Preservation Assessment Grant

Next application deadline is TBD.


Libraries often realize that there are preservation problems with their unique, 'special' community collections but they may have little idea about where to start or what their options might be. Working with a qualified preservation assessor can help libraries understand the full scope of their collection needs as well as formulate preservation plans.

Program Description

This program funds a consultant to conduct an institutional preservation assessment that will directly inform preservation plans. The institution will contract with an MBLC-approved consultant who will provide site visits and a written report that will cover, at a minimum, the following collections preservation topics:

  • Building stability issues, particularly for spaces of storage and display
  • Collections Security
  • Current policies and procedures for 'special' collection management
  • Environmental conditions and controls
  • Enhancing shelving practices, storage furniture choices, and recommending object enclosures
  • Considerations of storage and display of unique formats
  • Selection procedures for digitization, conservation, or exhibition
  • Prioritized ‘next steps’

Upon completion of the grant, the institution must submit to MBLC the Preservation Assessment Report, and a “Special Collections Management Priorities” document (template provided to grantees).

Preservation Assessments are required for other larger LSTA Direct Grants categories such as “Protecting Priority Collections” and “Archives Arrangement and Description."


Any library that satisfies the following requirements is eligible:

  1. Current Strategic Plan on file with MBLC
  2. Member of Massachusetts Library System (MLS)
  3. (For Public Libraries only:) Certified by MBLC to receive State Aid
  4. Completed Self-Assessment
  5. Application form

It is strongly recommended to contact MBLC Preservation Specialist Evan Knight (; (617) 725-1860 x236) prior to filling out the Self-Assessment form.


For 2022 there is one application round.

Round 1:
Completed application form and self-assessments are due by the close of business (5p), Thursday January 20, 2022, via email to and Awardees will be notified of their award by February 17, 2022.

The grant award ($4200) will require contractual paperwork to be signed by the Library's and Town's fiduciary agent.

As a condition of this program, the entirety of the award must be paid to the selected preservation consultant. MBLC maintains a list of qualified assessors, which is shared with awardees.

Application (click to download)

Application Assistance

Contact MBLC Preservation Specialist Evan Knight (; (617) 725-1860 x236) with any questions.