The Cultural Resources Program Area
addresses the background and available tools and resources for the management of cultural and historic resources. This includes: preservation of historic properties, archaeological sites, gravesites, repatriation of Native American objects, and curation of collections.
The history of officially preserving historic properties, monuments, archeological sites, and museum displays dates back to the American Antiquities Act of 1906 which authorized the President to declare historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest, that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government, to be national monuments. It also authorized the Secretaries of the Interior (SOI), Agriculture, and Army to issue permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity upon the lands under their respective jurisdictions.
It was not until the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 though that goal of having federal agencies act as responsible stewards of our nation's resources when their actions affect historic properties became law. The NHPA also established the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). The ACHP is the only entity with the legal responsibility to encourage federal agencies to factor historic preservation into federal project requirements. The ACHP serves as the primary federal policy advisor to the President and Congress; recommends administrative and legislative improvements for protecting our nation's heritage; advocates full consideration of historic values in federal decisionmaking; and reviews federal programs and policies to promote effectiveness, coordination, and consistency with national preservation policies.
Interest in the management, preservation, and curation of archeological sites increased for federal agencies with the passage of the Archeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (AHPA) which requires that Federal agencies provide for "...the preservation of historical and archeological data (including relics and specimens) which might otherwise be irreparably lost or destroyed as the result of...any alteration of the terrain caused as a result of any Federal construction project of federally licensed activity or program (Section 1)." This greatly expanded the number and range of Federal agencies that had to take archeological resources into account when executing, funding, or licensing projects. No longer were archeological sites primarily the responsibility of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation.
In executing cultural resources responsibilities Federal facilities must often consult with their State Historic Preservation Officer, any potentially impacted Native American groups, and the responsible Department of Interior Bureaus and offices.
Please use the links above to quickly jump to the information area needed or scroll down to view all items.
This act, PL 100-298, defines and clarifies access and ownership rights and directs the Director of the National Park Service to prepare guidelines, in consultation with appropriate public and private section interests, to administer and manage underwater resources.
Within this act, 16 U.S. Code (USC) 431-433, the President of the United States is authorized to declare historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest, that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government, to be national monuments (16 USC 431). Permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity upon the lands under their respective jurisdictions, may be granted by the Secretaries of the Interior (SOI), Agriculture, and Army to institutions they may deem properly qualified to conduct such examination, excavation, or gathering, subject to such rules and regulations as they may prescribe (16 USC 432).
This act, PL 95-341 (42 USC 1996), states the policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent rights of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and native Hawaiians. These rights include, but are not limited to, access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremony and traditional rites. The act was amended in 1994.
The purpose of this act, 16 USC 470aa-470mm is to secure, for the present and future benefit of the American people, the protection of archaeological resources and sites which are on public lands and Indian lands, and to foster increased cooperation and exchange of information between governmental authorities, the professional archaeological community, and private individuals having collections of archaeological resources and data which were obtained before 1 October 1979 (16 USC 470aa(b)).
This act, PL 93-291 (amends PL 86-523); (16 USC 469-469c), directs Federal agencies to notify the SOI when they find that any Federal construction project or Federally licensed activity or program may cause irreparable loss or destruction of significant scientific, prehistoric, historical, or archaeological data. It also provides criteria for funding historical and archaeological protection for such projects.
This act, Public Law (PL) 74-292 (16 USC 470-470w-6), authorizes the designation of national historic sites and landmarks, authorizes interagency efforts to preserve historic resources, and establishes a maximum fine of $500 for violations of the act.
An amendment of the National Historic Preservation Act for purposes of establishing a national historic lighthouse preservation program.
This act, 16 USC 470-470w-6, last amended in August 1992, addresses the issue of preserving our national history. The Congress declares that the historical and cultural foundations of the nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development; and that the preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public interest so its vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, economic, and energy benefits will be maintained and enriched for future generations of Americans (16 USC 470(b)(2)(4)).
This act, 25 USC 3001-3013, permits the intentional removal from, or excavation of, Native American cultural items from Federal or tribal lands for purposes of discovery, study, or removal only if:
1. such items are excavated or removed pursuant to a permit issued which must be consistent with this act
2. such items are excavated or removed after consultation with or, in the case of tribal lands, consent of the appropriate (if any) Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization
3. the ownership and right of control of the disposition of such items must be as provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section
4. proof of consultation or consent is shown .
