A vintage silk women's umbrella or parasol, which is opened and has alternating panels of mauve and floral design.
Image courtesy of Miss Porter's House - National Trust (NSW), a 2020 & 2022 Community Heritage Grants recipient

To prepare for a significance assessment or a preservation needs assessment, take the following steps before your assessor arrives:

  1. Clearly define the purpose for undertaking the assessment.

    Prepare a written project brief including the name of your organisation, the project title, date, author or brief and contact details for the organisation. It should also include background information about the organisation, project and funding application.

  2. Read pages 58 – 62 of Significance 2.0 – A Guide to Assessing the Significance of Cultural Heritage Objects and Collections to familiarise yourself with the methodology.
  3. Review the report templates and make sure that the assessor is aware of the requirements.
  4. Clearly define the extent of the assessment to be undertaken.

    Will the assessment consider all or part of a collection or selected objects? If the whole collection is to be assessed, how will it be physically undertaken? If the collection is large, clearly define the scope of the assessment.

  5. Clearly identify the material before the assessor arrives. Arrange a suitable working space. Valuable time is lost when objects and documentation cannot be found or working space is inadequate.
  6. Gather together all relevant documentation and provide it to the assessor before their visit. This might include your application and grant details, catalogues, details about the material and transcripts of interviews about the stories associated with the collection
  7. Contact anyone who may be required to provide information to the assessor and make sure they are available for consultation.
  8. Make sure the assessor has full access to the collection for the specified period of time.

More information on significance assessments can be found in a series of webinars that were developed for CHG recipients. Log in as a guest to view them.


Significance assessment report

The significance assessment should clearly identify the history, themes, importance, meaning and value of the collection. If you intend to apply for future CHG grants, you will be required to submit this report with your application.

Preservation needs assessment report

This report should enable your organisation to develop a conservation program. The Australian Institution of Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) have developed a template for use by all conservators. This template must be followed by all conservators preparing a preservation needs assessment for a CHG recipient.

Conservation and collection management activities

When your organisation has completed a preservation needs assessment, you may then apply for funding to undertake the projects recommended in your report.

If you’re applying for digitisation funding, organisations are encouraged to upload images to their websites and social media and, where possible, contribute their digitised collections to Trove.

Please read the CHG Guidelines for details of eligible activities and what supporting information is required in the application.

Further information and resources

Further information and links on conservation, digitisation, climate control, lighting and disaster planning are provided below.

National cultural institutions and professional associations

Other resources



Climate control and lighting

Conservation supplies

The following suppliers provide a range of archive products. The National Library of Australia does not endorse them or accept responsibility for the quality of their products.