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Condition Surveys + Condition Assessments

Condition Survey

Library AssessmentA condition survey is a broad scope assessment of an entire collection or a large number of items. This is performed for both institutions and private collectors, and can take a few hours or a few days. A survey of this scope usually results in broad treatment recommendations, including prioritizing what needs to be treated first.

In large institutions, a curator or in-house conservator often performs their own surveys toward treatment. However, often the additional opinion of a conservator within the specialty of the items needing conservation is of value. A specialist often knows more about the signs of deterioration, and sometimes monies can be saved by treating like pieces together. The next step, a Condition Assessment, will be taken when the curator/owner decides which items are to be treated.

Surveys must be done on-site and may cover some or all of the following:

If conservation of an object is not possible in a timely manner, interim prevention or conservation measures are recommended to stave off deterioration, where applicable:

Accurate estimates cannot be prepared without a Condition Assessment, or detailed assessment, described below.

Condition Assessment

A Condition Assessment usually includes a Conditions Report and a Proposed Treatment Plan, and is dedicated to one object at a time. Assessments can be done on site or in the studio.

MITCHELL POWELL LIBRARYMPFC will thoroughly examine each piece with an eye to the work needed and an evaluation of problematic areas. Photographs are taken to cover all areas of the assessment. In a non-invasive manner, the original design intention (function and design details), structural integrity, build-up and fillers (as necessary), and the integrity of the finish (as necessary) are evaluated to the best of our ability without excavation. The goals of the client are discussed.

We will write a Treatment Proposal offering our intended treatment processes is offered in written form, sometimes along with a detailed estimate.

All information gathered at the site, along with all information that can be given to us by the owner or institution, is culled and placed into a historical portion of the report. We may authenticate the piece if requested, and information on the possible age, period, and style may be offered. As needed or requested, we will recommend that a certified appraiser be involved for insurance purposes.

The Conditions Report and Proposed Treatment Report are often illuminating for the recipients. All aspects of the piece are reviewed and reported with a fresh eye, even if thorough documentation on the piece exists. Even in competent and well-staffed facilities, often new information is gleaned, or mistakes in older documentation or even faulty tagging are found and reported to the curator / owner. The following are reviewed, as applicable, and the condition is evaluated and described:

and discussed by

Additionally, we may note problematic maintenance procedures and possible systematic changes needed, toward preventing unnecessary deterioration, if applicable.

If this assessment is performed for a competitive bidding situation, then all images and the conditions report are turned over to the institution, and we would wait for bidding instructions before offering our Treatment Proposal along with other bidders

Click for information on Treatment Reports.



We offer a free one hour assessment in your home or office
toward the restoration of your antique, contact us for an appointment.

Contact Information

dkatiepowell [@] aol.com / mitchellrpowell {@} aol.com
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503.970.2509 / 541.531.2383

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