Universal Procedure for Library Assessment (UPLA)

Partituur aangetast door inktvraat

Through random sampling, the Universal Procedure for Library Assessment (UPLA) provides insight in the physical condition of a library collection and the accessibility of its items.


UPLA assesses damage on the collection level. Three hundred randomly selected items are evaluated in twenty-three damage categories.

Two basic questions are answered for each item and each of the damage categories:

  • Is the damage moderate or serious?
  • Is the item at risk for further damage when made accessible?

A statistical analysis of these answers results in a damage chart for the collection as a whole.

The assessment can be performed by nonspecialists who receive a basic training. It was designed to be executed fast and efficiently.


UPLA considers only those types of damage which give cause to preventative measures. Thus, an UPLA assessment forms the ideal basis for the development and execution of a preservation plan.

The assessment outcome clarifies what the general conservation needs of a collection are. It provides insight in the conservation workload on a policy level. By repeating the assessment periodically, the development of damages (like acidification) within a library collection can be charted over time.


UPLA can be applied to a library as a whole or to a sub-collection. Photographs, charters, maps and modern information carriers (CDs, tapes, etc.) are disregarded by the assessment, but  newspapers and unbound (archival) materials are included. In principle, only catalogued items are evaluated, but UPLA can also be applied to collections that have not yet been adequately described.

For the moment, the UPLA documentation is available in Dutch only.

Soort activiteit 
01-2010 - 12-2018
Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheken
  • Activiteit
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  • 12-09-2014