Condition Surveys

A Condition Survey is a valuable tool for institutions that have previously undergone a preservation survey (through DHPSNY or another program) and are now interested in evaluating the conditions of collection materials on a more granular level. Since a condition survey is designed to evaluate the materials in a discrete collection, this service will be offered only after an overall Preservation Survey has been conducted, and the major environmental and policy recommendations have been addressed by the institution. 

During the Condition Survey process, a conservator will gather data on-site on a collection the institution has identified for the survey. This includes the condition of materials, the suitability of current housing and storage, and the conservation treatment needs of the collection. Institutions are asked to ensure that a staff member familiar with the collection is available to assist the conservator for the duration of the one- or two-day site visit.

The product of this survey is a written report that documents the condition of individual items in a discrete collection, determines and prioritizes future conservation treatment, and assists in incorporating the conservation needs of the collection into the overall goals and planning of the institution.  The report will contain an estimate of the number of items in the collection in vulnerable condition, as well as offering guidance on the conservation and preservation measures advisable for each category of vulnerability. Using this information, your institution will be able to develop an action plan for conservation customized to the needs of the materials surveyed.

DHPSNY estimates the value of this service at $6,000 - $8,000.

Criteria for Participation

Eligible institutions are those that are nonprofit, cultural institutions or local governments in New York State that:

  • Hold historical records and/or library research materials, 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 Gillian Marcus, DHPSNY Preservation Specialist, for questions about eligibility, additional information, or assistance at (215) 798-0105 or

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