Collections Crisis in the Nation’s Capital: Problems and Solutions for the Washington, D.C. Historic Preservation Office

Author(s): Christine M Ames

Year: 2016

Summary

Successful collections management encompasses proper housing, monitoring, and curation to ensure long-term preservation and accessibility.  However, successful collections management also involves identifying and addressing issues(s) that threaten collections.  The Washington, D.C. Historic Preservation Office (DCHPO) is in the midst of addressing a collections crisis.  The DCHPO consults on both District and Federal compliance projects, and without a curation facility, its collections are stored across various agencies and repositories.  Compounded by repeated office moves, lack of a city archaeologist for a brief period, updated preservation legislation, and tight funding, the DCHPO collections have suffered. This paper examines the collections status at its worst--subject to fluctuating environmental conditions, inconsistent housing materials, a lack of research space, and, in general, a weak inventory--and then assesses the strategic steps already taken in rectifying each issue.  This paper concludes by considering what else can be done even as the DCHPO collections continue to grow.  

Cite this Record

Collections Crisis in the Nation’s Capital: Problems and Solutions for the Washington, D.C. Historic Preservation Office. Christine M Ames. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434969)

Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 569