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84 Museums Will Participate in the Conservation Assessment Program

July 16, 2013


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Heritage Preservation Contact
Teresa Martinez

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IMLS Contact
Giuliana Bullard,

Washington, D.C. -- The Conservation Assessment Program (CAP), which assists small museums in providing appropriate care for endangered collections, has announced this year’s participating museums. For 2013, 84 museums in 34 states have been selected to have the condition of their collections and historic structures assessed. CAP is administered by Heritage Preservation and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through its National Leadership Grants for Museums program.

Some 2013 recipients include the Prairie Village Museum in Rugby, North Dakota; the Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens in Devon, Pennsylvania; the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon in Charleston, South Carolina; and the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, California. To view a complete list of 2013 CAP participants, visit

CAP helps small to mid-sized museums of all types, from art museums to zoos, obtain general assessments of the condition of their collections, environment, and historic buildings. Following an on-site assessment, the museum receives a report recommending priorities to improve collections care. This report helps museums educate staff and board members on conservation practices; create long-range and emergency plans; and raise funds to improve the care of their collections.

For example, Mary L. Chrastil, president of the North Manchester Historical Society in Indiana, described her museum’s experience participating in CAP in 2012. She said, “I cannot express how valuable the CAP assessment has been to us at this particular stage in our existence! We received solid practical advice from our architect assessor on options for expanding into our 125-year-old building. The report from the collections assessor was outstanding; it reads like an introductory course on collections management. It’s been a wonderful tool for teaching our board and volunteers about the highest standards for collections management.”

Since 1990, more than 2,800 museums have participated in CAP, including museums in all 50 states and the U. S. territories—the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Republic of Palau, and Puerto Rico.

“The Conservation Assessment Program plays an essential part in helping IMLS achieve its strategic goal to support exemplary stewardship of museum and library collections,” said Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We are proud to partner with Heritage Preservation to assist small museums plan for the preservation of their collections so that their artifacts and documents will be available for generations to come.”  

The 2014 CAP application will be available on Heritage Preservation’s website,, this fall. Heritage Preservation evaluates CAP applications in the order in which they are received, so museums are encouraged to submit their completed applications as soon as possible. To be added to the CAP application notification list or for more information, call 202-233-0800 or e-mail

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Heritage Preservationis a national nonprofit dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the United States. By identifying risks, developing innovative programs, and providing broad public access to expert advice, Heritage Preservation assists museums, libraries, archives, historical societies and other organizations, as well as individuals, in caring for our endangered heritage.

Conservation Assessment Program