When Buildings and Landscapes Are the Collection

By Forum Online posted 08-19-2014 14:07

Forum Journal 2014 Summer CoverMost historic sites and house museums currently follow museum collections standards that do not generally acknowledge that their buildings and grounds often represent the most important and tangible “objects” in their “collection.” In this context, institutions struggle with balancing their stewardship of the museum objects they hold with their stewardship of the buildings and grounds they are also charged with protecting and interpreting. Recently the National Trust spearheaded an effort to reconcile these long-standing conflicts by modeling a new approach—one that treats the historic structures and landscapes, and the object collections, as being the same type of resource. This approach places the historic buildings and landscapes on a par with the museum collections objects and recognizes the interconnected stewardship and interpretation of all three elements. It also reflects both the preservation mission of the National Trust and the realities of, and best practices in, stewardship of its historic sites.

--Katherine Malone-France, vice president for historic sites & Thompson Mayes, deputy general counsel at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the Summer 2014 issue of Forum Journal.

The latest issue of Forum Journal looks at the future of historic sites including how these places are breaking ground with innovative programming, updated collections policies, and community outreach initiatives.

Today we take a look at two pieces of enhanced content from the Summer 2014 issue of Forum Journal.
 In addition to the in-depth research provided in the quarterly journal, membership benefits also include discounts on conferences and training, analysis into current issues in Forum Focus, topic-specific Affinity Groups for exchange with other preservationists, and much more.

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