Needs Assessment

On this page we have gathered a few resources to help you plan for the long term preservation of your institution's collections. 

Small Museum Toolkit

SmalThe Small Museum Toolkit (American Association for State and Local History)l Museum Toolkit (click title to read reviews) is a collection of six books co-edited by Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko and Stacy Klingler that serve as a launching point for small museum staff to pursue best practices and meet museum standards.  Each brief volume, written in a friendly tone by experienced museum professionals, helps you define the questions you should be asking, gives you tools to achieve your goals, and guides you where to go for help.

  • Book One: Leadership, Mission, and Governance
  • Book Two: Financial Resource Development and Management
  • Book Three: Organizational Management
  • Book Four: Reaching and Responding to the Audience
  • Book Five: Interpretation: Education, Programs, and Exhibits
  • Book Six: Stewardship: Collections and Historic Preservation

Purchase the Small Museum Toolkit from the publisher
Buy the Small Museum Toolkit from


The Illinois Heritage Association (IHA) lends the individual books in the Small Museum Toolkit set to its members. The loan period is four weeks and the only charge is for return postage.  Members just need to contact the IHA office by phone (217-359-5600) or email (  Non-members check the IHA website for membership information.

New York University, Division of Libraries, Barbara Goldsmith Preservation & Conservation Department.
Condition Survey Manual (2012 update) used to assess physical condition of archives held by NYU.

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC).
Preservation Leaflets on Planning and Prioritizing:

  1. What Is Preservation Planning?
  2. Preservation Assessment and Planning
  3. The Needs Assessment Survey
  4. Considerations for Prioritizing
  5. Collections Policies and Preservation
  6. Priority Actions for Preservation
  7. Preservation Planning: Select Bibliography
  8. Preservation Concerns in Building Design: Select Bibliography

Survey instrument
As a part of the IMLS "Connecting to Collections" planning grant, we implemented a survey instrument to assess the state's needs for collections preservation.  Our survey is a modification of the instrument developed for the Heritage Health Index by  Heritage Preservation in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  The Minnesota Historical Society edited the survey for their use, and later we adapted it for use in Illinois.  We thank these institutions for allowing us to use the survey. 

In 2009, the ICPN Survey Form was distributed to more than 300 collecting institutions in Illinois.  The results appear as summary graphs.