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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.

Held in Trust Project Groups

The mission of Held in Trust is to evaluate the state of preservation and conservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the United States. Obstacles, opportunities, and needs, along with the resources required to sustain the field, will be identified and investigated. This NEH- funded initiative will engage a broad range of conservation and allied professionals, stakeholders, and communities, in exploring the intersection and impact of urgent global challenges and their intersection with the profession, including: sustainability (environmental, financial, other); social and racial justice; equity and diversity; climate change; biodiversity, and environmental resource protection; and technological change and innovation.

To facilitate this work, an Advisory Council, Steering Committee, and Working Groups have been established to provide diverse perspectives and subject matter expertise.

Advisory Council

The Held in Trust Advisory Council is comprised of representatives from organizations both in allied fields and outside the field of conservation to provide guidance, share expertise, and disseminate project outcomes.

Steering Committee

The Held in Trust Steering Committee is comprised of sixteen individuals who also serve as the co-chairs of each working group.

Working Groups

The work of Held in Trust will be assisted by subject experts in a wide variety of fields. Several working groups will explore the following topics:

  • Field Sustainability (including financial, collecting, and conservation practice)
  • Climate Change and Environmental Impact
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
  • Collection Care and Management (including preventive conservation)
  • Philosophy and Ethics in Conservation
  • Education, Professional Development, and Leadership
  • Engagement, Communication, and Storytelling
  • Science and Materials
  • Digital Technology: Research and Practice

Project Staff

In addition to the Advisory Council, Steering Committee, and working groups, Held in Trust is supported by Project Coordinator Pamela Hatchfield. She is Robert P. and Carol T. Henderson Head of Objects Conservation Emerita at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation, the International Institute of Conservation, and the American Academy in Rome. She served on the AIC Board of Directors as Director of Public Information and, more recently, as Vice President and then President. Her many publications include the groundbreaking book, Pollutants in the Museum Environment.

Hatchfield is assisted by Katelin Lee, FAIC Outreach Coordinator. You can reach out to the Held in Trust project team for more information or to get involved at hit@culturalheritage.org.