Historic Preservation

Historic preservation is a conversation with our past about our future. It provides us with opportunities to ask, "What is important in our history?" and "What parts of our past should we preserve for the future?" Through historic preservation, we look at history in different ways, ask questions of the past, and learn new things about our history and ourselves. Historic preservation is an important way for us to transmit our understanding of the past to future generations.

Our nation's history has many facets, and historic preservation helps tell these stories. Sometimes historic preservation involves celebrating events, people, places, and ideas that we are proud of; other times it involves recognizing moments in our history that can be painful or uncomfortable to remember.

As manager of one-fifth of the land in the United States, the Department of the Interior develops national policy related to historic preservation and is steward of prehistoric and historic districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects.  Historic preservation professionals in fields like history, archeology, museum management, architectural history, and historic landscape architecture work on rural and urban lands to manage and protect resources that tell a diverse story of America’s lands and its people. 

Find more information on the historic preservation programs of the Department of the Interior:


Caroline D. Henry

Federal Preservation Officer

Department of the Interior

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