Collections Assessment in Libraries, Archives, and Museums: The Challenges and Advantages of Universal Condition Assessment Tools and Language

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Condition assessments have long been a tool for preservation professionals to develop collections care practices and establish treatment priorities. Although collections vary greatly among libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs), similarities exist in our approaches and recommendations for storage, handling, exhibit, and treatment prioritization. In addition, few institutions exist whose collection strictly contains a single format of material—almost all LAMs hold some variety of materials. To date, however, our approaches to assessment have been siloed into our respective areas, with tools available for each collecting area or object type. This article examines the history of condition assessments, reviews existing tools and efforts, and argues the value of building more unified efforts in condition assessment tools to better merge LAM vocabularies and preservation efforts. This article further serves as a call to action to develop cross-disciplinary applications to help professionals more effectively administer collections care and evaluate preservation priorities of mixed collections.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-189
JournalCollections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals
Volume15
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Keywords

  • preservation
  • case study
  • collections
  • library
  • archives
  • museum
  • assessment
  • vocabulary

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