[logo of the New York State Conservation/Preservation Program]Conservation/Preservation Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Conservation/Preservation grant program?

The New York State Conservation/Preservation discretionary grant program was authorized under Education Law, Section 273.7(d) in 1984 and expanded in 1986 and 1990. Its purpose is to encourage the proper care and accessibility of research materials in the State, to promote the use and development of guidelines and standards for conservation/preservation work, and to support the growth of local and cooperative preservation programs.

The discretionary grant program provides modest financial support for projects that contribute to the preservation of significant research materials in libraries, archives, historical societies and other agencies within the State of New York, whether by conducting surveys, improving collection storage environments, reformatting or treating collections or other preservation activities described in these guidelines.

What types of institutions are eligible for NYS C/P funds?

Public libraries, academic libraries, historical societies, archives, museum libraries, municipalities and other not for profit organizations.

What types of institutions are NOT eligible for NYS C/P funds?

The 11 designated comprehensive research libraries: Columbia University Libraries; Cornell University Libraries; New York State Library; New York University Libraries; University of Rochester Libraries; Syracuse University Libraries; the Research Libraries of The New York Public Library; and the libraries of the State University of New York centers at Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Stony Brook.

Institutions wholly or in part under the control of any religious denominations in which any denominational tenet or doctrine is taught are constitutionally ineligible to receive State financial assistance.

How can I receive an application form?

The Program has moved to an online application process.  In order to have access to this online grants system, institutions must first register for a user name and password.  To do this go to our web site and click on the link to the Online Grant System Account Registration Form to register to receive a user name and password.

When are the applications due?

Click here for the deadline to apply and additional information.

Can I fax my application into the Library Development office?

No. All applications must be submitted through the Online Grant System.

When will I find out if my application was funded?

Awards are usually made in the summer, depending on the state budget process. Award notification is made by e-mail. No information about your applications status will be given out over the telephone. Do not call the Program Office for information on the status of your application.

What types of materials are eligible for grant monies?

Materials of research value. This can include monographs, serials, manuscripts, archival materials, maps, architectural drawings, sound recordings, photographs, moving images and newspapers.

What types of materials are NOT eligible for grant monies?

Works of art on paper, paintings, sculpture and other objects.

What types of activities are fundable?

General preservation surveys, environmental surveys, photograph surveys, rehousing, repair, reformatting to microfilm or the reformatting of photographs to more stable photographic media, improvement to environmental controls and training activities.

I would like to have an inventory done of my archives, is this fundable?

No, you should contact the New York State Archives.

My libraries/archives need organizing and cataloging. Can I apply for funds for this?

No, this program ONLY covers the actual preservation activities. Contact the New York State Archives for grants to organize or arrange and describe archival collections.

Is scanning of photographs to CD-ROM fundable?

No, the scanning of any type of materials is not funded due to the instability of CD-ROMs and issues of long-term storage and migration.

This is my institution's first time applying for a conservation/preservation grant. Where should we start?

It is usually best to start with a general preservation survey. You may apply for funds to hire a qualified preservation consultant to conduct this survey. See page 6 of the application for more information on general preservation surveys.

What types of projects have been funded in the past?

Click here for lists of projects that were funded in previous years.

Can my institution apply for more than one grant this year?

No, only one application is accepted per institution each grant cycle. There is no limit to the number of years that an applicant may apply.

I would like to speak to someone about my application and it eligibility.  Is there someone I can call?

Yes!  The Program Officer for this program encourages potential applicants to discuss their project before submitting a proposal.  She can be reached at Barbara.Lilley@nysed.gov or by calling 518-486-4864.

We have some rolled drawings stored in boxes broken into cubby holes, called engineer drawing boxes.  Is the purchase of these types of boxes or the fabrication of custom storage boxes fundable under the Conservation/Preservation Grant Program?

For rolled documents the best re-housing method would be to flatten, folder and place into flat storage such as map cases.  If the documents are too large for map cases then they should be rolled around the outside of large tubes and the tubes should hang horizontally. You could request funds for that type of project.

Can we request funding to survey, inventory, stabilize and re-house and re-master a video collection?  The proposal budge would include funding for staff to survey and inventory, cost for re-housing and storage and remastering of the prioritized videos.

Funding for staff to survey and rehouse would be eligible as long as they were temporary staff or part-time staff who are going to increase their hours for the duration of the project.  Inventory projects are not fundable.  Transfer of video to film is the only type of reformatting currently fundable under the program guidelines.

We have a letter dated December 2009 from our microfilming vendor regarding his bid for our project. The rates he has quoted us in that letter remain current.  Do we need to submit a new letter, or we may still use this one in our application?

You do not need to get a new bid if the prices still hold.

If we have a conservator already working with our collections, is it necessary to seek a second vendor bid?

You do need to get two bids.  You should choose the most qualified vendor and state your reasons for choosing that vendor.

Is digital conservation fundable?

We do not fund the digital conversion of materials.  You could try the State Archives and see if they would fund it under the Local Government Record Improvement Grants.  Some public libraries are eligible to apply for these funds. 

While writing the grant should I include information about our whole institution or just our department?

You should briefly describe your organization, institution, or agency and then provide more detailed information your specific department.

The guidelines call for submitting the consultant's résumé, which we will do. They also say to indicate the qualifications of the project manager. Should this be summarized in the text or should I submit my resume as the project manager? We won't be hiring anyone other than the consultant with grant funds. Do we need to submit resumes for any of the other staff members involved with the survey, such as the rare book librarian or the library director?

You should submit résumés for all staff and consultants who will be working on the project.

Are fire resistant file cabinets fundable?

We do not fund the purchase of file cabinets.  We generally only fund the purchase of map cases and oversized shelving as part of a rehousing/treatment proposal.

Is there any restriction on how many attachments can be included?

You should attach the bids.  You need at least two.  There is no restriction on the number of bids you attach; you can number them or name them after the vendor which would probably be easiest for the reviewers.

We have a collection that needs conservation work. The conservator we want to use requires us to pay an exam fee in order to give us a treatment proposal. Is a cost estimate for a plan of work critical to the reviewers?

Yes, you need to get at least two treatment proposals and include them in the grant application. Any exam fee must be covered by the applicant.

Would digitization of microfilm to be hosted on the web be eligible for funding through the "The New York State Discretionary Grant Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials"? The microfilm in question would be for local newspapers.

No it would not, that would be an access project. You can check with the 3R’s library system for your region. They have been funding the digitization of some newspaper microfilm for the NYS Historic Newspapers project.

Last Updated: December 2, 2022 -- sm; for questions or comments contact Barbara Lilley