Historic preservation

Historic preservation is an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance. Other names for the discipline or sub-disciplines include urban conservation, landscape preservation, built environment conservation, built heritage conservation, object conservation, and immovable object conservation; within English-speaking countries "historic preservation" is generally used by speakers in the United States to refer to what is known in other dialects as "heritage conservation" or "heritage preservation". As such, this article focuses on the particular movement and regulatory regime that evolved under that term in the United States.

As used by practitioners of the endeavor, "historic preservation" tends to refer to the preservation of the built environment, and not to preservation of, for example, primeval forests or wilderness.


In England, antiquarian interests were a familiar gentleman's pursuit since the mid 17th century, developing in tandem with the rise in scientific curiosity. Fellows of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 were often also Femllows of the Society of Antiquaries
Society of Antiquaries of London
The Society of Antiquaries of London is a learned society "charged by its Royal Charter of 1751 with 'the encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries'." It is based at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London , and is...


The first Ancient Monuments Protection Act was adopted in 1882. The UK's Ancient Monuments Act (1913) officially preserved certain decayed and obsolete structures of intrinsic historical and associative interest, just as modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 was lending moral authority to destruction of the built heritage in the name of progress. The UK's National Trust
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

 began with the preservation of historic houses and has steadily increased its scope. In the UK's subsequent Town and Country Planning Act 1944, and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
Town and Country Planning Act 1990
The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is an act of the British Parliament regulating the development of land in England and Wales-Section 1:...

, steps were taken toward historic preservation on an unprecedented scale. Concern about the demolition of historic buildings arose in institutions such as the pressure group The Society for the Preservation of Historic Buildings
The Society for the Preservation of Historic Buildings
The Society for the Preservation of Historic Buildings of the United Kingdom was founded initially as a pressure group to counter the demolition of historic buildings and it resolved later to acquire historically significant properties in order to maintain and protect them itself.In a 2007 merger,...

, which appealed against demolition and neglect on a case by case basis.

In the United States one of the first historic preservation efforts was the
Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site
Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site
Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site is a historic site in Newburgh, New York, USA. It consists of the Hasbrouck House, the longest-serving headquarters of George Washington during the American Revolutionary War, and three other structures....

, in Newburgh, New York. It was the first-ever property designated as a historic site by a U.S. state.

Another early Historic Preservation undertaking was that of George Washington's Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon
The name Mount Vernon is a dedication to the English Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon. It was first applied to Mount Vernon, the Virginia estate of George Washington, the first President of the United States...

 in 1858. Founded in 1889, the Richmond, Virginia-based Preservation Virginia (formerly known as the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities) was the United States' first statewide historic preservation group.

The architectural firm of Simons & Lapham (Albert Simons and Samuel Lapham
Samuel Lapham VI
Samuel Lapham VI was born on 23 September 1892 in Charleston, South Carolina to Samuel Lapham V and Annie Grey Soule...

) was influential in creating the first historic preservation ordinance in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

 in 1930, affording that city a regulatory means by which to prevent the destruction of its historic building stock. In 1925, efforts to preserve the historic buildings of the French Quarter
French Quarter
The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. When New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré as it was known then...

 in New Orleans led to the creation of the Vieux Carré Commission and later, to the adoption of a historic preservation ordinance.

National movement

The US National Trust for Historic Preservation
National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is an American member-supported organization that was founded in 1949 by congressional charter to support preservation of historic buildings and neighborhoods through a range of programs and activities, including the publication of Preservation...

, another privately funded non-profit organization
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

, began in 1949 with a handful of privileged structures and has developed goals that provide "leadership, education, advocacy, and resources to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize our communities" according to the Trust's mission statement. In 1951 the Trust assumed responsibility for its first museum property, Woodlawn Plantation
Woodlawn Plantation
Woodlawn Plantation is a historic home located in Fairfax County, Virginia, and was originally a part of Mount Vernon, George Washington's historic plantation estate....

 in northern Virginia
Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia consists of several counties and independent cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in a widespread region generally radiating southerly and westward from Washington, D.C...

