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Are you qualified (by the government) to conserve?
- Subject: Are you qualified (by the government) to conserve?
- From: "Peter David Verheyen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 9 Feb 1995 07:46:18 -0500
- Message-Id: <email@example.com>
Congress amended the National Historic Preservation Act in 1992. THe
amendment requires the Secretary of the Interior to revise existing
professional qualification standards for disciplines including conservation,
not only of architectural elements, but also of books and paper. Under the
Secretary's proposal, a conservator would be required to have A MINIMUM OF A
GRADUATE DEGREE IN CONSERVATION PLUS ONE YEAR OF DEMONSTRABLE EXPERIENCE to
be considered qualified in historic preservation. A draft of this proposed
standard is available and open for comment until FEBRUARY 15th.
Full text relevant to book and paper conservation follows as well as other
revisions and guidelines.
Interior/Historic Preservation Professional Qualifications Standards Draft
DRAFT--HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
Secretary of the Interior
I would like to invite you to share with us your views on the enclosed proposed draft
revision of the Secretary of the Interior's "Historic Preservation Professional Qualification
Standards." Many of you have already given us your thoughts, and I thank you for your
valuable insights. If you have not yet been involved, I welcome you to our continuing
discussions on this important subject.
This proposed draft revision is our best synthesis at this time of diverse comments raised
during discussions with State Historic Preservation Offices, the federal Office of Personnel
Management, federal agency historic preservation staff, Tribal cultural preservationists,
local government historic preservation programs, professional societies, historic preservation
academic programs, and other interested parties. We recognize that this draft does not
reflect all views and opinions on the subject, and we want to broaden our discussions of
issues and solutions by inviting a wider range of organizations and individuals to get
involved. As always, we are most interested in your views, and we encourage you to
discuss the proposed draft with your historic preservation colleagues.
The proposed revisions to the Standards are on white paper in the enclosed material.
Highlights of key features of the proposed revisions are shown on the colored pages.
Please provide your comments by February 15, 1995 to the Preservation Planning
Branch, Attention: Susan L. Henry, Interagency Resources Division, National Park Service,
P.O. Box 37127, Washington, D.C. 20013-7127. Comments may also be sent by fax
(202-343-1836) or Internet (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have any questions, please
contact Sue Henry at (202) 343-9514.
de Teel Patterson Tiller
Acting Chief, Interagency Resources Division
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR'S
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR'S
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATION STANDARDS
A GRADUATE DEGREE IN CONSERVATION (OR A CLOSELY RELATED AREA OF
AT LEAST ONE YEAR OF DEMONSTRABLE EXPERIENCE IN APPLYING THE
METHODS AND PRACTICES OF CONSERVATION IN THE HISTORIC
Areas of study closely related to Conservation include, but are not limited to, Art
Conservation, Architectural Conservation, Textiles Conservation, and Object Conservation.
Demonstrable experience in applying the methods and practices of Conservation in the
historic preservation arena includes, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Scholarly research, publications, papers, or similar research and writings on the
theory or practices of conservation of material culture significant to the history or
prehistory of the United States and its Territories; OR,
2. Teaching the theory or practices of Conservation of material culture significant to
the history or prehistory of the United States and its Territories; OR,
3. Administrative, project review, or supervisory experience in an historic
preservation program or office (academic institution, historical organization or agency,
museum, cultural resources management consulting firm, or similar professional
institution) with direct experience in the conservation of material culture
significant to the history or prehistory of the United States and its Territories; OR,
4. Field or laboratory work in Conservation that emphasizes the treatment or
documentation of historic material culture, historic properties, or the historic or
prehistoric built environment of the United States and its Territories.
WHAT ARE THE SECRETARY'S "PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATION STANDARDS?"
The Secretary of the Interior is charged with developing standards and guidance for the
practice of historic preservation under the National Historic Preservation Act. The Secretary
has delegated this responsibility to the National Park Service. The "Professional
Qualification Standards" are one part of the Secretary's "Standards and Guidelines for
Archeology and Historic Preservation."
The protection and preservation of this nation's significant historic and cultural properties
depends upon the participation of all our citizens. However, certain decisions affecting
these properties need to be made by individuals meeting nationally recognized credentials
in order to secure the credibility of historic preservation within the larger public arena at
the federal, state, and local levels, as well as in the private sector.
