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 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.

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.


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

Currently, DHPSNY is conducting virtual assessments. Due to the nature of the Condition Survey, determinations about the process for completion will be made on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in pursuing a Condition Survey, please contact the DHPSNY team to discuss your eligibility and feasible options for your organization.

All inquiries can be directed to the DHPSNY team at (215) 545-0613 ext. 338 or

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