Archival Needs Assessments

As stewards of historical records, we have a shared a responsibility to both the creators and donors of our collections and the general public who benefit from access to them. Conducting a comprehensive Archival Needs Assessment is an essential step in ensuring the continued health of your archival program by evaluating its strengths and weaknesses and establishing a plan for further development.

An Archival Needs Assessment will thoroughly examine your program, identifying and addressing specific organizational needs, operational efficiencies, facility and storage concerns, and collection management issues. The assessment will pinpoint problems, recommend solutions, set priorities, and guide the development of your archival program. Our assessments are conducted by an experienced archivist with needs assessment expertise. The entire process will include a site visit, a report, and follow-up services, as appropriate.

During this process, the archivist will interview key personnel at your organization and evaluate the existing historical records program, policies, and facility. The resulting needs assessment report will describe the current status of the organization, address its needs, and provide recommendations for short-term improvement and long-range planning and vision. Repositories are encouraged to conduct the self-assessment survey Strengthening Archives in advance of their request of a DHPSNY Archival Needs Assessment. 

DHPSNY estimates the value of this service at $6,000.

Criteria for Participation

Eligible institutions are those that are nonprofit, non-government repositories in New York State that:

  • Hold historical records, and
  • Operate programs to preserve such records and make them publicly accessible

If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact DHPSNY.

Application materials for DHPSNY's Planning & Assessment Services are accepted year-round and reviewed three times a year. Keep an eye out for new application deadlines coming in 2021! DHPSNY's application forms are powered by Submittable. The online platform allows you to save your work and return if you are unable to complete in one sitting, as well as upload a variety of supporting materials directly within the form. 

Applications are reviewed by an advisory committee of library, archives, and conservation professionals.
Click here to learn more about DHPSNY's application review process. 

DHPSNY staff is available to assist you in completing the application form. Please contact Anastasia Matijkiw, DHPSNY Program Coordinator, for assistance, questions about eligibility, or additional information at (215) 798-0105 or


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