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Finding Common Ground

Risk Assessment for Cultural Heritage Collections

Risk Assessment covers the topic from both the institutional and the municipal perspective, how the two sectors can work together, hazards both external to and within collections, and an introduction to the Risk Evaluation and Planning Program (REPP) worksheets developed by Heritage Preservation and now maintained by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (

During the workshop, time is set aside for participants, with the guidance of the instructors, to perform a risk assessment at the host institution to orient them to the process. Each participant is then encouraged to complete the worksheets for their own institution as homework. Once the forms are complete, the institution is encouraged to arrange a site visit by their local fire chief to review the facilities and the assessment checklist, beginning the all- important relationship between the institution and the fire department. This exercise also permits the emergency management director or first responders to gain an understanding of the institution’s layout and areas of potential risk or importance when fighting a fire.