Director's Order graphic


APPENDIX A: Glossary

Terms are defined for the purpose of cultural resource management in the national park system. National Park Service usage does not always follow standard dictionary definitions.

Accession: a transaction whereby one or more museum objects or specimens are acquired in the same manner from one source at one time for a museum collection. Accessions include gifts, exchanges, purchases, field collections, loans, and transfers.

Acquisition: the act or process of acquiring through purchase or donation fee title to or other interest in real property (including development rights or remainder interest). Also applies to museum property (see accession).

Adaptive use: a use for a structure or landscape other than its historic use, normally entailing some modification of the structure or landscape.

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation: an independent federal agency with statutory authority to review and comment on federal actions affecting properties listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, to advise the President and the Congress on historic preservation matters, and to recommend measures to coordinate activities of federal, state, and local agencies. Its members include Cabinet-level representatives from federal agencies and presidential appointees from outside the federal government.

Anthropology: the scientific study of the human condition, including cultural, biological and physical adaptations over time and in various natural and social environments. Anthropology includes the specializations of archeology, cultural anthropology (including ethnography, ethnology, and applied anthropology), linguistics, and physical anthropology. An anthropologist is a scientist with advanced training in any of these subdisciplines.

Archeology: the scientific study, interpretation, and reconstruction of past human cultures from an anthropological perspective based on the investigation of the surviving physical evidence of human activity and the reconstruction of related past environments. Historic archeology uses historic documents as additional sources of information. An archeologist is a scientist professionally trained to conduct such studies.

Cultural anthropology: the scientific description and analysis of cultural systems, i.e., systems of behavior (including economic, religious, and social), beliefs (values, ideologies), and social arrangements. It focuses on the lifeways of contemporary peoples but also deals with the recent past (ethnohistory) and with humans in ecosystems. Cultural anthropologists are social scientists trained to conduct such research. Applied ethnographers specialize in project-related research, including program assessments and evaluations.

Archeological resource: any material remains or physical evidence of past human life or activities which are of archeological interest, including the record of the effects of human activities on the environment. They are capable of revealing scientific or humanistic information through archeological research.

Architectural conservation: the science of preserving a historic structure's materials by observing and analyzing their deterioration, determining causes of and solutions to problems, and directing remedial interventions.

Architectural conservator: a specialist in the scientific analysis of historic materials.

Architectural history: the study of architecture through written records and the examination of structures in order to determine their relationship to preceding, contemporary, and subsequent architecture and events. An architectural historian is a historian with advanced training in this specialty.

Archival collection: an accumulation of manuscripts, archival documents, or papers having a shared origin or provenance, or having been assembled around a common topic, format of record, or association (e.g., presidential autographs). The term also refers to the total archival and manuscript holdings of a park.

Archives: the non-current records of an organization or institution preserved for their historic value. Official records of the NPS are managed according to the Records Management Guideline (NPS-19) and National Archives and Records Administration standards and are outside the scope of this guideline. The term "archives" is often used to refer to the repository where archives and other historic documents are maintained. See also historic document.

Archivist: a professional responsible for managing and providing access to archival and manuscript collections.

Assembled collection: an accumulation of documents, most often gathered by a collector from multiple sources, often in the same format or about the same topic but generally unrelated by provenance.

Associated records: all documentation generated by the activity of collecting or analyzing artifacts or specimens needed to effectively manage those related objects within museum collections.

Association: the relationship between a historic event, activity, or person and a cultural resource.

Biotic cultural resource: a plant or animal community associated with human settlement and use at a historic property.

Building: an enclosed structure with walls and a roof, consciously created to serve some residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural, or other human use.

Cataloging: the action of assigning and applying a unique identifying or catalog number to a museum object/specimen or group of objects/specimens and recording descriptive and documentary data on the Museum Catalog Record, Form 10-254 (or 10-254B).

Character-defining feature: a prominent or distinctive aspect, quality, or characteristic of a historic property that contributes significantly to its physical character. Structures, objects, vegetation, spatial relationships, views, furnishings, decorative details, and materials may be such features.

