Item Level Assessment of the NHS Collection
Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants. $5,250,000 the first year and $5,250,000 the second year are for history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local, county, regional, or other historical or cultural organizations; or for activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources.
Short Term Measurable Outcomes
At the conclusion of the physical assessment of the collection, a good deal of time was spent analyzing the notes that were made on the changes that needed to be made in the collection to improve preservation. A summary report was written highlighting major portions of the collection providing details on the current conditions of the collection. That report will be used moving forward to measure how far NHS is progressing on its quest for improvement.
Even more important to NHS than the summary of current conditions is the pair of reports that were written noting projects that can be undertaken to improve preservation within the collection. During the assessment, similar improvements were observed to be needed throughout the collection. These similar needs formed the basis of the project reports. Many of these projects can be packaged, so-to-speak, for funding from target audiences and select grants. Interns and volunteers can be matched to needed projects so that the improvements can be made in an orderly manner. The reports outline exactly what improvement is needed in which capacity in the collection. They remove the guess work from short and long term planning, something that was greatly needed for NHS moving forward. The intellectual control gained from knowing where the deficiencies are will drive future choices and will ultimately improve the overall condition of the collection.
Long Term Measurable Outcomes
NHS undertook the box-level assessment to observe current conditions of the collection and to understand the needs of the collection to improve preservation. With no concrete knowledge of what needs the collection had, it was believed that the improvements would be minimal and could reasonably be completed within a five-year timeframe. Completing the assessment has changed this belief. Evidence of the scope and magnitude of the improvements that are needed in the collection since completing the assessment could very well demand a much lengthier timeline for completion. This was not the outcome the staff as NHS foresaw, but it is a reasonable, fact-based expectation grounded on the completed assessment and the reports generated from it if staffing levels remain the same. However, on the positive side, NHS has gained a much clearer picture of the needs of the collection from this assessment on which to base long term planning no matter how long completion of these projects take.