The Secretary of the Interior's "Professional Qualification Standards" describe in terms of
academic attainment, training, and experience minimum professional standards for a
number of professional disciplines routinely practicing in historic preservation today. These
Standards are neither "entry-level" nor do they describe qualifications for pre-eminent
master professionals in the field. Rather, they describe the minimum education and
experience which, in the opinion of the Secretary of the Interior, qualifies select
individuals to produce professionally credible and competent work within both the historic
preservation arena and in the larger public arena nationwide.
PLEASE NOTE: THESE STANDARDS ARE ADVISORY.
THEY ARE NOT REQUIREMENTS FOR PRACTICING HISTORIC PRESERVATION
EXCEPT WHERE THEY ARE MADE REQUIREMENTS BY FEDERAL, STATE, OR
LOCAL GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS OR PROCEDURES, OR BY PRIVATE
ORGANIZATION PERSONNEL RULES. (For more information, see the last page in this
package, "Proposed Revisions, Uses of the Standards.")
WHY ARE THE STANDARDS BEING REVISED?
The practice of historic preservation has evolved and matured since the Standards were
first established in the 1970s, and it is appropriate to up-date them. In addition, Congress
amended the National Historic Preservation Act in 1992, calling for the revision of the
existing professional qualifications standards and the establishment of standards for
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE REVISION PROJECT?
* In keeping with Vice President Al Gore's "Reinventing Government," to provide
States and local governments with the flexibility to respond to their needs by expanding
board and commission expertise from among the broad spectrum of professional
disciplines working in historic preservation.
* To up-date and expand the Secretary's "Professional Qualification Standards"
within the context of contemporary historic preservation thinking and practice.
* To relate the "Professional Qualification Standards" specifically to work in
* To strengthen the credibility of work in historic preservation as it is viewed by
professionals not only in each discipline, but also by others working in and associated
with historic preservation.
* To provide guidance on recognizing appropriate skills and experience necessary
for credible historic preservation work.
HOW ARE THE STANDARDS BEING REVISED?
The materials in this package represent one step in the continuing, lengthy revision
process that will eventually result in an official notice in the Federal Register requesting
comments, followed by subsequent revision and publication of the final version of the
Standards. You will have several opportunities to participate in refining these draft
The National Park Service has spoken with a number of relevant professional societies,
the Office of Personnel Management and other federal agencies, the Federal Preservation
Forum, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, several State
Historic Preservation Offices, local government historic preservation programs, American
Indian Tribes, and the National Council on Preservation Education to identify issues. These
discussions formed the basis for an initial draft revision of the Standards. We circulated
this early draft to those we had spoken with, and asked for their feedback.
The proposed draft revision in this package is the result of that feedback. We recognize
that this current draft does not represent all possible views on the subject. Therefore, we
are now sending this out to a much wider range of groups and organizations for additional
input. It is important that the views and opinions of those of you who have an interest in
this subject are reflected in the final product. We encourage you to review these materials,
talk with your colleagues in historic preservation, and share with us your views and
opinions. We look forward to hearing from you.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Sue Henry by phone
(202-343-9514), by fax (202- 343-1836), via Internet (email@example.com), or in writing to
Ms. Henry at the Preservation Planning Branch, Interagency Resources Division, National
Park Service, P.O. Box 37127, Washington, D.C. 20013-7127
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR'S "PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATION
(These current Standards are found in 36 CFR 61 Appendix A and in the Secretary of
the Interior's "Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation" in
Federal Register v.48 n.190 Part IV p.44738-44739, September 30, 1983.)
The minimum professional qualifications in history are a graduate degree in history or
closely related field; or a bachelor's degree in history or closely related field plus one of
the following: 1. At least two years of full-time experience in research, writing,
teaching, interpretation or other demonstrable professional activity with an academic
institution, historical organization or agency, museum, or other professional institution;
or, 2. Substantial contribution through research and publication to the body of
PROPOSED REVISION SUMMARY HIGHLIGHTS
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR'S PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATION
Archeology (Prehistoric & Historic)
Archaeology is split in two:
Historic Architecture is dropped*
Land Use/Community Planning
Traditional Cultural Property Expertise
* Historic Architecture has been dropped because the need in the current standards for a
discipline that combines the expertise of architecture and historic preservation is met in the
proposed Standards by requiring historic preservation in the experience category.