Each Federal agency and museum which has possession or control over holdings or collections of Native American human remains and associated funerary objects must compile an inventory of such items and, to the extent possible, identify the geographical and cultural affiliation of such item. Each Federal agency or museum that has possession or control over holdings or objects of Native American unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony must provide a written summary of such objects based on available information held by such agency or museum.
There are an enormous number of Federal laws and statutes pertaining to cultural resources. The best source of that information is the National Park Service.
This EO, dated 13 May 1971, states that Federal agencies shall (1) administer the cultural properties under their control in a spirit of stewardship and trusteeship for future generations, (2) initiate measures necessary to direct their policies, plans and programs in such a way that federally owned sites, structures, and objects of historical, architectural or archaeological significance are preserved, restored, and maintained for the inspiration and benefit of the people, and (3), in consultation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (16 U.S.C. 470i), institute procedures to assure that Federal plans and programs contribute to the preservation and enhancement of non-federally owned sites, structures and objects of historical, architectural or archaeological significance.
This EO, dated 21 May 1996, states that the Federal Government shall utilize and maintain, wherever operationally appropriate and economically prudent, historic properties and districts, especially those located in central business areas.
This EO, dated 24 May 1996, addresses the accommodation of sacred sites. Each executive branch agency with statutory or administrative responsibility for the management of Federal lands is required, to the extent practicable, permitted by law, and not clearly inconsistent with agency functions, accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites by Indian religious practitioners. They shall also avoid adversely affecting the physical integrity of the sacred sites. Where appropriate, agencies will maintain the confidentiality of sacred sites.
The intent of this EO, dated 6 November 2000, is to establish regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have tribal implications, to strengthen the United States government-to-government relationships with Indian tribes, and to reduce the imposition of unfunded mandates upon Indian tribes.
This EO, dated 3 March 2003, states that it is the policy of the Federal Government to provide leadership in preserving America's heritage by actively advancing the protection, enhancement, and contemporary use of the historic properties owned by the Federal Government, and by promoting intergovernmental cooperation and partnerships for the preservation and use of historic properties.
This EO, dated 4 February 2004, establishes the Federal Real Property Council to develop guidance for, and facilitate the success of, each agency's asset management plan. The Council is to be composed exclusively of all agency Senior Real Property Officers, the Controller of OMB, the Administrator of General Services, and any other full-time or permanent part-time Federal officials or employees as deemed necessary by the Chairman of the Council. EO 13327 was amended by E.O. 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.
Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience
9 December 2016
The focus of this EO is artic environmental stewardship. It is the policy of the United States to enhance the resilience of the northern Bering Sea region by conserving the region's ecosystem, including those natural resources that provide important cultural and subsistence value and services to the people of the region.
Developed in 1972, the Convention sets out the duties of parties to the Convention in identifying potential sites and their role in protecting and preserving them. By signing the Convention, each country pledged to conserve not only the World Heritage sites situated on its territory, but also to protect its national heritage. The Convention also defined the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List and how the World Heritage Fund is to be used and managed and under what conditions international financial assistance may be provided.
Chapter 1 of this DOI DM addresses issues such as identifying museum property and managing museum property.
Chapter 2 of this DOI DM identifies actions required to manage museum property.
Chapter 3 of this DOI DM identifies the environmental standards (i.e., temperature, humidity), security standards, fire protection standards, housekeeping standards, and storage standards for museums.
This Departmental Manual was effective 17 February 1994. The purpose of this document is to address the policy and requirements of NHPA, AHPA, ARPA, and NAGPRA.
This DoDI, dated 14 September 2006, implements DoD policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for DoD interactions with federally-recognized tribes.
This DOD Instruction outlines DoD policy and assigns responsibilities to comply with applicable Federal statutory and regulatory requirements, Executive orders (E.O.s), and Presidential memorandums for the integrated management of cultural resources on DoD-managed lands.
This DOE policy was issued on May 2, 2001. The purpose of this DOE policy is two-fold: 1) to ensure that all DOE programs and field elements integrate cultural resources management into their missions and activities and 2) to raise the level of awareness and accountability among DOE contractors concerning the importance of the Department's cultural resource-related legal and trust responsibilities.
Developed by CEQ and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), this handbook that provides advice to Federal agencies, applicants, project sponsors, and consultants on how to take advantage of existing regulatory provisions to align the NEPA process and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 review process. The handbook explains how to align NEPA and NHPA Section 106 processes for maximum efficiency and public input, and provides a series of roadmaps for coordination of the two statutes.
Back to Top
This magazine is published online by the Archaeological Conservancy. It is issued quarterly and is tailored for a layperson audience.
