The Preservation Self-Assessment Program (PSAP) is a free online tool that helps collection managers prioritize efforts to improve conditions of collections. Through guided evaluation of materials, storage/exhibit environments, and institutional policies, the PSAP produces reports on the factors that impact the health of cultural heritage materials, and defines the points from which to begin care.
In short, the PSAP...
Any organization that collects paper documents, photographic and image materials, and audiovisual media, and ceramic, glass, stone, or metal objects can benefit from the PSAP, including libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies. Like the Audiovisual Self-Assessment Program (AvSAP) that preceded it, the PSAP is designed to assist staff at organizations with little to no preservation training or conservation staff.
Our goal is to help collections managers develop a prioritized preservation plan as well as to educate them on the “health risks” posed to their collections and what they can do to mitigate them with the resources at hand. The scope of formats and materials currently covered are:
Preservation assessments (and surveys) are a key element of good collection stewardship as they allow collections managers and curators to become more familiar with the condition of their collections and derive useful and accurate data about collections. These data help managers to then establish and articulate preservation needs. In general, a preservation assessment considers many different facets of preservation need, ranging from the condition of specific materials to understanding how the building, environment, policies, and use all affect the health of the materials overall. See Preservation Assessments and Surveys for more.
The PSAP meets users on their level of experience and requires no prior knowledge about their preservation. The application guides you to answer direct questions about your resources and will provide additional help options to explain concepts and principles, and to show example images along the way. By answering questions regarding your materials, environments, and policies, you create a unique profile of your organization.
The application simply runs in your web browser. No installation is necessary. No limit is placed on the amount of items or collections you assess; all data is securely stored on University of Illinois servers. Also, for those interested, the project is open source; our code is hosted on GitHub.
Images used across the PSAP are either licensed for use under Creative Commons or the public domain, or are otherwise property of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, cleared for use by the copyright holder(s), or are the intellectual property of the project. To view image captions—and their full license or restrictions info—expand image thumbnails or click the ⓘ symbol.
If you claim ownership of an image cited (correctly or incorrectly), and wish to dispute use in the application, contact the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss attribution or begin the process of removal.