Appendix 2: Definitions in Stewardship of the Historic Environment

These selected short Definitions explain how words and phrases have been used in the [Standard and Guidance for Stewardship of the Historic Environment](http://www.archaeologists.net/sites/default/files/node-files/ifa_standar... ) (pdf file) . Some terms mean different things in different intellectual and national traditions, and the meanings of others have changed subtly over time. The interpretations used here are intended as far as possible to be consistent with fuller sets of definitions in the ‘Burra Charter’ (1999) and other European and international documents. They are included separately from the main Glossary in this document, to reflect their particular meanings in a stewardship context.

1. **Stewardship** protects and enhances what is valued in inherited historic assets and places. It responds to the needs and perceptions of people today and seeks to have regard for the needs of those in the future. The stewardship role includes undertaking conservation management tasks, communicating the public value of the heritage, promoting community awareness of the historic environment and encouraging active engagement in protection and enhancement.

2. **Values** are cultural, social and economic attributes, aspects of worth or importance, ascribed to historic assets and places. Distinct sets of values can complement or conflict with each other.

3. **Historic assets** are the material products of past human activity, discrete entities of recognised value at any scale from artefact to landscape. They can be, or can form part of, **places**, environmental locations people perceive as having a distinctive identity.

4. **Conservation** is the process of managing change through strategies and tasks that sustain the significance of inherited historic assets and places so that they can be used and enjoyed now and in the future. This can be done:
(a) **physically or intrusively**, through interventions to protect significant fabric, character or appearance,
(b) **intellectually or non-intrusively**, through activities such as research, investigation, interpretation, communication and advocacy that promote beneficial change or alter perceptions of the asset and its context.

5. The **benefits** derived from historic assets – which can be cultural, economic, social, and environmental – flow from enjoying them and investing in their conservation

6. The **significance** of an historic asset or place is the sum of the cultural, natural, and social values ascribed to it. Economic value in this context is restricted to its functional contribution towards economic activity rather than to its market value or costs associated with its conservation.

7. The **condition** of an historic asset or place is the state of repair and material stability in which it currently survives.

8. **Documentation of** an historic asset or place includes documentary evidence for the past human activities associated with it, (often as copies or transcripts) and the records generated by conservation management and investigation of it as an historic asset. **Documents** can be artefacts in their own right as well as sources of evidence.

9. The **historic environment** is the imprint of past human activity upon the natural world from prehistoric times onwards, the product of an interactive process that has created the places where we live and work now.

10. **Historic assets** are the material products of past human activity, discrete entities of recognised value at any scale from artefact to landscape, terrestrial and maritime.

11. Historic assets can be, or can form part of, **places**, environmental locations people perceive as having a distinctive identity.

12. The term **artefact** has a general application, to historic assets and places at any scale, and a more particular one, to individual human-made objects located in or originating from sites and structures.

13. **Heritage** describes inherited historic and natural assets and places that are valued by people for reasons beyond mere utility.

14. **Stewardship** protects and enhances what is valued in inherited historic assets and places. It responds to the needs and perceptions of people today and seeks to have regard for the needs of those in the future. The stewardship role includes undertaking conservation management tasks, communicating the public value of the heritage, promoting community awareness of the historic environment and encouraging active engagement in protection and enhancement.

15. **Values** are cultural, social and economic attributes, aspects of worth or importance, ascribed to historic assets and places. Distinct sets of values can complement or conflict with each other.

16. **Designation** recognises the special interest of historic assets and places by bestowing formal status under law or public policies intended to sustain those values.

17. The **significance** of an historic asset or place is the sum of the cultural, natural, and social values ascribed to it. Economic value in this context is restricted to its functional contribution towards economic activity rather than to its market value or costs associated with its conservation.

18. The **benefits** derived from historic assets – which can be cultural, economic, social, and environmental – flow from enjoying them and investing in their conservation.

19. The **setting** of an historic asset or place is land and / or buildings that are physically intervisible with it, the visual surroundings within which it is experienced and with which it may be historically connected.

20. The **context** of an historic asset or place is its wider significance within an historic period, asset-type or cultural tradition.

21. The **condition** of an historic asset or place is the state of repair and material stability in which it currently survives.

22. **Documentation** of an historic asset or place includes documentary evidence for the past human activities associated with it, (often as copies or transcripts) and the records generated by conservation management and investigation of it as an historic asset. **Documentary** evidence is both an artefact that may itself be an historic asset; it is also a source for evidential values.

23. **Conservation** is the process of managing change through strategies and tasks that sustain the significance of inherited historic assets and places so that they can be used and enjoyed now and in the future. This can be done:
(a) **physically or intrusively**, through interventions to protect significant fabric, character or appearance, or
(b) **intellectually or non-intrusively**, through activities such as research, investigation, interpretation, communication and advocacy that promote beneficial change or alter perceptions of the asset and its context.

24. **Sustainable** actions and policies for conserving historic assets and places meet present needs without compromising the ability to meet future ones.

25. Managing change to historic assets and places has three broad types of outcome differentiated by type of impact:

  1. **preservation** in the context of stewardship has been defined as ‘to do no harm’. It has traditionally meant keeping inherited historic fabric unaltered, but in practice it encompasses changes to fabric that have minimal effect on significance, arising from:
    1. **maintenance**, or routine work necessary to keep the fabric of historic assets and places in its existing condition, preventing or inhibiting the development of defects, but not involving repair
    2. **repair**, reversing changes caused by decay, damage or use, taking an asset or place back to a readily known condition before the defects occurred, but not involving restoration
  2. **alteration** is physical change that modifies function or appearance. It can include:
    1. **adaptation**, lesser-scale changes associated with modification to suit a use
    2. **conversion**, larger scale changes usually associated with a change of use
  3. **demolition or destruction** is the physical loss of part or all of an historic asset.

26. A series of terms describe actions to counter the effects of physical loss:

(a) **restoration** makes an historic asset or place conform to its known design or appearance at an earlier time. It is achieved by altering or replacing what has decayed, been lost, damaged, inappropriately repaired or added
(b) **renovation** literally means ‘making new again’. It usually requires qualification to indicate the scope and scale of renewal works.
(c) **reconstruction** goes beyond repair or restoration in recreating what no longer exists. It is speculative to the extent that physical and documentary evidence has to be supplemented with logical deduction or intelligent guesswork, often based on known parallels.
(d) **replication** makes an exact copy or _facsimile_ of all or part of an historic asset
(e) rebuilding is a general term for the complete or partial replacement of a building or artefact, through repair, reconstruction, replication or restoration
(f) **reversibility** is the characteristic of physical alterations to historic assets that can realistically and practicably be undone subsequently without adversely affecting their significance as existing before the alterations had been done.