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Preservation Philosophy

Historic New England is a museum of cultural history that collects and preserves buildings, landscapes, and objects dating from the seventeenth century to the present. It uses these resources to keep history alive and to help people develop a deeper understanding and enjoyment of the New England way of life and appreciation for its preservation. By serving as a role model for the stewardship of New England heritage, Historic New England utilizes its preservation philosophy to educate, to instill an appreciation and awareness of history, to share knowledge and leave a legacy for future generations, and to promote greater involvement on the part of individuals and communities in the preservation of the past.


Statement of Preservation Philosophy

One of Historic New England's primary goals is the preservation of cultural resources.

Recognizing that the resources administered by Historic New England, including landscapes, buildings, structures, archeological resources, objects, and archival material, may have different preservation needs and ideologies, Historic New England's preservation philosophy is to:

  • Research and document the history, evolution, features, materials, integrity, and areas of significance of resources prior to undertaking any repair or conservation work. Research should be considered a continuum that serves to direct the overall management approach for resources, and records Historic New England's contribution to their care and maintenance;
  • Monitor usage to prevent irreparable loss of historic fabric;
  • Choose maintenance and conservation treatments that reflect a commitment to retaining and preserving historic material;
  • Recognize and preserve the design and craftsmanship that has uniquely shaped a resource over time;
  • Disseminate the experiences and information associated with resources to internal and external audiences; and
  • Follow or exceed nationally-accepted professional standards and guidelines, as appropriate for each discipline, in order to ensure the longevity of resources and maintain a reputation for innovation and the highest quality of work.


Approved by the Board of Trustees on September 24, 2008


Preservation Philosophy