Published by the NPS Museum Management Program, these are short, focused leaflets about caring for museum objects, published in loose-leaf format. New topics are added as needed and out-of-date issues are revised or deleted. Semiannual supplements will be issued for an indeterminate period.
A quarterly newsletter sponsored by the Department of Defense Cultural Resources Program.
These short reports from the NPS Archeology Program address technical, methodological, and substantive issues in public archeology and ethnography.
This series from the NPS Archeology Program offers more lengthy reports dealing with substantive topics involving careful study and analysis in public archeology and ethnography.
This quarterly newsletter is published by the USDA Forest Service.
The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), and the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) are parts of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. The collection has been administered since 1933 through cooperative agreements with the NPS, the Library of Congress, and the private sector. Ongoing programs of the NPS have recorded America's built environment in multiformat surveys comprising more than 556,900 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 38,600 historic structures and sites dating from Pre-Columbian times to the twentieth century. the online presentation of the collections include digitized images of measured drawings, black-and-white photographs, color transparencies, photo captions, data pages including written histories, and supplemental materials.
The portal is a partnership initiative of the NPS with other Federal Agencies. The portal is where users can discover the information and training opportunities needed to quickly and easily address problems, projects, and issues in the broad field of historic preservation. Additionally, the Portal helps users search for information on historic preservation websites.
This library houses over 28,000 documents, including a wide variety of materials focusing on archeology of the Midwestern United States. Although this collection includes a large number of published materials on archeology and prehistory of the Midwest and adjacent regions, its strength lies in the vast amount of unpublished materials. Over 3900 documents comprise the library's manuscript section, which includes gray, or limited circulation, literature relevant to Midwest NPS units as well as other federal agency units.
The official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation.
The list consists of properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. As of 10 June 2010, these properties include 689 cultural, 176 natural, and 25 mixed properties in 148 States Parties.
The mission of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is to promote the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our Nation's historic resources, and advise the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.
A non-profit trade association whose mission is to promote the professional, ethical, and business practices of the cultural resources consulting industry.
A non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving the best of our nation's remaining archaeological sites.
Provides information and links on bureau online museum exhibits, DOI and bureau museum policies, bureau museum programs, the Interagency Federal Collections Alliance, and guidance on special issues such as contaminated collections.
To identify a specific Federal Preservation Officer, select from the list. Many of the links also offer information on the agency's staff contacts, cultural resource policies, related Section 106 issues, and links to its Web site.
Established 1 July 1969, the Center's mission has changed from recovering, or "salvaging," data and artifacts that were endangered by reservoir construction, to supporting the archeological resource management needs of National Park System areas. The Center is dedicated to the study, interpretation, and preservation of archeological resources within the National Park System, particularly within the Midwest Region of the National Park Service.
The NAPC is organized to build strong local preservation programs through education, training, and advocacy.
Tribal Historic Preservation Officers are officially designated by a federally-recognized Indian tribe to direct a program approved by the National Park Service and the THPO must have assumed some or all of the functions of State Historic Preservation Officers on Tribal lands.
The NCSHPO is the professional association of the State government officials who carry out the national historic preservation program as delegates of the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (NHPA) (16 USC 470).
A comprehensive website on the Federal Archaeology Program lead by the Departmental Consulting Archeologist and the NPS archeology program. It includes sections specifically targeted for the public, including kids, and professionals.
This national program develops and coordinates NPS policies, standards, and procedures for managing museum collections, including natural, cultural, archival and manuscript materials. It also provides technical assistance to parks and professional development pertaining to museum collections acquisition, documentation, preservation, protection, use, and disposal. The website provides the public with online museum exhibits and Teaching with Museum Collections lesson plans
The NTHP is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America's communities.
A 501c4 nonprofit organization created in 1974 to serve as the national grassroots lobby for historic preservation. Preservation Action seeks to make historic preservation a national priority by advocating to all branches of the federal government for sound preservation policy and programs through a grassroots constituency empowered with information and training and through direct contact with elected representatives.
An international organization dedicated to the research, interpretation, and protection of the archaeological heritage of the Americas. The society represents professional, student, and avocational archaeologists working in a variety of settings including government agencies, colleges and universities, museums, and the private sector.
SEAC performs archeological research, promotes education and outreach, provides collections and information management services, and offers technical support for national park units located in the Southeast Region. Additionally, SEAC maintains interagency assistance programs to help carry out the responsibilities of the Secretary of the Interior to assist Federal and state agencies outside of the National Park Service in cultural resources compliance, archeological site stabilization, CRM planning, and public education and outreach. The mission of the Center is to facilitate long-term protection, use, and appreciation of archeological and cultural resources in the southeastern United States and beyond.
