Even before the World Heritage Convention of 1972, American historic preservationists understood their work in a worldwide context.

Just over fifty years ago the Rains Committee traveled through 8 European countries to study their historic preservation programs. Many of the best ideas they found were enshrined in the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

On the 50th anniversary of the NHPA, we ask “What can and should U.S. preservation law and federal programs look like for the next 50 years?”

US/ICOMOS, in collaboration with the U.S. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), is conducting a Virtual Rains Committee International Tour to solicit short essays describing interesting and useful approaches to heritage law, policy, program strategy, and related preservation challenges from around the world that can help point the way to innovations in U.S. heritage practice over the next 50 years.

We seek your assistance in submitting short descriptions of ideas that are already in practice and working in countries across the globe. All promising examples are welcome. Ideas could include but are not limited to:

  • Preservation as a tool for sustainable development
  • Addressing the challenges of climate change adaptation and resilience
  • Democratizing preservation
  • Promoting inclusiveness
  • Ideas of authenticity, significance and integrity
  • Rethinking established preservation processes and systems
  • Community-based valuation of heritage resources

We are requesting personal information and a short description (no more than 300 words) of your international example of preservation excellence by Friday, April 22, 2016.

Please submit your idea here: http://www.usicomos.org/about/call-for-submissions/

After the submission period ends, approximately eight ideas will be selected for further development and subsequent publication. Authors will receive a stipend of $1,000 for their work. These essays will be used by the ACHP to develop policy recommendations that can be transmitted to the next Presidential Administration and Congress. They will also be published in a short booklet entitled “With a World of Heritage So Rich: Lessons from Across the Globe for U.S. Historic Preservation in its Second 50 years.”

To learn more about the opportunities and challenges facing preservation in the United States, read this statement from the ACHP.

To learn more about the entire project, please visit the Call for Submissions page on the US/ICOMOS website.