Collaborative research: ethnographic research in which community cultural experts participate with applied ethnographers. Collaboration ranges from full partnership and coauthorship to assistance in data gathering and comment on draft findings and interpretations.

Comprehensive historic preservation planning: the logical organization of preservation information pertaining to the identification, evaluation, registration, and treatment of historic properties and the setting of priorities for accomplishing preservation activities.

Conservator (museum object): a person trained in the theoretical and practical aspects of preventive conservation and in performing treatments to prolong the lives of museum objects. Most conservators specialize in specific classes of objects (e.g., paintings, furniture, books, paper, textiles, metals, ceramics and glass, architecture, ethnographic and archeological objects, photographs).

Cultural landscape: a geographic area, including both cultural and natural resources and the wildlife or domestic animals therein, associated with a historic event, activity, or person or exhibiting other cultural or aesthetic values. There are four general kinds of cultural landscape, not mutually exclusive:

Historic site: a landscape significant for its association with a historic event, activity, or person.

Historic designed landscape: a landscape significant as a design or work of art; was consciously designed and laid out either by a master gardener, landscape architect, architect, or horticulturist to a design principle, or by an owner or other amateur according to a recognized style or tradition; has a historical association with a significant person, trend or movement in landscape gardening or architecture, or a significant relationship to the theory or practice of landscape architecture.

Historic vernacular landscape: a landscape whose use, construction, or physical layout reflects endemic traditions, customs, beliefs, or values; in which the expression of cultural values, social behavior, and individual actions over time is manifested in physical features and materials and their interrelationships, including patterns of spatial organization, land use, circulation, vegetation, structures, and objects; in which the physical, biological, and cultural features reflect the customs and everyday lives of people.

Ethnographic landscape: areas containing a variety of natural and cultural resources that associated people define as heritage resources, including plant and animal communities, geographic features, and structures, each with their own special local names.

Cultural practice: a pattern of behavior associated with a particular way of life. Cultural practices are often associated with particular ecosystems, the use of natural resources, and the use or production of sites, structures, objects, and landscape features. Traditional forms of housebuilding, subsistence activities, religious, family, and community ceremonials, and expressive activities such as musical performance, craft production, and folklore are examples of cultural practices.

Cultural resource: an aspect of a cultural system that is valued by or significantly representative of a culture or that contains significant information about a culture. A cultural resource may be a tangible entity or a cultural practice. Tangible cultural resources are categorized as districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects for the National Register of Historic Places and as archeological resources, cultural landscapes, structures, museum objects, and ethnographic resources for NPS management purposes.

Cultural resource management: the range of activities aimed at understanding, preserving, and providing for the enjoyment of cultural resources. It includes research related to cultural resources, planning for actions affecting them, and stewardship of them in the context of overall park operations. It also includes support for the appreciation and perpetuation of related cultural practices, as appropriate.

Cultural resource specialist: a person professionally trained in one of the cultural resource fields. Included are anthropologists (applied cultural anthropologists, archeologists, ethnographers, and ethnohistorians), architectural historians, architectural conservators, archivists, curators, historians, historical architects, historical landscape architects, landscape historians, and object conservators.

Cultural resource technician: a technically trained person who works directly on or with cultural resources. Included are preservation specialists, historical craftspersons, historical maintenance persons, and museum technicians.

Cultural system: a group's interrelated set of learned behavioral, knowledge, and belief patterns in addition to social, economic, spiritual, and political arrangements for adapting to particular natural and social settings. Associated technology and expressive elements such as folklore and performing and graphic arts are included. Popular synonyms include lifeways, customs, and traditions. Cultural systems are parts of ecosystems.

Culture: a system of behaviors (including economic, religious, and social), beliefs (values, ideologies), and social arrangements.

Curator: a person professionally responsible for the management, preservation, and use of museum objects/specimens. Collection management responsibilities include acquisition and disposal, documentation and cataloging, preventive conservation, storage, access, interpretation and exhibition, and research and publication. Often the curator is a discipline or material culture specialist (e.g., archeology, history, biology, fine arts, Civil War weapons). Curators on park staffs who work directly with collections are known as museum curators; curators in other offices generally are known as staff curators. In the absence of archivists, curators are normally responsible for historic documents.