SHPOs administer the national historic preservation program at the State level, review National Register of Historic Places nominations, maintain data on historic properties that have been identified but not yet nominated, and consult with Federal agencies during Section 106 review. SHPOs are designated by the governor of their respective State or territory. Federal agencies seek the views of the appropriate SHPO when identifying historic properties and assessing effects of an undertaking on historic properties. Agencies also consult with SHPOs when developing Memoranda of Agreement.
The Native American tribal equivalent of SHPOs.
Back to Top
These awards recognize efforts to promote cultural resources stewardship in DoD by highlighting outstanding examples of Cultural Resources Management (CRM). Awards are designed to showcase DoD's extensive cultural resources including archaeological sites, the historic built environment, and cultural landscapes.
The Department of Defense has completed a catalog that provides annotated descriptions of 22 historic context studies and histories funded by the DoD Legacy Resource Management Program. Historic contexts assist DoD cultural resource managers with fulfilling requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act. These contexts provide photographic documentation, illustrations, building plans and criteria that assist in the evaluation of historic significance and National Register of Historic Places eligibility.
Published by NPS, these documents provide guidance on preserving, rehabilitating and restoring historic buildings.
Case studies on traditional practices and innovative techniques for successfully maintaining and preserving cultural resources.
This is a collection of guidance documents for working with Native Americans, including the most recent Tribal Consultation Plan.
Published by ACHP in 2008, this document is meant to serve as a reference for federal agency staff responsible for compliance with Section 106.
The UFR Process provides federal agencies with opportunities to expedite environmental and historic preservation (EHP) reviews through enhanced coordination for all presidentially declared disasters. The Applicant Guide will assist Applicants, (i.e. state and local agencies, Indian tribes, small business owners, individuals) in complying with EHP requirements when multiple agencies may be involved in funding or permitting a disaster recovery project. It also outlines the type of information Applicants should submit to federal agencies to assist in expediting the EHP review.
From the Technical Preservation Services of the National Park Service, this website provides information on information on green roofs and how they are constructed, special considerations for installations on historic structures, and guidance for meeting the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.
Published December 2000, the intent of the document is to help DOE employees and contractors initiate contact with tribes and build effective relationships.
These DOI guidelines provide guidance to cultural landscape owners, stewards and managers, landscape architects, preservation planners, architects, contractors, and project reviewers prior to and during the planning and implementation of project work.
The DOI-developed Guidelines were initially developed in 1977 to help property owners, developers, and Federal managers apply the SOI's Standards for Rehabilitation (36 CFR 67) during the project planning stage by providing general design and technical recommendations. Unlike the Standards, the Guidelines are not codified as program requirements. Together with the Standards for Rehabilitation they provide a model process for owners, developers, and Federal agency managers to follow.
These illustrated guidelines were issued in 2013 by the Department of Interior, National Park Service, Technical Presentation Services. These guidelines replace the chapter on "Energy Conservation" in the "Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.". These guidelines offer specific guidance on how to make historic buildings more sustainable in a manner that will preserve their historic character and that will meet The Secretary of the Interior's "Standards for Rehabilitation." The written guidance is illustrated with examples of appropriate or "recommended" treatments and some that are "not recommended" or could negatively impact the building's historic character.
An online training course produced by the National Park Service's Archeology Program. The site consists of ten sections that
covers all aspects of caring for archeological collections and the activities dealing with all kinds of archeological collections (i.e., objects, records, reports, and digital data) in all kinds of places (i.e., the field, the archeologist's office, the lab, and the repository.) Each section includes an extensive bibliography, related links, and a quiz. It is now available for credit through DOI Learn.
A reference guide to on how to manage, preserve, document, access and use museum collections.
Last updated in 2008, the Guidelines identify the precise criteria for the inclusion of properties on the World Heritage List and for the provision of international assistance under the World Heritage Fund.
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has issued new guidance to advise federal decision makers regarding the requirements of Section 2(g) of Executive Order 13514, which charges federal agencies to "Implement high performance sustainable federal building design, construction, operation and management, maintenance, and deconstruction including by...[among other considerations] ensuring that rehabilitation of federally owned historic buildings utilizes best practices and technologies in retrofitting to promote long-term viability of the buildings" This guidance was prepared by a work group comprising staff representatives of the ACHP, Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, and General Services Administration.
