African American Heritage & EthnographyHeritage Preservation Notes

Heritage Preservation Notes (HPN)

Looking Forward, Looking Back.
"Studies of a Male Head" Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens, Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The notion of looking back at the past to preserve our heritage for future generations sums up much of what Heritage Preservation is all about.

In its broadest sense Heritage Preservation, is the protection and enhancement of the tangible and intangible evidence of a people’s cultural history. Tangible evidence includes ethnographic resources, such as landscapes, objects, plants and animals, or sites and structures that are important to a people’s sense of purpose or way of life. Intangible evidence includes people’s values, beliefs, patterned practices, and events in a people’s past. Peoples’ association of such intangibles with ethnographic resources, gives the resources special importance that may be different from that enjoyed by the general public. Earlier module sections on Historic Contexts and Cultural Heritage explored some of the ethnographic resources, events, people and their patterned practices and stories that inform African American cultural history. The Heritage Preservation Notes (hereafter referred to as HPN) section is about the laws, programs and processes through which the National Park Service, state and private agencies implement preservation of cultural resources, inclusive of those with ethnographic attributes.

HPN offers participants basic information about heritage preservation laws, the park service programs, including the Park Ethnography Program, that help implement those laws, and how the public may become involved in heritage preservation in parks and beyond. HPN will answer the questions: