Heritage Health Index

Heritage Preservation is pleased to announce a follow-up to the 2004 Heritage Health Index. At the 10-year anniversary of that watershed report, Heritage Preservation has partnered with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities, together with support from foundations, to conduct the Heritage Health Information 2014 (HHI) to assess the current state of cultural heritage collections in 2014 and the change in preservation practices in U.S. institutions since the initial study. The HHI 2014 survey is expected to launch in the fall with a final report issued in 2015.


A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America’s Collections, was published in December 2005 and concluded that immediate action is needed to prevent the loss of 190 million artifacts that are in need of conservation treatment. The report made four recommendations:

Results of the Heritage Health Index, the first comprehensive survey to assess the condition and preservation needs of U.S. collections, attracted major media attention. The full report with appendices, selected data, and a downloadable PowerPoint presentation are posted on this Web site. With support from The Henry Luce Foundation, Heritage Preservation has also produced an analysis of Heritage Health Index data on American art collections.

A Public Trust at Risk provides an excellent opportunity for institutions to educate governing boards, local and state decision-makers, and community funders about the preservation of collections. Heritage Preservation is tracking how institutions have used the Heritage Health Index data to advocate for their collections. Please send your story to or via our brief, five-question feedback form.

The Heritage Health Index is a project of Heritage Preservation, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency.

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