriented surveys.

Click the links to read more about each type of survey:

General | Environmental | Hazard |Storage Improvement | Collection-Specific | Item-by-item

General Preservation Assessment
Not currently accepting applications
The general preservation assessment is the first step in developing a long-range preservation plan. It addresses all factors that affect collections care: staffing and training, policies and procedures concerning the use of collections, storage and exhibition conditions, the museum environment, security, and emergency preparedness. At the project’s outset, BACC conservators consult with the institution’s staff to determine the principal objectives for the assessment and shape the process accordingly.

The final product is a written report, which is accompanied by practical recommendations and supporting materials that can be used as the basis for developing plans, procedures, and policies for the long-term care and preservation of collections as well as a tool for securing project funding.

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Environmental Survey
Not currently accepting applications
Environmental surveys are designed to guide institutions in their efforts to reduce energy use/cost while providing collections with a preservation-oriented museum climate. Institutions must complete a pre-visit questionnaire and participate in a telephone consultation to review the plan of work for the survey, arrange meeting times with key staff, and review survey objectives. Each institution will receive a loan of at least 1 Preservation Environmental Monitor® to collect temperature and relative humidity data. A minimum of six months of data collection is the objective and will support appropriate analysis. Conservators complete a half to one day site-visit depending upon the size of the institution. The written survey report includes analysis of environmental data with recommendations for improvement that may include suggestions for economizing on energy consumption and use of passive environmental buffering methods. Follow‐up consultation is provided to identify resources for implementation steps and to provide assistance, as needed.

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Hazard Survey
Not currently accepting applications
A hazard survey is the first step in developing an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan that is tailored to an institution’s specific needs and circumstances. Participating institutions must complete a pre-visit questionnaire and self-evaluation exercises designed to identify specific risks. Field Service staff then complete a one day on-site hazard survey to examine the facilities and speak with museum staff. Potential vulnerabilities, such as environment, security, fire and water detection and suppression or abatement, collection management policies and procedures, and pest control, are analyzed. The result is a report that will provide observations, recommendations, and resources to better manage and mitigate risk as well as to develop an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan. Following the survey, Field Service staff use the information gathered to assist in revising an existing emergency plan or drafting a new plan for the organization.

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Storage Improvement Survey
Not currently accepting applications
Storage improvement surveys help institutions make time-efficient, low-cost improvements to best protect collections while enhancing access to them. Institutions must complete a pre-visit questionnaire and participate in a telephone consultation to review the plan of work for the survey, arrange meeting times with key staff, and review survey objectives. Conservators complete a half to one day site-visit depending upon the size of the institution. The written survey report includes analysis of current storage conditions with recommendations for improvement. Follow‐up consultation is provided to identify resources for implementation steps and to provide assistance, as needed.

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Collection-Specific Survey
The collection-specific survey centers on a specific subset or class of objects within an institution. European paintings or contemporary works on paper are examples of specific classes of objects. As with a general preservation assessment, the conservator evaluates institutional factors that impact the collection, including the use of the collection, storage, and exhibition conditions, and the museum environment. As part of the collection-specific survey, the conservator identifies groups of objects and individual objects in need of treatment. The written report includes a prioritized list of treatment recommendations.

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Item-by-Item Survey
Item-by-item surveys provide a detailed level of condition information for a specific group of objects. This survey is generally initiated in preparation for a treatment program. To support this effort, the item-by-item survey encompasses a detailed examination of individual objects and the preparation of treatment proposals with cost estimates.

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