Cultural Property Security

Protecting Museums, Historic Sites, Archives, and Libraries

By Daniel J. Benny

© 2012 – CRC Press

232 pages | 50 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9781466558182
pub: 2012-12-19
US Dollars$87.95

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

The protection and security of cultural properties is of primary concern to the thousands of federal, state, county, city, and private institutions entrusted with housing and displaying our national heritage and history of our society. Cultural property security is of global importance as well, with tens of thousands of institutions internationally tasked with protecting and maintaining relics and artifacts of social, cultural, and historical significance.

Cultural Property Security offers powerful protection guidelines to security departments tasked with safeguarding popular historical sites, museums, and libraries and the historical artifacts they house. Presenting practical, ready-to-implement solutions in a clear writing style, the book:

  • Provides a working definition of cultural properties
  • Identifies the threats against cultural properties from crime and terrorism, particularly in regions with political or civil unrest
  • Offers guidance in threat assessment
  • Identifies the physical security measures and technology that can be used to protect such institutions
  • Presents guidelines for establishing a protective service department for cultural properties
  • Describes proper arrest and post-arrest protocols
  • Includes a list of online resources for further information related to the protection of cultural properties

Complete with dozens of photos, the book establishes leading industry best practices to identify the various threats to cultural properties and protect them.

Dr. Daniel J. Benny has more than 35 years of security management experience and has served as a Director of Protective Services for the state of Pennsylvania’s Historic and Museum Commission. His insight is invaluable to those responsible for securing these institutions from internal and external threats.


While the focus of this book is cultural property protection, the author uses a method that allows the reader to use the asset protection process in most, if not all, other areas requiring security … outlining a plan that highlights all the necessary stages to create and implement a security program in a clear, no-nonsense style. … 4 out of 5 stars.

–Book review appearing in Security Management

Table of Contents

Importance of Cultural Property Protection: Museums, Historic Sites, Archives, and Libraries



Private Museums

Local Museums

County Museums

State Museums

National Museums

Military Museums

Historic Sites

Private, Local, and County Historic Sites

State Historic Sites

National Historic Sites


Private, Local and County Archives

State Archives

National Archives


Private Libraries

Campus Libraries

Local Libraries

County Libraries

State Libraries

National Libraries



Security Threats to Museums, Historic Sites, Archives, and Libraries

Security Threats to Museums

Security Threats to Historic Sites

Security Threats to Archives

Security Threats to Libraries

Security Threats to Individuals

Workplace Violence

Prevention of Violence in the Workplace

Identification of Behavioral Indicators

Threats from Terrorism

Target Selection

Counter Terrorism

Signs of Terrorism

Physical Security Protection for Museums, Historic Sites, Archives, and Libraries

Intrusion and Fire Detection Systems

Security Cameras

Determining Total System Costs

Design Costs

Installation Costs

Operational Costs

IT Costs

Maintenance Costs

Replacement Costs

Cost–Benefit Analysis

Cost of Loss

Prevention Costs

Return on Investment

Lock and Key Control

Mechanical Locks

Wafer Tumbler Locks

Dial Combination Locks

High Security Dead Bolt Locks

Card Access Electrified Locks

Exit Locks

Master Locking Systems

Control of Keys and Locking Devices

Security Barriers and Fencing

Security Lighting

Protection of Windows and Utility Ports

Radio Frequency Identification, Magnetometers, and

X-Ray Devices

Protection of Artifacts

Artifacts on Display

Artifacts in Storage

Artifacts in Transit

Protection of Books, Publications, Documents, and


Internet Protection

Security Department Organization and Operation Chief Security Officer

Determining Size of Department


Legal Authorization to Protect Property

Property Profile and Security Threats

Proprietary Security Force

Contract Security Force

Uniforms and Identification

Staff and Visitor Identification

Protective Equipment

Use of Force Continuum



Report Procedures

Protection of Department Information

Lost and Found

Ethics and Conduct




Professional Certifications

Recruitment and Supervision


Service Calls

Vehicle Stops


Approaching Suspect Vehicle with Patrol Vehicle

Felony Vehicle Inquiries

Use of Force


Oleoresin Capsicum (OC)

Extremities as Defensive Weapons




Apprehension and Arrest

Court Testimony

Security Information Center

Dealing with Media

Appendix: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Library

Theft Act

(Act 95 of Session 1982, 18 Purdon’s Statutes §3929.1) House Bill 671

Safety and Fire Protection

General Safety Policy

Safety Culture

Safety Program

Safety Coordinator

Fire Protection


Protection Equipment

Fire Evacuation Plans and Drills

Employee and Visitor Protection Measures

Right-To-Know Worker Protection Act

Bloodborne Pathogens Act


Hazardous Waste Management

Emergency Responses

Medical Emergencies

Responding to Medical Emergencies

Treatment of Victim

Vehicle Accidents



Fire Fighting

Gas Leaks

Important Safety Precautions

Severe Weather and Natural Disasters

Bomb Threats

Notification and Evacuation

Bomb Search

Return to Facility

Hostage Situations

Appendix A: Cultural Property Resources

Professional Cultural Property Security Organizations

Professional Cultural Property Organizations

Regional and State Museum Conferences and


Regional Conservation Guilds and Associations

Cultural Property Journals and Publications

Cultural Property Funding Organizations

Cultural Property Organizations for Reporting Thefts

Appendix B: Cultural Property Physical Security Checklist

Perimeter Barriers

Protective Lighting

Intrusion Detection System

Security Communications

Personnel Identification and Control

Lock Security

Security Force

Appendix C: Cultural Property Key Control Program Checklist

A. Control measures

B. Custodians appointed in writing for

C. Quarterly inspections

D. Access roster

E. Keys and padlocks

F. Key depositories

G. Combination locks

H. Seals and bands

I. Lock specifications

Appendix D: Cultural Property Security Force Checklist

Security Operation

In-House Security Department

Contract Security

Administration Issues


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Facility Management
LAW / Forensic Science