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The American Institute for Conservation and the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation work together to promote the preservation and protection of cultural heritage. Partner with us to further that mission.

Areas of Study

Held in Trust is examining obstacles, opportunities, and needs, along with the resources required to sustain the field of conservation and preservation. A broad range of conservation and allied professionals, stakeholders, and communities, are engaged in exploring the intersection and impact of urgent global challenges with the profession, including: sustainability (environmental, financial, and collecting and conservation practice); social and racial justice; diversity and equity; climate change and environmental resource protection; technological and scientific innovation.

We have identified nine critical topic areas of study. Each topic area is explored by a working group, led by co-chairs, who serve on the Held in Trust Steering Committee.

Field Sustainability

Chairs: Alison Gilchrest, Debbie Hess Norris

  • New philanthropic trends, opportunities, partnerships
  • Financial sustainability
  • Collections sustainability

Climate Change and Environmental Impact

Chairs: Héctor Berdecia-Hernández, Sarah Sutton

  • Policy
  • Education for action
  • Awareness of impacts

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility

Chairs: Isra El-beshir, Sarah Scaturro

  • Representation
  • Caretaking and interpretation

Collection Care and Management, including preventive conservation

Chairs: Mariana Di Giacomo, Laura Hortz Stanton

  • Training for resilience
  • Advocacy
  • Preventive conservation

Philosophy and Ethics in Conservation

Chairs: Landis Smith, Glenn Wharton

  • Conservation philosophy
  • Conservation ethics
  • Collaborative conservation

Education, Professional Development, Leadership

Chairs: Valinda Carroll, Ellen Pearlstein

  • Education
  • Professional development
  • Leadership

Engagement, Communication, Storytelling

Chairs: Lauren Dugas Glover, Michelle Ramos, Laura Hortz Stanton

  • Engagement
  • Artifacts
  • Storytelling

Science and Materials

Chairs: Francesca Casadio, Sarah Scaturro

  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Science for the humanities

Digital Technology: Research and Practice

Chairs: Paul Messier, Linda Tadic

  • Preservation of technology-based cultural heritage
  • Technologies, tools, and methodologies
  • Non-institutional archives