General Preservation Assessment Surveys are the important first step in improving an institution's preservation and conservation conditions. A conservator makes a thorough investigation of the overall condition of the collection and facilities, and the issues that affect preservation. The conservator reviews the collection and observes the conditions and policies under which the objects are stored, exhibited, and monitored. After the site visit, the conservator generates a written and photographic report that includes a list of preservation and conservation priorities. MACC reports include specific recommendations for addressing those priorities. A General Preservation Assessment Survey is a valuable and necessary tool for creating a Long Range Conservation Plan for the institution's collections.
Object by Object Surveys focus on the items within a collection or a portion of a collection. A conservator examines each item in a class of objects (paintings, artifacts, prints, drawings, textiles, etc.) and determines its condition and conservation needs. Brief individual condition reports are then prepared for each piece. These informative condition reports state the construction and condition of each object and present recommendations for treatment. The reports also place a numeric priority for future conservation intervention on each piece in relation to all works inspected. An Object by Object Survey is a necessary tool for curatorial decision making, establishing a preservation strategy, and determining priority care. In addition, many federal and state granting agencies require an Object by Object Survey before monies will be allocated for the conservation of individual works within a collection.