New Orleans Charter for Joint Preservation of Historic Structures
The New Orleans Charter is the product resulting from the two
symposia: Museums in Historic Buildings held in Montreal, Quebec
(1990) and New Orleans, Louisiana (1991) and co-sponsored by the
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
(AIC) and The Association for Preservation Technology International.
This Charter has been officially adopted by the Board of Directors of
both AIC and APTI.
The New Orleans Charter was subsequently adopted by the National
Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers at its Annual
Meeting in Washington, D.C. in March, 1992.
In 1992 this Charter will be presented by a panel of symposium
participants at a half-dozen conferences.
American Instititute for Conservation, Buffalo, June 1992
American Association of State and Local History, Miami, Sept 1992
International Council of Museums, Sept 1992
Association for Preservation Technology, Philadelphia, Sept 1992
Joint meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums/New England
Museum Association, Albany, Nov 1992
-- APT Communique 21(2): May 1992
Arising from a concern for the coexistence of historic structures
and the artifacts housed within them;
Recognizing our responsibility as stewards to provide the highest
levels of care for the structures and other artifacts placed in our
Recognizing that many significant structures are used to house,
display and interpret artifacts;
Recognizing that historic structures and the contents placed
within them deserve equal consideration in planning for their
Recognizing that technologies and approaches will continue to
Recognizing that those involved in preservation are part of a
continuum, and are neither the first nor the last to affect the
preservation of historic structures and artifacts;
We, therefore, adopt these principles as governing the
preservation of historic structures and the artifacts housed in
- Institutions' statements of mission should recognize the need to
preserve the unique character of both the historic structure and
- The preservation needs of the historic structure and of the
artifacts should be defined only after study adequate to serve as
the foundation for the preservation of both.
- Requisite levels of care should be established through the
interdisciplinary collaboration of all qualified professionals with
potential to contribute.
- Appropriate preservation must reflect application of recognized
preservation practices, including assessment of risk before and
after intervention, and the expectation of future intervention.
- Measures which promote the preservation of either the historic
structure or the artifacts, at the expense of the other, should not
- Regarding public use, the right of future generations to access
and enjoyment must outweigh immediate needs.
- Appropriate preservation strategies should be guided by the
specific needs and characteristics of the historic structure and
- Appropriate documentation of all stages of a project is
essential, and should be readily accessible and preserved for the
- The most appropriate action in a particular case is one which
attains the desired goal with the least intervention to the historic
structure and the artifacts.
- Proposed preservation strategies should be appropriate to the
ability of the institution to implement and maintain them.