Published by the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers in 2005, this goal of the project from which this document was produced was to identify a best practices model for consultation between Federal Agencies and Tribes on Section 106 consultation of the National Historic Preservation Act, implementing 43 CFR Part 800.
Back to Top
Offered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), the seminar focuses on the effective management of complex or controversial undertakings that require compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Taught in a smaller, interactive setting, this course encourages group discussion and problem solving. The seminar is designed for experienced Section 106 users who are already familiar with the regulations. The curriculum focuses on the challenges of seeking consensus and resolving adverse effects to historic properties.
Become familiar with principles and methods for curation and management of archaeological collections. Topics will include responsibilities under federal regulations (36 CFR Part 79), archaeological standards, collections policies, costs of curation, storage facilities, proper housing of collections, archaeological laboratory procedures, cataloguing systems, and educating the public with archaeological collections. This course is offered by the National Preservation Institute.
Review the role of conservation in the field and in the laboratory for archaeological projects. Discuss planning and preparation for the care of excavated materials. Learn about the condition of materials upon excavation and "first aid" packing and transport methods for artifacts from both dry and waterlogged contexts. Examine artifact preservation and methods to facilitate interpretation. Learn how to perform simple stabilization techniques such as dewatering waterlogged bone, removing chlorides from objects, and consolidating highly degraded glass, as well as exploring tips for mending vessels. This course is offered by the National Preservation Institute.
Offered by the National Preservation Institute, at this 1-day seminar, attendees will review best means of integrating new technologies with existing CRM practices as they relate to the documentation, preservation, and/or creative mitigation of cultural resources. Attendees will also learn about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones), digital documentation (photogrammetry), and virtual reality (new media methods). Discuss ways to integrate these technologies with more familiar forms of technology, such as geographic information systems (GIS), and explore how information gathered can be used for public outreach.
Historic property management combines preservation maintenance with modern systems management. Learn how to read your building, search for solutions, and then care for the building envelope by maintaining its historic materials. Explore how to balance the environmental needs of the building with its users. Understand the impacts on historic properties of pest management practices and mechanical building systems--HVAC, plumbing, fire, security, and lighting. Discuss how to train in-house staff and when to hire a specialist to identify a problem or a contractor to handle a specific task.
This course covers all aspects of caring for archeological collections -- the activities dealing with all kinds of archeological collections (i.e., objects, records, reports, and digital data) in all kinds of places (i.e., the field, the archeologist's office, the lab, and the repository.) The information provided is designed to assist those who are interested in or need to learn more about preserving and managing archeological collections over the long term.
In this seminar offered by the National Preservation Institute, review the compliance process for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) for Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, federal agencies, and museums. Explore how consultation can inform inventories, summaries, and cultural affiliation, and the resulting notices, repatriations, and dispositions.
NCPTT protects America's historic legacy by equipping preservation professionals with progressive technology-based research and training.
Review the federal laws intended to preserve Native American heritage through the protection of cultural practices and sacred lands. Examine the use of statutes as tools to manage tangible and intangible cultural property. Discuss government-to-government obligations, court decisions, and case studies to illustrate federal policies and practice. Consider the legal, cultural, and historical perspectives resulting from decisions affecting Native American cultural property. Learn how the consultation process enables tribes, federal entities, and other parties to achieve resolution. This course is offered by the National Preservation Institute.
Offered by the National Preservation Institute, this 2-day seminar addresses environmental impact analysis, cultural resource management, and historic preservation responsibilities and relationships. Assess practical applications for effectively integrating the analyses required by the National Environmental Policy Act, related environmental regulations, and the National Historic Preservation Act.
Offered by the National Preservation Institute, this 3-day advanced seminar focuses on memoranda of agreement and programmatic agreements under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Learn how to survive and thrive during the agreement process through careful analysis, clear writing, and good negotiation. Review the available tools, guidelines, alternatives-and non-alternatives-to reach a favorable conclusion to the process.
Offered by the National Preservation Institute, this 3 day seminar covers the basics of project review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This seminar emphasizes practicalities-how to avoid pitfalls and victimization by myths. Discuss recent changes in regulations and procedures, with an emphasis on coordination with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other laws.
Offered as part of the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) Continuing Education Courses, this course will provide you with an introduction to the Historic Preservation process with a special focus on how to balance sustainability goals and operations and maintenance practices with preservation solutions. If you don't have a WBDG account, you will have to register (for free) before gaining access to the courses.
Back to Top