. Twenty-eight sites in all have subsequently become part of the National Trust, representing the cultural diversity
Cultural diversity
Cultural diversity is having different cultures respect each other's differences. It could also mean the variety of human societies or cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole...

 of American history. In New York City, the destruction of Pennsylvania Station
Pennsylvania Station (New York City)
Pennsylvania Station—commonly known as Penn Station—is the major intercity train station and a major commuter rail hub in New York City. It is one of the busiest rail stations in the world, and a hub for inbound and outbound railroad traffic in New York City. The New York City Subway system also...

 in 1964 shocked many nationwide into supporting preservation. On an international level, the New York-based World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund is a private, international, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic architecture and cultural heritage sites around the world through fieldwork, advocacy, grantmaking, education, and training....

 was founded in 1965 to preserve historic sites all over the world.

Under the direction of James Marston Fitch
James Marston Fitch
James Marston Fitch was an architect and a Preservationist, one of the founders of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in 1964. He was a member of the faculty there from 1954 to 1977, and received an honorary Litt.D. in 1980...

, the first advanced-degree historic preservation program began at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 in 1964. It became the model on which most other graduate historic preservation programs were created. Many other programs were to follow before 1980: M.A. in Preservation Planning from Cornell (1975); M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont
University of Vermont
The University of Vermont comprises seven undergraduate schools, an honors college, a graduate college, and a college of medicine. The Honors College does not offer its own degrees; students in the Honors College concurrently enroll in one of the university's seven undergraduate colleges or...

 (1975); M.S. in Historic Preservation Studies from Boston University
Boston University
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...

 (1976); M.S. in Historic Preservation from Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University is a comprehensive, co-educational public university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Ypsilanti is west of Detroit and eight miles east of Ann Arbor. The university was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School...

 (1979) and M.F.A. in Historic Preservation was one of the original programs at Savannah College of Art & Design. The M.Sc. in Building Conservation degree program is offered by the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Stephen Van Rensselaer established the Rensselaer School on November 5, 1824 with a letter to the Rev. Dr. Samuel Blatchford, in which van Rensselaer asked Blatchford to serve as the first president. Within the letter he set down several orders of business. He appointed Amos Eaton as the school's...

 in Troy, New York. In 2005, Clemson University and the College of Charleston created an M.S. degree program based in Charleston, SC. The first undergraduate programs (B.A.) appeared in 1977 from Goucher College
Goucher College
Goucher College is a private, co-educational, liberal arts college located in the northern Baltimore suburb of Towson in unincorporated Baltimore County, Maryland, on a 287 acre campus. The school has approximately 1,475 undergraduate students studying in 31 majors and six interdisciplinary...

 and Roger Williams College, followed by Mary Washington College in 1979. Today there are three community colleges that offer an Associates Degree in Historic Preservation; Colorado Mountain College
Colorado Mountain College
Colorado Mountain College is a network of seven junior college campuses in western Colorado. Three of the campuses are residential campuses with student residence halls and cafeterias, and are located in Steamboat Springs, Leadville, Edwards and Glenwood Springs...

 in Leadville, Colorado
Leadville, Colorado
Leadville is a Statutory City that is the county seat of, and the only municipality in, Lake County, Colorado, United States. Situated at an elevation of , Leadville is the highest incorporated city and the second highest incorporated municipality in the United States...

, College of the Redwoods
College of the Redwoods
College of the Redwoods is a public two-year community college whose main campus, comprising , is located on the southernmost edge of Eureka in Humboldt County, California. This sprawling site is spacious and distinctive in its modernistic use of massive, exposed wooden support beams in each...

 in Eureka, California
Eureka, California
Eureka is the principal city and the county seat of Humboldt County, California, United States. Its population was 27,191 at the 2010 census, up from 26,128 at the 2000 census....

, and Belmont Technical College
Belmont Technical College
Belmont Technical College is a two year public college, main campus is located west of St. Clairsville, Ohio on National Road. The college was founded in 1971 and has served the Ohio Valley communities for over 30 years....

 in St. Clairsville, Ohio
St. Clairsville, Ohio
St. Clairsville is a city in Belmont County, Ohio in the United States. It is part of the Wheeling, West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 5,057 at the 2000 census. This county seat of Belmont County has been nicknamed "Paradise on the Hill." St. Clairsville was named after...


National Register of Historic Places

Historic districts

A historic district in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 is a group of buildings, properties or sites that have been designated by one of several entities on different levels as historically or architecturally significant. Buildings, structures, objects and sites within a historic district are normally divided into two categories, contributing
Contributing property
In the law regulating historic districts in the United States, a contributing resource or contributing property is any building, structure, or object which adds to the historical integrity or architectural qualities that make the historic district, listed locally or federally, significant...

 and non-contributing. Districts greatly vary in size, some having hundreds of structures while others have just a few.

The U.S. federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 designates historic districts through the U.S. Department of Interior, under the auspices of the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

. Federally designated historic districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Historic districts allows rural areas to preserve their characters through historic preservation programs. These include "Main Street" programs that can be used to redevelop rural downtowns. Using historic preservation programs as an economic development tool for local governments in rural areas has enabled some of those areas to take advantage of their history and develop a tourism market that in turn provides funds for maintaining an economic stability that these areas would not have seen otherwise.

A similar concept exists in the United Kingdom: a Conservation area
Conservation area
A conservation areas is a tract of land that has been awarded protected status in order to ensure that natural features, cultural heritage or biota are safeguarded...

 is designated in accordance with the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
The Planning Act 1990 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom that altered the laws on granting of planning permission for building works, notably including those of the listed building system in England and Wales....

 in order to protect a zone in which there are buildings of architectural or cultural heritage
Cultural heritage
Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations...


National Park Service

The United States led the world in the creation of National Parks, areas of unspoiled natural wilderness, where the intrusion of civilization are intentionally minimal.

The department of the interior designated several areas of Morristown, New Jersey
Morristown, New Jersey
Morristown is a town in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town population was 18,411. It is the county seat of Morris County. Morristown became characterized as "the military capital of the American Revolution" because of its strategic role in the...

 as the first historic park in the United States national park system. It became designated as the Morristown National Historical Park
Morristown National Historical Park
Morristown National Historical Park consists of three sites, the Ford Mansion, Fort Nonsense, and Jockey Hollow that were important during the American Revolutionary War, which began in 1775 and was ended in 1783 by the Treaty of Paris...

. http://www.nps.gov/morr/ The community had permanent settlements that date to 1715, is termed the military capital of the American Revolution, and contains many designations of sites and locations. The park includes three major sites in Morristown.

In addition to preserving the natural heritage, the National Park Service also maintains the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 to recognize significant buildings and places, including historic parks, battlefields, National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

s, memorials and monuments.

Relationship to international systems

Landscapes and sites of outstanding universal value can be designated as World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s. A requirement of such designation is that the designating nation has appropriate legislation in place to preserve them.

Heritage conservation in Canada

In Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the phrase “heritage preservation” is sometimes seen as a specific approach to the treatment of historic places and sites, rather than a general concept of conservation. “Conservation” is taken as the more general term, referring to all actions or processes that are aimed at safeguarding the character-defining elements of a cultural resource so as to retain its heritage value and extend its physical life.

Historic objects in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 may be granted special designation by any of the three levels of government: the federal government
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, formally Her Majesty's Government, is the system whereby the federation of Canada is administered by a common authority; in Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council...

, the provincial governments
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

, or a municipal government.
The Heritage Canada Foundation acts as Canada's lead advocacy organization for heritage buildings and landscapes.

Influential people

  • Ann Pamela Cunningham
    Ann Pamela Cunningham
    Ann Pamela Cunningham is credited with saving George Washington's beloved home Mount Vernon from ruin and neglect. In a letter to Ann Pamela, Cunningham's mother described the crumbling condition of the estate as she saw it in 1853 while on a steamship heading down the Potomac River...

