Preservation Assessments

(conservation surveys; condition surveys)

To effectively manage a collection and address its preservation needs, it is essential to understand the condition of the collection, the elements affecting its ongoing deterioration and the resources needed to address the problems.

Preservation Australia specialises in preservation/conservation assessments, and Kay Söderlund is listed by the National Library of Australia as a recommended consultant for its Community Heritage Grant programme.

A conservation assessment will include:

  • Condition of all material types in collection
  • Environmental conditions and factors affecting the collection
  • Storage/display conditions and materials
  • Resource assessment and recommendations
  • Short and long term priority plan
  • Policy development recommendations
  • Preservation needs of the collection

Case Study - Sydney Day Nursery Children's Services Inc.

For decades the Sydney Day Nursery Children's Services has provided affordable long day care for children at centres around Sydney. Over the years toys and furniture were purchased for various sites, and records kept as the association grew in size and importance. The History Committee of the organization realised that to properly care for the historic collection a conservation plan was needed. After successfully applying for a Community Heritage Grant, they engaged Kay Söderlund who then worked with Sarah Slade to undertake a conservation assessment of the dispersed collection and the proposed History Room, and to prepare a conservation plan for the following years.
The conservation assessment detailed the preservation needs of the collection, much of which is still in use, and actions necessary to establish the History Room as a stable environment in which to house the Archives. It also outlined a Conservation Plan for the next 5 years to ensure each step was achieved.
As a consequence, the History Committee of the Sydney Day Nursery Children's Services Inc has a clear focus and direction for the preservation of its collection, and has been able to successfully apply for a further grant to move forward with the Conservation Plan.

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