Preservation Assessment Grant



Library staff know that their 'special' community collections require more specialized care. But many do not have the training or experience required to ensure proper preservation for special collections formats such as archives, photographs, and oversized materials.

This program funds eligible libraries of all types $4,600 to engage with a qualified preservation assessor for site visit(s) and a formal Preservation Assessment report. The application and award process will cultivate preservation skills among the library staff and the Preservation Assessment report will identify short-term and long-term preservation priorities from a third-party expert.   

Program Details

Upon successful completion of MBLC's application (detailed below) and completion of contractual paperwork, $4,600 is distributed to the library's appropriate fiscal authority. (For public libraries, that usually is its municipality.)

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.

The library will contract with an MBLC-approved consultant of their choosing to provide site visit(s) and a written Preservation Assessment report. The report must cover, at a minimum, the following preservation issues in relation to library's special collections:

  • Building stability issues for collections storage and exhibitions 
  • Collections security
  • Policies and procedures for all aspects of special collection management
  • Environmental conditions and controls
  • Identifying best for safe storage: shelving practices, storage furniture choices, and recommending object enclosures
  • Dealing with particularly challenging formats
  • Selection procedures for digitization, conservation, or exhibition
  • Prioritized ‘next steps’ for short- and long-term planning

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

Preservation Assessments are often required for larger collections-oriented grants, whether offered through MBLC or other State or Federal Agencies. 


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. Completed and satisfactory online application: Amplifund - 2023 Preservation Assessment Minigrant Application

The application is meant to be simple and straight-forward. The most involved step is the Self-Assessment. Contact MBLC Preservation Specialist Evan Knight (; (617) 725-1860 x236) with any questions.


January 17, 2023: Grant application opens.

February 23, 2023: Grant application process closes.

March/April 2023: Awardees are notified and should begin reaching out to Preservation Assessment vendors to schedule their visit(s).

September 30, 2023: The Grant period ends. All funds MUST be expended by this date.

October 15, 2023: Due to MBLC are a short narrative about the program's impact for your library and staff, and a list of check or warrant numbers used to pay your vendor.


The application is solely available through Amplifund - 2023 Preservation Assessment Minigrant Application. The first step in the application is to create an account. 

Contact MBLC Preservation Specialist Evan Knight with any questions at, (617) 725-1860 x236. Additional application resources are available at Grants - Preservation in Massachusetts Libraries - Resource Guides at Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (

For More Information

Rob Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development
617-725-1860 x237
857-488-6590 (Mobile)