     (1816–1875): influential in saving Mount Vernon (plantation)
    Mount Vernon (plantation)
    Mount Vernon, located near Alexandria, Virginia, was the plantation home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. The mansion is built of wood in neoclassical Georgian architectural style, and the estate is located on the banks of the Potomac River.Mount Vernon was designated...

     from demolition and founding the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, one of the first preservation organizations in the United States (est. 1854).
  • James Marston Fitch
    James Marston Fitch
    James Marston Fitch was an architect and a Preservationist, one of the founders of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in 1964. He was a member of the faculty there from 1954 to 1977, and received an honorary Litt.D. in 1980...

    : educator, author, critic and design practitioner made a major contribution to the philosophical basis of the modern preservation movement and trained and inspired generations of preservationists.
  • Carolyn Kent
    Carolyn Kent
    Carolyn Wade Cassady Kent was an American historical preservationist and activist, who lived most of her life in New York City on Riverside Drive, one block west of her alma mater Columbia University...

     (1935-2009): Spearheaded the designation of the Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Historic District
    Sugar Hill Historic District (New York, New York)
    Sugar Hill Historic District is a historic district in the Washington Heights and/or Harlem Heights area of Manhattan. It is roughly bounded by W. 155th St., 145th St., Bradhurst Ave. and Convent Ave....

     in Harlem, New York, and co-founded the Morningside Heights Historic District Committee
  • William Morris: founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
    Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
    The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings was founded by William Morris, Philip Webb and J.J.Stevenson, and other notable members of the Pre Raphaelite brotherhood, in 1877, to oppose what they saw as the insensitive renovation of ancient buildings then occurring in Victorian...

  • W. Brown Morton: author of "The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings".
  • William J. Murtagh: first Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places
    National Register of Historic Places
    The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

     in the United States and significant contributor to the literature of the discipline http://www.aia.org/nwsltr_hrc.cfm?pagename=hrc_a_20060317_murtaugh
  • Lee H. Nelson: worked for Charles E. Peterson at the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey
    Historic American Buildings Survey
    The Historic American Buildings Survey , Historic American Engineering Record , and Historic American Landscapes Survey are programs of the National Park Service established for the purpose of documenting historic places. Records consists of measured drawings, archival photographs, and written...

     and helped to formulate national policies on historic preservation.
  • Charles E. Peterson
    Charles E. Peterson
    Charles Emil Peterson is widely considered to be a seminal figure in professionalizing the practice of historic preservation in the United States...

    : considered to be the "founding father" of historic preservation in the United States.
  • John Ruskin
    John Ruskin
    John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

    : established the basic theory of preservation (retention of status quo).
  • Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
    Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
    Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc was a French architect and theorist, famous for his interpretive "restorations" of medieval buildings. Born in Paris, he was a major Gothic Revival architect.-Early years:...

    : well known French architect who restored Gothic buildings; believed that restoration could improve on the past—especially with the introduction of modern technology.
  • Walter Muir Whitehill
    Walter Muir Whitehill
    Walter Muir Whitehill was an author, historian and the Director and Librarian of the Boston Athenaeum from 1946 to 1973. He was also editor for publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts from 1946 to 1978. From 1951 to 1972 Whitehill was a professor at Harvard University.Whitehill's...

    : Chair of the Whitehill Report in the late 1960s, which established the first guidelines for higher-ed historic preservation programs.


Although volunteers continue to play a large role in historic preservation activities, the field has seen an increased level of professionalization. Today, there are many career options in historic preservation in the public, non-profit, and private sectors. Institutes of secondary education (universities, colleges, etc.) in the United States offer both certificate and degree (A.A.S, B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

, B.F.A.
Bachelor of Fine Arts
In the United States and Canada, the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, usually abbreviated BFA, is the standard undergraduate degree for students seeking a professional education in the visual or performing arts. In some countries such a degree is called a Bachelor of Creative Arts or BCA...

, B.S.
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

, M.A.
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

, M.F.A.
Master of Fine Arts
A Master of Fine Arts is a graduate degree typically requiring 2–3 years of postgraduate study beyond the bachelor's degree , although the term of study will vary by country or by university. The MFA is usually awarded in visual arts, creative writing, filmmaking, dance, or theatre/performing arts...

