Preservation planning is the cornerstone of a comprehensive collections care program. An effective collections care program is composed of a series of related activities that build upon one another over the course of a defined period of time. A collections care program begins with a general preservation planning survey, a professional review that provides an overview of all factors that affect collections care. The general preservation planning survey offered through BACC’s Western Region Field Service Program 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. Prioritized recommendations specific to the collection and institution are included. The activities, tasks, and outcomes integral to successful preservation planning are described at collections care overview.
Institutions typically depend upon grant-based funding to support a range of preservation and conservation activities, from surveys to environmental improvements, to the treatment of individual objects. A long-range preservation plan that sets out tasks, time lines, and realistic goals is key to funding preservation projects. BACC’s Development Services assist institutions with project design and identifying sources of support. BACC also provides technical assistance and review of written materials at all stages of program development to ensure the most competitive grant application.
Each year a select number of institutions are eligible to receive a cost-subsidized general preservation planning survey through BACC’s Field Service Program. Preference is given to institutions with management strength and resources and a commitment to an ongoing preservation program. Also taken into account is the institution’s stated case for the importance of its collections to humanities research. Initial eligibility is determined through a telephone interview, which can be arranged at Contact BACC. Institutions are also encouraged to review Federal Grants, as qualifying institutions can receive funding for general preservation planning surveys.