Data Recovery (salvage): recovery, through professional investigations and documentation, of significant cultural resource materials and data in lieu of in-place resource preservation.

Deaccessioning: a formal procedure whereby museum objects/specimens are permanently removed from a museum collection.

Design: the combination of elements that create the form, plan, space, structure, and style of a historic property.

Design intent: the creative objectives of a designer, architect, landscape architect, engineer, or artist that were applied to the development of a historic property.

Documentation: drawings, photographs, writings, and other media that depict cultural and natural resources.

Ecofact: geological, biological, or botanical evidence used in deciphering the natural environment of an archeological site. It may involve inorganic material (minerals, soils, etc.) or organic material (animal parts, such as bone, teeth, and antlers; plant parts, such as pollen, seeds, and leaves; and human remains, such as bone, teeth, coprolites, and quids).

Ecosystem: interrelated living entities, including humans, and their physical environment.

Emergency operations plan: a document prepared by a park, in cooperation with its regional office, to guide preparations for and responses to emergencies and disasters. Emergency operations plans must give special attention to protecting cultural resources.

Ethnic: a group or category of people who share or believe they share similar characteristics based on, for example, ancestry, language, and religion.

Ethnographic landscape: see cultural landscape.

Ethnographic resource: a site, structure, object, landscape, or natural resource feature assigned traditional legendary, religious, subsistence, or other significance in the cultural system of a group traditionally associated with it.

Ethnography: part of the discipline of cultural anthropology concerned with the systematic description and analysis of cultural systems or lifeways, such as hunting, agriculture, fishing, other food procurement strategies, family life festivals and other religious celebrations. Ethnographic studies of contemporary people and cultures rely heavily on participant observation as well as interviews, oral histories, and review of relevant documents. Applied ethnography uses ethnographic data and concepts to identify contemporary issues and design feasible solutions.

Ethnohistory: systematic description (ethnography) and analysis (ethnology) of changes in cultural systems through time, using data from oral histories and documentary materials; anthropologists and historians conduct these studies.

Ethnology: part of the discipline of anthropology concerned with the systematic and comparative analysis of cultures.

Evaluation: process by which the significance of a property is judged and eligibility for National Register of Historic Places is determined.

Excavation: the scientific examination of an archeological site through layer-by-layer removal and study of the contents within prescribed surface units, e.g., square meters.

Feature (archeological): nonportable object, not recoverable from its matrix (usually in an archeological site) without destroying its integrity. Examples are rock paintings, hearths, post holes, floors, and walls.

Feature (historic): (1) a prominent or distinctive aspect, quality, or characteristic of a historic property; (2) a historic property.

Feeling: a property's expression of the aesthetic or historic sense of a particular period of time.

Field photography: photography, other than large-format photography (usually 35 mm), intended for producing documentation.

Field records: notes of measurements taken, field photographs, and other recorded information intended for producing documentation.

Finding aid: a textual or electronic tool that assists researchers in locating or using archival and manuscript collections.

Form 106: "Assessment of Actions Having an Effect on Cultural Resources" form required for all proposed actions that may affect cultural resources. Provided for regional office review of such actions requiring consultation under 36 CFR 800 and the basic form for beginning the process of Section 106 compliance under the 1990 Servicewide Programmatic Agreement.

Historian: specialist with advanced training in the research, interpretation, and writing of history.

Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)/Historic American Engineering Record (HAER): architectural and engineering documentation programs that produce a thorough archival record of buildings, engineering structures, and cultural landscapes significant in American history and the growth and development of the built environment.

HABS Architectural Data Form: a one-page form intended to provide identifying information for accompanying HABS documentation.

HABS/HAER Inventory Card: a one-page form that includes written data, a sketched site plan, and a 35mm drymounted contact print.

Historic character: the sum of all visual aspects, features, materials, and spaces associated with a property's history.

Historical context: an organizing structure created for planning purposes that groups information about historic properties based on common themes, time periods, and geographical areas.

Historic designed landscape: see cultural landscape.

