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.
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 care;
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 care;
Recognizing that technologies and approaches
will continue to change; and
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 them:
- Institutions' statements of mission should
recognize the need to preserve the unique character of both the
historic structure and artifacts.
- 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
- Measures which promote the preservation
of either the historic structure or the artifacts, at the expense
of the other, should not be considered.
- 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 artifacts.
- Appropriate documentation of all stages
of a project is essential, and should be readily accessible and
preserved for the future.
- 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.