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Preservation Services at Yale University Library: Surveys

Preservation Surveys

The Preservation Department offers different types of surveys to help assess and prioritize preservation and conservation needs of collections.  The most frequently requested surveys are preservation assessment surveys, environmental surveys, and collections condition surveys. 

Preservation Surveys FAQs

How do I arrange for a Preservation Survey?

If you are interested in having any of the above surveys done for preservation planning purposes, please contact the Preservation Services Librarian, Tara Kennedy.

What is a Preservation Assessment Survey?

All activities in library and archives work can impact the long-term preservation of the collections.  A Preservation Assessment Survey is when a preservation professional examines and evaluates the overall physical location and activities in a library and/or department.  This information, such as evaluation of storage methods and storage furniture, is pulled together and written up in a formal report.   

Why do I need a Preservation Assessment Survey for my collection?

A Preservation Assessment Survey will provide information that would be helpful if for example your library is planning a renovation or upgrade in storage.  The information in the survey report would describe the current conditions and then provide suggestions on upgrading or improving those conditions.  This data can be applied in the planning stages of the renovation so that proper preservation standards are met for collections. 

What is a Collections Condition Survey?

In order to plan for preservation activities, like conservation treatment or reformatting, collection data needs to be gathered about the condition of the collection.  A Collections Condition Survey is when a preservation professional comes into a collection, looks through the items, and pulls together information about their condition.  That information is written up in a formal report, detailing the amount of the collection that needs conservation treatment, microfilming, binding, etc. 

Why do I need a Collections Condition Survey for my collection?

A Condition Survey will provide condition information that will assist with prioritizing preservation actions for your collection.  For example, your Department is planning to move an entire collection to the LSF.  You know that a number of the materials in this collection cannot go to the LSF "as is" because of the condition of some of the materials.  A Condition Survey supplies data that will tell you how much of your collection will need rehousing before transferring.  That total can then be applied to tell you how much money it will cost to rehouse and rebind the collection before it is moved.  If done far enough in advance of the transfer, that data can be used to justify costs for the transfer.