For further information regarding this news release, please contact Teresa Martinez, Conservation Assessment Program coordinator at 202-233-0800.

Collections and Buildings Damage Assessments Available for Museums in Federal Declared Disaster Areas
November 16, 2012 - For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. - “The Institute of Museum and Library Services and Heritage Preservation are working together to bring immediate assistance to museums impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said IMLS director Susan H. Hildreth at yesterday’s meeting of the National Museum and Library Services Board.
The Conservation Assessment Program (CAP), which is administered by Heritage Preservation and funded by IMLS, helps museums improve the care of their collections and historic structures. Museums located in federally declared disaster areas that experienced damage to collections or structures during Hurricane Sandy and related storms may apply to CAP for an assessment by a conservator and, if applicable, a historic preservation specialist. Applications will be reviewed immediately and upon acceptance into the program, museums will be able to select assessors quickly and schedule an on-site visit. CAP assessors will evaluate damage and recommend recovery steps.
Recommendations from the on-site assessment will be documented in a report that outlines immediate, midterm, and long-range goals. The report will provide staff and board members with a path to recovery and an opportunity to review the museum’s collections care priorities.
Hildreth said, “Our hearts to go out those that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. As human health and safety concerns are resolved and the region begins to rebuild, IMLS is privileged to offer assistance to museums that are community anchors and stewards of collections.”
Heritage Preservation president Lawrence L. Reger explained, “We are proud that an effective assessment tool such as CAP is already in place and can be immediately mobilized to help museums move past triage and into long-term recovery.” Since 1990, 2,700 museums have participated in CAP, including museums in all 50 states and many U. S. territories.
Funding for emergency assessments through CAP is being offered by IMLS on a limited and one-time basis only. To qualify for an immediate assessment, museums must be located in a federally declared disaster area. Applications should include a brief description of the damage sustained and status of the museum’s operations. Applicants must meet CAP eligibility requirements, including being a museum that operates as a unit of state, local, or tribal government or as a private nonprofit organization with tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code.
The CAP application is posted at and may be completed online or in hard copy. The postmark deadline for applications has been extended from Monday, December 3, 2012 until Tuesday, January 15, 2013.
For more information about CAP or for assistance with an application, call 202-233-0800 or email
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grantmaking, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter @US_IMLS.
Heritage Preservation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the United States. By identifying risks, developing innovative programs, and providing broad public access to expert advice, Heritage Preservation assists museums, libraries, archives, historic preservation and other organizations, as well as individuals in caring for our endangered heritage. To learn more about Heritage Preservation, visit
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Heritage Preservation
1012 14th St., NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005
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CAP is administered by Heritage Preservation through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services.