Condition surveys set out to assess the physical state of a collection of library materials, and determine how much of the collection is in need of treatment. Another reason for implementing a condition survey is to "provide information relative to the development of a preservation program. Information from such a survey both identifies the need and provides the justification for staff to carry out conservation treatments." Walker, "Library Resources", 416
This paper looks at the effectual carrying out of a condition survey and the condition survey's role in preservation planning.
In particular, a small and large scale condition survey are contrasted and compared. The small scale Stanford University survey conducted in 1979, sampled 384 volumes and used a limited question set. The large scale Yale University libraries survey conducted in 1982, focused on a collection of 7.7 million volumes and sampled 36,500 materials of different types. Information was gathered highlighting the preservation needs of distinct collections varying in use, size, housing, and age.
Preservation Policy, Strategy, and Programs
A policy sets out the aims and objectives of an organization for a specific period. "A preservation policy is a plan of action for the safekeeping of library and archive materials. It states what needs to be preserved , why, for what purpose, and for how long." Foot, 19 Preservation strategies plan the management of resources used to counteract or retard the deterioration of library materials, and may prioritize materials to be preserved. Policies and strategies are sources of reference for planning preservation programs which endeavour to raise awareness about the state or condition of collections. Preservation programs provide a logical process for analyzing the preservation needs of a collection.
Definitions of policies, strategies, and programs in the literature vary in degree with respect to objectives and the order in which they are enacted. It is generally agreed, however, that these are all ongoing activities and that preservation policies, strategies, and programs all share the goal of enabling a library to preserve and protect the original physical form of an item and/or preserve the information content in the collection.