Historic district: a geographically definable area, urban or rural, possessing a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, landscapes, structures, or objects, united by past events or aesthetically by plan or physical developments. A district may also be composed of individual elements separated geographically but linked by association or history. (See National Register Bulletin 15.)

Historic document: any recorded information in any medium–paper, magnetic tape, film, etc.–that has a direct, physical association with past human event, activity, observation, experience, or idea.

Historic fabric: see material.

Historic landscape: a cultural landscape associated with events, persons, design styles, or ways of life that are significant in American history, landscape architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture; a landscape listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic property: a district, site, structure, or landscape significant in American history, architecture, engineering, archeology, or culture; an umbrella term for all entries in the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic scene: the overall appearance of all cultural resources and their surroundings as they were in the historic period; the cultural resources and their interrelationships that provide the context for understanding and interpreting the events, ideas, or persons associated with a park.

Historic site: the site of a significant event, prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or structure or landscape whether extant or vanished, where the site itself possesses historical, cultural, or archeological value apart from the value of any existing structure or landscape; see cultural landscape.

Historic vernacular landscape: see cultural landscape.

Historical archeologist: scientist with advanced training in historical archeology and in the use of historical documents in the reconstruction of the past (see anthropology).

Historical archeology: subdiscipline of archeology concerned with the remains left by literate societies (in contrast to prehistoric archeology, although the distinction is not always clear-cut). In the United States, historical archeology generally deals with the evidences of Euro-American societies and of aboriginal societies after major cultural disruption or material change from Euro-American contact.

Historical architect: specialist in the science and art of architecture with specialized advanced training in the principles, theories, concepts, methods, and techniques of preserving prehistoric and historic structures.

Historical landscape architect: specialist in the science and art of landscape architecture with advanced training in the principles, theories, concepts, methods, and techniques of preserving cultural landscapes.

Historical significance: the meaning or value ascribed to a structure, landscape, object, or site based on the National Register criteria for evaluation. It normally stems from a combination of association and integrity.

History: study of the past through written records, oral history, and material culture. Evidence from these is compared, judged for veracity, placed in chronological or topical sequence, and interpreted in light of preceding, contemporary, and subsequent events.

Identification: process through which cultural resources are made known.

In-kind: in the same manner or with something equal in substance having a similar or identical effect.

Integrity: the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics that existed during its historic or prehistoric period; the extent to which a property retains its historic appearance.

Intensive survey: a systematic, detailed examination of an area designed to gather information about historic properties sufficient to evaluate them against predetermined criteria of significance within specific historic contexts.

Inventory: a list of cultural resources, usually of a given type and/or in a given area.

Landscape historian: a historian concentrating on the study of landscapes through written records and field work in order to determine their relationship to preceding, contemporary, and subsequent landscape events.

Large format photograph: photograph taken with a 4x5, 5x7, or 8x10 negative and means to correct perspective distortion.

Library: a collection of published materials associated with the theme or purpose of a particular park, center, region, or office and organized to provide bibliographic, electronic, intellectual, and physical access to staff and visitors for reference and research use. Materials may include, but are not limited to, books, reports, journals, pamphlets, electronic media, microforms, and photographic, graphic, and audio documents.

Location: the place where the historic property was constructed or the place where the historic event(s) occurred.

Manuscript collection: a group of textual, electronic, sound, or visual documents assembled most commonly for its historical or literary value.

Material: the physical elements that were combined or deposited to form a property. Historic material or historic fabric is that from a historically significant period, as opposed to material used to maintain or restore a property following its historic period(s).

Measured drawings: drawings depicting existing conditions or other relevant features of historic structures, landscapes, or objects. Measured drawings are usually produced in ink on archivally stable material, such as polyester film.

Museum collection: assemblage of objects, works of art, historic documents, and/or natural history specimens collected according to a rational scheme and maintained so they can be preserved, studied, and interpreted for public benefit. Museum collections normally are kept in park museums, although they may also be maintained in archeological and historic preservation centers.

Museum object: a material thing possessing functional, aesthetic, cultural, symbolic, and/or scientific value, usually movable by nature or design. Museum objects include prehistoric and historic objects, artifacts, works of art, archival material, and natural history specimens that are part of a museum collection. Structural components may be designated museum objects when removed from their associated structures. (Large or immovable properties, such as monumental statuary, trains, nautical vessels, cairns, and rock paintings, are defined as structures or features of sites.)

