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The Secretary of the Interior's
Standards and Guidelines for
Preservation Planning


Preservation Planning
Standards & Guidelines

Standard I
Standard II
Standard III
Managing the Planning Process
Developing Historic Contexts
Developing Goals for a Historic Context
Integrating Individual Historic Contexts--Creating the Preservation Plan
Coordinating with Management Frameworks
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NOTE: These Standards and Guidelines are part of Archeology and Historic Preservation: Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines, which appeared in the Federal Register, September 29, 1983 (48FR44716). Also included are standards and guidelines for identification, evaluation, registration, treatment, and documentation. Visit the entire set of Standards and Guidelines. Use your browser's "Back" button to return to this page.



When historic contexts overlap geographically, competing goals and priorities must be integrated for effective preservation planning. The ranking of goals for each historic context must be reconciled to ensure that recommendations for one context do not contradict those for another. This important step results in an overall set of priorities for several historic contexts and a list of the activities to be performed to achieve the ranked goals. When applied to a specific geographic area, this is the preservation plan for that area.

It is expected that in many instances historic contexts will overlap geographically. Overlapping contexts are likely to occur in two combinations - those that were defined at the same scale (i.e., textile development in Smithtown 1850-1910 and Civil War in Smithtown 1855-1870) and those defined at different scales (i.e., Civil War in Smithtown and Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley). The contexts may share the same property types, although the shared property types will probably have different levels of importance, or they may group the same properties into different property types, reflecting either a different scale of analysis or a different historical perspective.

As previously noted, many of the goals that are formulated for a historic context will focus on the property types defined for that context. Thus it is critical that the integration of goals include the explicit consideration of the potential for shared property type membership by individual properties. For example, when the same property types are used by two contexts, reconciling goals will require weighing the level of importance assigned to each property type. The degree to which integration of historic contexts must involve reconciling property types may be limited by the coordinated development of historic contexts used at different levels.


Preservation goals and priorities are adapted to land units through integration with other planning concerns. This integration must involve the resolution of conflicts that arise when competing resources occupy the same land base. Successful resolution of these conflicts can often be achieved through judicious combination of inventory, evaluation and treatment activities. Since historic properties are irreplaceable, these activities should be heavily weighted to discourage the destruction of significant properties and to be compatible with the primary land use.


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