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A National Convening on Conservation and Preservation

Andover, Massachusetts, April 16, 2020:

The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) has been awarded a three-year cooperative agreement totaling $500,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to evaluate current national infrastructure in conservation and make recommendations to strengthen preservation of cultural heritage for present and future generations. The Held in Trust project will assess the current state of, and challenges facing, the preservation of the cultural heritage of our nation as it approaches its 250th anniversary in 2026.

NEDCC | Northeast Document Conservation Center is pleased to be a participant and member of the Advisory Council for the project.

Held in Trust is part of a major NEH initiative, A More Perfect Union: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary. “Our nation’s cultural heritage collections—the records and writings that document both the momentous acts and private thoughts of the past; the artifacts, artwork, and ephemera left to us from previous eras—are foundational to our understanding of our shared American history,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “The FAIC Held in Trust project will create a roadmap to equip conservation professionals with the skills and resources they need to safeguard these national treasures so that they remain available for future generations to study, appreciate, and admire. NEH is pleased to support FAIC in this urgently important undertaking.”

Guided by a steering committee and an advisory council and in collaboration with NEH staff, the project will comprise three years of research, discussion, and dissemination activities. “We are thrilled to partner with NEH to highlight the crucial role conservation plays in preserving America’s primary source materials that are integral for humanities scholarship and dissemination,” said FAIC Executive Director Eryl Wentworth, “as well to have the opportunity to address societal and environmental challenges currently facing our nation that directly impact the conservation profession and collections care.”

A core activity will be a national convening to take place in Washington, DC, in 2021, followed by a one-day program to be held at AIC’s 50th anniversary meeting in Los Angeles in 2022. These sessions will summarize progress made to date on identified action items and focus on project outcomes, long-term impacts, and next steps. The Held in Trust final report will serve as a road map for the field and will guide and shape future activities.

NEDCC | Northeast Document Conservation Center’s mission is to improve the conservation efforts of libraries, archives, historical organizations, museums, and other repositories; to provide the highest quality services to institutions without in-house conservation facilities or those that seek specialized expertise; and to provide leadership in the preservation and conservation fields. For more information, visit

The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation’s (FAIC) mission is to save cultural heritage for future generations, protecting it from decay and destruction. We advance research and education, lead treatment and collection care initiatives, and deploy conservation expertise to where it is most urgently needed. Our work empowers conservation professionals, strengthens cultural institutions, and engages stakeholders, including public audiences, as we work together to protect cultural heritage for humanity. For more information, visit


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