An ACRL member passed on this item, a call-to-action report about the neglected state of archives, manuscripts and artifacts in the nation’s museums and libraries.
The Heritage Health Index, the first comprehensive survey ever to assess the condition and preservation needs of U.S. collections, concludes that immediate action is needed to prevent the loss of millions of irreplaceable artifacts. These findings were announced at a news conference in New York City on December 6 and are detailed in A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of Americaâ€™s Collections.
Key findings include:
* 65% of collecting institutions have experienced damage to collections due to improper storage.
* 80% of U.S. collecting institutions do not have an emergency plan that includes collections, with staff trained to carry it out.
* 190 million objects are in need of conservation treatment.
The report calls on individuals in the private sector and at all levels of government to assume responsibility for providing support that will allow collections to survive. It also calls on institutions to develop emergency plans to protect collections, to give priority to providing safe conditions for collections, and to assign responsibility for collections care to staff members.
The Heritage Health Index is a project of Heritage Preservation, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency.
HHI was discussed on NPR’s All Things Considered on Monday, Dec. 12, see online NPR archive.