|funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services|
What are the goals of the planning project?
(1) To update and combine information already held by the grant partners to identify all collections-holding institutions in the state of Georgia, including, libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, historic sites, and other collecting repositories (collectively referred to in this document as ALMHs). This information already exists in the databases of the partner institutions and generally includes the three elements needed for the purposes of this project: institution name, address, and contact person.
(2) To develop and test the survey instrument. Questions believed to be most relevant to Georgia’s repositories will be selected from the HHI, and additional questions will be proposed by the grant partners, to develop a survey instrument. Once the survey is developed, it will be tested on a representative sample of institutions so that, in the implementation phase, it can be used to eventually survey each cultural institution statewide and issue a Georgia version of the Heritage Health Index. After the testing phase the consultant will revise the survey as needed. It is anticipated that (during implementation) the survey will be conducted via the internet to maximize the response rate using a tool such as Survey Monkey.
(3) To develop a stair step-type chart, as part of the survey instrument, by which repositories may self-assess their location within the continuum of collections care and emergency preparedness goals. The survey will be designed so that each repository can locate itself on a stair-stepped chart by means of selected questions similar to those found in the HHI itself. For example, within the area of Preservation, the steps might be organized as follows (this is for example purposes only; no ranking has yet been determined):
It is anticipated that this step may engender the most lively discussions among the partners, but if it is successful, it could provide the basis for measuring progress over the coming years. Training and other forms of assistance could be better planned if it were known, for instance, that the vast majority of libraries are on Step 2 and need to be brought up to Step 3.
(4) To expand the database behind the Historical Organizations and Resources Directory to include information relative to all ALMH repositories, rather than its current limitation to archival repositories. Currently, the GHRAB Historical Organizations and Resources Directory includes primarily repositories of historical records. Expanding and populating the fields in the database to include information pertinent to all collections-holding institutions in Georgia, is a major component of the planning grant. The expansion, though, will not be onerous in that most of the elements in the Directory—fields for public hours, collecting strengths, and such—already apply to most collecting institutions. It is anticipated that a very limited number of fields must be added. For example, a “type of repository” field will be added to distinguish museums from other types of repositories.
(5) To consult with tourism agencies about how best to relay Directory information to potential ALMH visitors. The Directory contains a wealth of information of interest to potential ALMH visitors, and one goal of this project is to involve tourism authorities with ALMHs in a discussion about how best to use that information to encourage visitation.
When the planning phase is completed, the goals of the long-term implementation project are to (1) complete the survey in every cultural institution statewide, (2) issue a Georgia version of the Heritage Health Index using the stair-steps to graphically demonstrate the state of Georgia’s collections care, (3) update the Historical Organizations and Resources Directory to include all collections-holding institutions in Georgia (4) map those institutions in the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s GIS system, and (5) link the Directory information to the state’s Tourism agencies to promote the importance of cultural resources in the state. On an ongoing basis, the state’s ALMH agencies and associations will use the stair step information to plan the steps required to move all collections-holding institutions to the next step in the Collections Care and Emergency Preparedness Stair and keep the Directory entries current.