, M.S.
Master of Science
A Master of Science is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The degree is typically studied for in the sciences including the social sciences.-Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay:...

, and PhD
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

) programs in historic preservation. Some students—at schools with such programs available—choose to enroll in "joint degree" programs, earning a degree in historic preservation along with one in another, related subject, often an MArch
Master of Architecture
The Master of Architecture is a professional degree in architecture, qualifying the graduate to move through the various stages of professional accreditation that result in receiving a license.-Overview:...

, MUP or JD
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...


Possible career fields include:
Architectural conservator: Focus specifically on the physical conservation of building materials. Most hold degrees in chemistry or materials science.
Architectural historian/historian: Primarily researches and writes statements expressing the historical significance of sites.
Historic preservation planner: Most are employed by local, county, state, or Federal government planning agencies to administer tax abatement programs, ensure compliance with local ordinances and state and Federal legislation, and conduct design reviews to ensure that proposed projects will not harm historic and archaeological resources. At the state level, they are known as a State Historic Preservation Officer
State Historic Preservation Officer
The State Historic Preservation Office was created in 1966 under Section 101 of the National Historic Preservation Act . The purposes of SHPO include surveying and recognizing historic properties, reviewing nominations for properties to be included in the National Register of Historic Places,...

 while at other levels of government they may be known as a Federal or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. Some may also serve as consultants to local governments, conducting Section 106
Town and Country Planning Act 1990
The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is an act of the British Parliament regulating the development of land in England and Wales-Section 1:...

 reviews in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966
The National Historic Preservation Act is legislation intended to preserve historical and archaeological sites in the United States of America...

Preservation architect: Design and develop architectural conservation plans and work specifications in consultation with Engineers, Historians, and Planners, ensuring compliance with local design guidelines to protect sensitive historic building fabric. Most are employed by private architecture firms though some find work with government agencies.
Preservation craftsperson/traditional trades practitioner
Traditional trades
Traditional trades is a loosely defined categorization of building trades who actively practice their craft in respect of historic preservation, heritage conservation, or the conserving and maintenance of the existing built environment...

: Employs knowledge of traditional building techniques and contemporary conservation technologies to complete the conservation, repair, or restoration of historic buildings.
Preservation engineer: Work with Architects to devise conservation solutions of a structural or material -specific nature. Most are employed by private architecture and/or engineering firms.
Public historian
Public Historian
There are two categories of public historians. The first, and most widely understood definition of a public historian is a practitioner of public history. This definition holds that public historians are generally regarded as those people who create history for public consumption; history as...

/resource interpreters
Heritage interpretation
Heritage interpretation is the communication of information about, or the explanation of, the nature, origin, and purpose of historical, natural, or cultural resources, objects, sites and phenomena using personal or non-personal methods....

: Most are employed by government agencies and private foundations to interpret the significance of historic resources for the general public.
Historic site administrator
Historic site
A historic site is an official location where pieces of political, military or social history have been preserved. Historic sites are usually protected by law, and many have recognized with the official national historic site status...

Non-profit sector careers: Engage in a variety of activities concerned with historic preservation advocacy, easements, and private foundations at the local, regional, statewide, or national levels.

Professional Organizations

  • American Institute of Architects
    American Institute of Architects
    The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image...

  • American Institute for Conservation
    American Institute for Conservation
    The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works supports the conservation professionals who preserve our cultural heritage...

  • American Planning Association
    American Planning Association
    The American Planning Association is a professional organization representing the field of city and regional planning in the United States. The APA was formed in 1978 when two separate professional planning organizations, the American Institute of Planners and the American Society of Planning...

  • International Council on Monuments and Sites
    International Council on Monuments and Sites
    The International Council on Monuments and Sites is a professional association that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world...

  • Preservation Trades Network
  • Society of Architectural Historians
    Society of Architectural Historians
    The Society of Architectural Historians is an international not-for-profit organization that promotes the study and preservation of the built environment worldwide....

External links

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