+ a graduate degree in the discipline
+ a graduate degree in the discipline
+ PLUS additional experience.
+ NONE with a graduate degree (except archeology). + Where an
undergraduate degree is an option, one to two years additional experience in
research, scholarship, or similar pursuits at a university, museum, or history-related
o one year of demonstrable experience in historic preservation by:
1. Scholarly research and publications; or 2. Teaching; or
3. Administration, project review, or supervision in an
historic preservation program or office; or 4. Field work.
Experience must have focused on the historic/prehistoric places or
material culture of the United States and its Territories.
PROPOSED REVISIONS SUMMARY HIGHLIGHTS USES OF THE SECRETARY OF
THE INTERIOR'S "PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATION STANDARDS"
THERE IS NO CHANGE:
The Secretary's "Professional Qualification Standards" are still intended to provide advice
about minimum education and experience needed to produce professionally credible and
competent work in historic preservation. The Standards are neither "entry-level" nor do
they describe qualifications for pre-eminent master professionals in the field. Users of these
Standards are free to enhance them with additional educational and experience
qualifications that may be needed in certain situations.
These Standards are broadly used throughout the national historic preservation program
by federal agencies, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, State Historic
Preservation Offices, Certified Local Governments, and others. For example:
Agreements made under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation
Act routinely call for the Standards to be used in designing contracts, scopes of work,
employee position descriptions, and components of federal agency preservation
The Standards are used by local governments in establishing professional
qualifications for preservation employees and contractors in determining the adequacy
of project proposals by preservation groups, architect and engineering firms, and
The use of the Standards is required in State Historic Preservation Office
programs through federal regulation (36 CFR 61; see reverse of this page).
The Standards are routinely used by federal agencies, programs, and
installations in developing and carrying out historic preservation programs.
The Standards DO NOT dictate who can prepare National Register nominations.
The Standards DO NOT dictate who can be hired (with the few exceptions noted above).
The Standards DO NOT represent minimum qualifications for entry-level positions.
The Standards DO NOT dictate Federal agency hiring practices UNLESS other Federal
regulations and/or agency policies and procedures require the use of these Standards.
PROPOSED REVISIONS TO FEDERAL REGULATIONS (36 CFR 61) FOR STATE
HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE PROGRAMS IN RESPONSE TO PROPOSED
REVISION OF THE STANDARDS
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE STAFF
* THERE IS NO CHANGE. SHPO Offices are still required to have a minimum of
three full- time professional disciplines on staff: one Historian, one Architectural Historian,
and one Archaeologist (either Historical or Prehistoric).
STATE REVIEW BOARD MEMBERSHIP
* PROPOSED CHANGES:
* FOUR (instead of five) professional disciplines are required to be represented on
the Board: (1) Archaeologist, (2) Architectural Historian, (3) Architect, and (4)
* The Archaeologist may be EITHER an Historical Archaeologist OR a Prehistoric
* The current requirement that the majority of Board members be "professionals" as
defined by the Standards can now be met from among the 13 proposed disciplines.
CERTIFIED LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVIEW COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP
* THERE IS NO CHANGE. Professional disciplines are required on Commissions only
to the degree that they are available in the community. States and local governments
continue to have the flexibility to impose stricter requirements, if they choose.
State Historic Preservation Office staff and members of State Review Boards and
Certified Local Government Review Commissions who meet the current standards will
continue to meet the revised Standards as long as they hold their current positions.
WORK FUNDED BY THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION FUND
* THERE IS NO CHANGE. It is still required that work funded by the Historic
Preservation Fund or matching share must meet the relevant Secretary of the Interior's
"Standards for Archeology and Historic Preservation." It is still required that this work
must be carried out, supervised, or reviewed by professionals meeting the Secretary's
"Professional Qualification Standards."
NOTE: We have also prepared draft language for revising the text of 36 CFR 61. If
having a copy of this would help you review the enclosed materials, you can get a copy by
contacting the Preservation Planning Branch at the address provided earlier in these
| Peter D. Verheyen, Rare Books Conservator, Cornell University Library |
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