History preservation is an integral process that helps keep the stories and lessons of the past alive for future generations to learn from. From its ancient beginnings in the form of scrolls and sheets to its modern methods found in digital archives, this field has grown and adapted to the times. In this article, we will look at the origins of history preservation, from the earliest days of humanity to the world of today.
The Origins of Historic Preservation Review
Developing as a concept in the early 20th century, the practice of historic preservation is now an integral part of many countries around the world. These efforts are codified through laws, policies, and organizations dedicated to protecting cultural and historical heritage sites. Important to such efforts are the various reviews and assessments that take place before any development restrictions, regulations, or considerations can be put into place.
The Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) is a government board whose purpose is to review and take into consideration any changes that may come to a property or a site that is protected by regulations and public policy. This review process is often referred to as Section 106 review, and is a key part of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. This federal law requires that each National Park Service region must conduct a Section 106 review before any changes can be made to historic or archeological sites.
The Act of 1966 and Historic Preservation Review
Through the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the Federal government created a framework to protect the nation’s historic sites, resources, and objects. This act created regulatory bodies, such as the Historic Preservation Review board, as well as guidelines for agencies to follow when considering potential changes. The review includes a process for assessing the effects of the proposed changes on the environment, as well as on the area’s social history.
At the state and local level, the Act of 1966 created state historic preservation offices that work with state and local governments to provide guidance, expertise, and resources to protect historic sites and artifacts. In addition, the state historic preservation offices established groups such as the Historical Preservation Commission, which create regulations for how private landowner are expected to preserve historical sites and objects. The Act of 1966 also empowered the National Park Service to create the National Register of Historic Places and the National Historic Landmark designation program.
Review Process to Preserve Historical Artifacts
On the federal level, the review process begins with the state Historic Preservation Officer. The State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) assesses potential changes to or disruptions of a historic site or object and seeks guidance from the Advisory Council on Historic Profile on how to proceed. The Advisory Council then makes a recommendation, such as a change in land use or zoning, to the Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior then make a final decision about the project, with considerations to the HPRB and to the SHPO.
At a local level, the review process may involve analyzing historical and cultural artifacts. This process includes a detailed study of what an artifact is, its origin, age, and value. Reviewers may also take into account how important the item is to the community and its people when making recommendations. Reviewers might also consider advice from consulted experts, such as archaeologists, historians, and museum professionals. The review board can also look at how potential development projects can contribute to the preservation of respected cultural and historical sites and objects.
Historic preservation is an important aspect of protecting the cultural, historical, and archaeological sites in the United States. Through the review process set out by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, public and private organizations and government agencies work together to ensure that historic sites and artifacts are respected and protected. Such reviews ensure that structures, artifacts, and sites will remain a part of the cultural, intellectual, and spiritual heritage of future generations.