Conservation Assessment Program


To support the efforts of museums to conserve the nation's historic, scientific, and cultural heritage. The Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) is supported through a cooperative agreement between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Heritage Preservation, Inc.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 03/03/2014 (Archived.)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Institute of Museum and Library Services
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Direct Payments for Specified Use
(Cooperative Agreements).
Program Accomplishments
In FY 08, 101 museums participated in the program.
Museum and Library Services Act, codified at 20 U.S.C. Section 9101 et seq.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
A museum located in the 50 states of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, The Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau, or the District of Columbia may apply for a grant under this Act. A public or private nonprofit organization, such as a municipality, college, or university which is responsible for the operation of a museum, if necessary, may apply on behalf of the museum. A museum operated by a department or agency of the Federal government is not eligible to apply. Under the IMLS definition, a museum is a public or private nonprofit institution which is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or aesthetic purposes and which, using a professional staff: (1) Owns or uses tangible objects, whether animate or inanimate; (2) cares for these objects; and (3) exhibits them to the general public on a regular basis. A museum must have at least one staff member, paid or unpaid, who devotes his or her time primarily to the acquisition, care or exhibition of objects. The definition makes clear that the term "museum" includes aquariums and zoological parks; botanical gardens and arboretums; nature centers; art, history, (including historic buildings and sites), natural history, children's, general and specialized museums, science and technology centers and planetariums.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Public and private nonprofit museums benefit.
Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations also applies.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
The standard application forms as furnished by Heritage Preservation, Inc. must be used for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
To participate in CAP, a museum must contact Heritage Preservation, Inc., 1012 14th Street, N.W., Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005. Telephone: (202) 233-0800. Fax: (202) 233-0807.
Award Procedure
Proposals for participation are reviewed by Heritage Preservation, Inc.
December 1.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Five months.
Appeals may be made in writing to the director of Heritage Preservation, Inc.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
To participate in CAP, a museum must contact Heritage Preservation, Inc., 1012 14th Street, N.W., Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005. Telephone: (202) 233-0800. Fax: (202) 233-0807.
How may assistance be used?
CAP funds an overall assessment of the conditions of a museum's environment and collections to identify conservation needs and priorities.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Participants submit a final report to Heritage Preservation, Inc.
Audits not required for application.
Grant and contract recipients will be required to maintain standard financial statements.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
45 CFR 1180. CAP is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. CAP museums share a percentage of the cost of the assessment.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Headquarters Office
Institute of Museum and Library Services, 1800 M Street, N.W., Ninth Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802. Contact: Christine Henry, Telephone: (202) 653-4674, E-mail:
Website Address;
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Grants) FY 07 $807,000; FY 08 $793,000; and FY 09 est $814,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
In FY 08, 101 museums participated in the program.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
See the IMLS Web site at for the latest program data.
Examples of Funded Projects
CAP is appropriate for small to medium-sized museums. All types of museums, including historic houses, botanical gardens, anthropology museums, ethnic museums, and zoos are eligible to participate in CAP.