Gary E. Albright  
Paper and Photograph Conservator


There are three different types of conservation assessments.
  1. General collections conservation assessments:  These provide an overview of factors that can impact the preservation of an institution's entire collection.  Factors may include staffing, museum policies and procedures, building maintenance, handling and use of objects, environment, security, exhibition conditions, storage, etc.
  2. Collection-specific conservation assessment:  These assessments examine a smaller segment of the collection, such as the photograph collection or the architectural drawings.  They begin by examining general preservation issues as they relate to the collection under discussion, and then progress into more depth by examining individual and small groups of objects. 
  3. An item-by-item conservation assessment:  This is a highly detailed assessment; it includes conservation reports on every item in a collection.  
There are two major reasons for undertaking a conservation assessment:  to document the current condition of a collection, and to establish conservation priorities.  Assessments will also identify potential preservation hazards and items in need of stabilization or treatment.  They provide strong support for preservation funding and a solid foundation for grant applications.

Conservation assessments consist of an on-site visit, usually followed by a written report.

Gary Albright has participated in over 120 conservation assessments during his career.  He recommends practical solutions to complex preservation issues, taking into account the financial and staffing limitations faced by collecting institutions.  He has worked with major art museums (The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston) as well as small local historical societies (Bureau County Historical Society, Princeton, IL).  He regularly participates in the Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) funded by Heritage Preservation, and has undertaken many collection-specific assessments.

 If you are interested in a conservation assessment of your collection, please contact Gary at or 585-624-2612.

Selected Assessments

February, 2018       Adirondack Experience, Blue Mountain Lake, NY
  A collection of 75,000 photographs with a focus on the oversize photographs and albums.

March, 2016           Honeoye Falls Historical Society and Museum, Honeoye Falls, NY                          Conservation assessment of all museum objects.

October, 2013        Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit, WI                                                                                  Collection of 28,000 photographs, mostly 35mm slides and black & white prints, including        some nitrate and early safety film.

June, 2013             Middlesex Heritage Group, Middelsex, NY                                                                Conservation assessment of the museum collections, focused on paper and photographs.

July, 2011 Bureau County Historical Society, Princeton, IL
Conservation assessment of the museum collections.

November, 2009 Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Buffalo, NY
Collection of 57,000 glass plate negatives stored in the original studio.

April, 2008 Connecticut Landmarks, Hartford, CT
Archival collections of paper and photographic materials.

November, 2007 Woodrow Wilson House, Washington, D.C.
Photograph collections.

September, 2006 Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Nashville, TN
Photograph collections.

October, 2002 The National Baseball Hall of Fame Library, Cooperstown, NY
Photograph collection of approximately 400,000 images.

March, 2001 Montgomery County Historical Society, Dayton, OH
National Cash Registrar (NCR) Collection of over 1,500,000 photographs and architectural drawings. 

August, 1998 Eric Carle Studio, Northampton, MA
The artist's children's book illustrations.

April, 1997 New York State Museum, Albany, NY
Photograph holdings spread over four sites, more than 3,000,000 images in addition to motion picture film, video tape, and audio tape.

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