Archiving Site Visits

The Performing Arts Readiness (PAR) project, supported by funding from The Mellon Foundation, announces the availability of free Archiving Site Visits for performing arts organizations.

Six of these Archiving Site Visits are available between April 2024 and October 2025 at no cost to the recipient organization.  The Site Visit includes an onsite visit by a Consultant, development of a brief report, and the Consultant’s travel free of charge to the organization requesting the survey, thanks to support from The Mellon Foundation. These consultations are part of the national PAR team’s efforts to provide information and resources to address the preservation and disaster preparedness needs of the performing arts community.  Preserving organizational history allows researchers, patrons, and the public to access information about your organization’s unique stories.

PAR consultants are available to conduct onsite archiving assessments of historical programmatic materials, business records, and other important object and ephemera collections at your organization.  The visits consist of a review of topics including:

  • Collection Condition Assessment
  • Collection Storage Practices
  • Building Condition
  • Collection Security
  • Policies and Procedures for Preservation
  • Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

Archiving Site Visit Consultants will:

  • Conduct comprehensive archival assessments: Observe archiving activities of the organization, review related policies and documents, and evaluate archiving and emergency preparedness measures.
  • Deliver clear, actionable reports with recommendations: Provide specific, achievable suggestions to improve archival conditions based on best practices and industry standards.
  • Offer ongoing support: Remain available for questions and guidance as the host organization implements recommended improvements in their archives.

Arts organizations undergoing Archiving Site Visits should:

  • Grant access: Provide consultants with complete access to all archival storage areas, including offices and offsite storage facilities.
  • Share documents: Provide consultants with any archiving or preservation-related policies or plans and provide floor plans and site maps to help the consultants understand your current archival storage layout and practices. Additionally, selected organizations will be asked to provide a brief pre-visit questionnaire.
  • Introduce key personnel: Connect consultants with staff and volunteers responsible for archival collections to promote effective communication and collaboration.
  • Develop a schedule: Working with the consultants, develop an agenda to enable everyone to allocate their time efficiently and focus on essential safety aspects.
  • Implement recommendations: Be ready to execute consultants' suggestions, allocating/budgeting necessary resources (funds, staff, equipment) for required changes and discussing potential future funding sources.
  • Engage in debriefing: Participate actively in debriefing sessions with consultants, discussing visit findings, recommendations, and devising an improvement action plan.
  • Maintain communication: Keep in touch with consultants after the visit, responding promptly to their requests for information or assistance.

An Archival Site Visit Interest Form is available for download here for those organizations interested in working with PAR consultants to improve their archival practice.