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Subject: National Center for Preservation Technology & Training

National Center for Preservation Technology & Training

From: Peter Stott <pstott>
Date: Wednesday, April 6, 1994
In 1986, the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment issued a report
entitled "Technologies for Prehistoric and Historic Preservation," based
on a series of workshops held in 1985 and 1986. One of its core
recommendations was to call for the creation of a Federal Center for
Preservation Technology.

Now, as a result of initiatives from a number of different quarters--and
many readers of this discussion group may have been involved in these
initiatives -- this new Center is actively moving forward.

As a result of the passage of P.L. 102-575 (Title IV) in 1992, the
National Center for Preservation Technology & Training is established at
Northwestern State University (NSU) in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Several
preliminary reports have been, and are being, prepared to determine the
focus of the Center without duplicating the work of other National Park
Service units or other organizations already working in the field.

Five functions have been identified for the Center:

1.  To develop and distribute preservation and conservation skills and
    technologies for the identification, evaluation, treatments,
    monitoring, and interpretation of prehistoric and cultural

2.  To develop and facilitate training for Federal, State, tribal, and
    local cultural resource professionals, cultural resource managers,
    technicians, and others working in the preservation field;

3.  To apply technology benefits from research by other agencies and
    institutions to the preservation field;

4.  To facilitate the transfer of preservation technology among Federal
    agencies, State, tribal, and local governments, universities,
    national and international organizations, and the private sector;

5.  To cooperate with related international organizations including, but
    not limited to, the International Council on Monuments and Sites,
    the International Center for the Study of Preservation and
    Restoration of Cultural Property, the International Institute for
    Conservation, and the International Council on Museums.

The acting director of the Center has requested one of the participating
institutions, the U.S. Committee of the International Council on
Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS) for its recommendations concerning
national and international databases and other types of information
resources that the Center might make available. The ICOMOS report will
also propose an information management structure, and some suggestions
for developing new databases for the preservation community. It is our
intention that the Center should be able to provide technical and
financial assistance to organizations for this purpose.

We have identified already a wide range of internet resources,
especially gopher and web servers, and discussion groups. However, we
would be very glad to have the comments of this list on how the goals of
the Center might best be met; and how the Center could best serve your
institution or discipline.

For instance:

*   the Center should certainly run gopher and web servers, making
    available information about individual NPS parks and sites, as well
    as making fully available the National Register and other national

*   the Center could offer to provide an archive for all relevant
    Internet/Bitnet discussion groups, adding a wais search engine to
    query all archives simultaneously;

*   the Center could facilitate (technically and/or financially) the
    linking of State Historic Preservation Offices to the Internet,
    together with the relevant databases that those offices operate;

*   the Center could actively participate in the development and use of
    Open GIS to allow geographic applications to query data sets in many
    different computer environments;

*   the Center could work actively with kindred organizations in both
    the U.S. and abroad to develop a global network of shared resources.

The list of possible activities is vast, and one of the challenges will
be to prioritize its tasks.

We encourage interested readers to submit ideas and other
suggestions--as well as cautions -- for inclusion in the Center's work
program, which will be prepared over the next several months.

Readers may respond either to the writer, at the address given below, to
the List if the subject merits discussion, or to the acting director of
the Center, E. Blaine Cliver, Chief, Preservation Assistance Division,
National Park Service <ecliver [at] cap__gwu__edu>.

Peter H. Stott

Peter Stott
Heritage Conservation

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:70
                  Distributed: Thursday, April 7, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-7-70-009
Received on Wednesday, 6 April, 1994

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