Museum object conservation: measures taken to prolong the life of a museum object and its associated data. Museum object conservation encompasses the following activities:

Preventive Conservation: non-interventive action taken to prevent damage to and minimize deterioration of a museum object. Such actions include monitoring, recording, and controlling environmental agents; inspecting and recording the condition of objects; establishing an integrated pest management program; practicing proper handling, storage, exhibit, housekeeping, and packing and shipping techniques; and incorporating needed information and procedures about objects in emergency operation plans.

Stabilization: interventive treatment action taken to increase the stability or durability of an object when preventive conservation measures fail to decrease its rate of deterioration to an acceptable level or when it has deteriorated so far that its existence is jeopardized.

Restoration: interventive treatment action taken to bring an object as close as possible to its original or former appearance by removing accretions and later additions and/or by replacing missing elements.

Museum property: an assemblage of museum objects collected according to some rational scheme and maintained so that they can be preserved, studied, or interpreted for public benefit. Museum objects include prehistoric and historic objects, artifacts, works of art, archival documents, and natural history specimens that are part of museum collections. Elements, fragments, and components of structures are objects if they are no longer a part of the original structure. Museum property does not include those items necessary to display a collection (e.g., exhibit cases, dioramas, special lighting, and graphics) or museum records (e.g., accession, catalog, loan, and inventory records). Museum collections normally are kept in park museums, although they may also be maintained in archeological and historic preservation centers.

Museum records: records generated by the museum property system to manage museum property, including accession, catalog, inventory, and loan records.

National historic landmark: a district, site, building, structure, or object of national historical significance, designated by the Secretary of the Interior under authority of the Historic Sites Act of 1935 and entered in the National Register of Historic Places.

National Register of Historic Places: the comprehensive list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects of national, regional, state, and local significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture kept by the NPS under authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

Native American: pertaining to American Indian tribes or groups, Eskimos and Aleuts, and Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Chamorros, and Carolinians of the Pacific Islands. Groups recognized by the federal and state governments and named groups with long-term social and political identities who are defined by themselves and others as Indian are included.

Non-official records: legally defined as "library and museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes, extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference, and stocks of publications and of processed documents . . ." (44 USC 3302). Includes all museum archival collections. Referred to as "non-records" by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Non-records: see non-official records.

Official records: documents made or received by NPS offices as a part of transacting business and preserved as evidence of the offices' actions or functions or for their informational value. Referred to as "records" by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Organizational archives (acquired archives): documents created by a non-NPS organization as a routine part of doing business, now held in the physical custody of the NPS as a museum archival and manuscript collection.

Park-associated communities: peoples whose customary ways of life affect and are affected by park management. Includes neighboring, resident, and former resident groups.

Participant observation: the primary field method of ethnographic anthropological research; involves observing and recording behaviors and activities while the researcher is residing and participating in the community under study.

Period of significance: the span of time in which a property attained the significance for which it meets the National Register criteria.

Prehistory: the course of events in the period before recorded history.

Preservation: the act or process of applying measures to sustain the existing form, integrity, and material of a historic structure, landscape or object. Work may include preliminary measures to protect and stabilize the property, but generally focuses upon the ongoing preservation maintenance and repair of historic materials and features rather than extensive replacement and new work. For historic structures exterior additions are not within the scope of this treatment; however, the limited and sensitive upgrading of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and other code-required work to make properties functional is appropriate within a preservation project. For application to museum objects see museum object conservation.

Preservation maintenance: action to mitigate wear and deterioration of a historic property without altering its historic character by protecting its condition, repairing when its condition warrants with the least degree of intervention including limited replacement in-kind, replacing an entire feature in-kind when the level of deterioration or damage of materials precludes repair, and stabilization to protect damaged materials or features from additional damage. For archeological sites it includes work to moderate, prevent, or arrest erosion. For museum objects it includes actions to prevent damage and to minimize deterioration by practicing preventive conservation or by performing suitable treatments on objects themselves. Types of preservation maintenance are:

Housekeeping: the removal of undesirable deposits of soil in ways that minimize harm to the surfaces treated, repeated at short intervals so that the gentlest and least radical methods can be used.

Routine maintenance: usually consists of service activities such as tightening, adjusting, oiling, pruning, etc.

Cyclic maintenance: maintenance performed less frequently than annually; usually involves replacement or at least mending of material.

Stabilization: action to render an unsafe, damaged, or deteriorated property stable while retaining its present form.

Preventive conservation: see museum object conservation.

Property type: a grouping of individual properties based on a set of shared physical or associative characteristics.

Protection: action to safeguard a historic property by defending or guarding it from further deterioration, loss, or attack or shielding it from danger or injury. In the case of structures and landscapes such action is generally of a temporary nature and anticipates future preservation treatment; in the case of archeological sites, the protective measure may be temporary or permanent. Protection in its broadest sense also includes long-term efforts to deter or prevent vandalism, theft, arson, and other criminal acts against cultural resources.

Provenance: (1) the entity that created an object or accumulated a collection; (2) the history of physical custody of an object or collection.

Reconnaissance study: a synthesis of cultural resource information describing the kinds of cultural resources in a study area and summarizing their significance; sometimes called a cultural resource overview, and may include limited field investigations.

Reconstruction: (1) the act or process of depicting, by means of new work, the form, features, and detailing of a non-surviving historic structure or landscape, or any part thereof, for the purpose of replicating its appearance at a specific time and in its historic location; (2) the resulting structure, landscape, or part thereof.

Records: refers to all information fixed in a tangible form. Used by the National Archives and Records Administration to refer to official records (q.v.).

Rehabilitation: the act or process of making possible an efficient compatible use for a historic structure or landscape through repair, alterations,and additions while preserving those portions or features which convey its historical, cultural and architectural values.

Repair: action to correct deteriorated, damaged, or faulty materials or features of a structure or landscape.

Replacement in-kind: see in-kind.

Reproduction (of objects): the construction or fabrication of an accurate copy of an object.

Research design: a statement of proposed identification, documentation, evaluation, investigation, or other research that identifies the project's goals, methods and techniques, expected results, and the relationship of the expected results to other proposed activities or treatments.

Restoration: (1) the act or process of accurately depicting the form, features, and character of a historic structure, landscape, or object as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of features from other periods in its history and reconstruction of missing features from the restoration period; (2) the resulting structure, landscape, or object.

Sample survey: survey of a representative sample of lands within a given area in order to generate or test predictions about the types and distributions of cultural resources in the entire area.

Section l06, or "l06": refers to Section l06 of the National Historic Preservation Act of l966, which requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their proposed undertakings on properties included or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and give the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed undertakings.

Select existing drawings: original construction or later alteration drawings of historic structures, landscapes, and objects that depict their historical values.

Setting: the physical environment of a historic property; the character of the place in which the property played its historical role.

Significance: see historical significance.

Sketch plan: a plan, generally not to exact scale although often drawn from measurements, wherein the features of a structure or landscape are shown in proper relation and proportion to one another.

Spiritual activity field: a spiritually important area identified by traditional religious practitioners around a place with traditional sacred significance.

Stabilization: see preservation maintenance.

State historic preservation officer (SHPO): an official within each state appointed by the governor to administer the state historic preservation program and carry out certain responsibilities relating to federal undertakings within the state.

Structure: a constructed work, usually immovable by nature or design, consciously created to serve some human activity. Examples are buildings of various kinds, monuments, dams, roads, railroad tracks, canals, millraces, bridges, tunnels, locomotives, nautical vessels, stockades, forts and associated earthworks, Indian mounds, ruins, fences, and outdoor sculpture. In the National Register program "structure" is limited to functional constructions other than buildings.

Submerged cultural resource: underwater historic or prehistoric remains.

Sub-official records: copies of official records made for informational or reference purposes.

Subsistence: the traditional use of natural plants and wild animals for personal or family consumption, for the making and selling of handicraft articles out of the nonedible byproducts of fish and wildlife resources taken for personal or family use or consumption, and f>