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Inventories and Surveys for Heritage Management

Available August 2024

Lessons for the Digital Age

David Myers and Janet Hansen

A critical first step in the conservation of cultural heritage is to identify and understand the places we want to protect. Inventories and related data-collection activities such as surveys are essential tools in this effort, and heritage-related legislation across the globe now universally mandates their use. However, despite wide understanding of the importance and critical role of inventories and surveys in documenting the heritage places of traditionally underrepresented communities, practical, up-to-date guidance on how these instruments should be created, implemented, and maintained has been sorely lacking—until now.

This publication provides a step-by-step guide to identifying, recording, and managing information on heritage resources as a basis for their conservation and management. It is drawn from the Getty Conservation Institute’s two decades of experience and research in this topical area, including ongoing work related to its open-source Arches Cultural Heritage Data Management Platform and, previously, the creation of the Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities (MEGA)-Jordan. It is also drawn from SurveyLA, a multiyear review of historic resources that was a joint project of the City of Los Angeles and Getty and is considered the largest American urban historic resource assessment to date.

David Myers is a senior project specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute. Janet Hansen is deputy manager, Office of Historic Resources, Los Angeles Department of City Planning. 

180 pages
8 1/2  × 11 inches
65 color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-881-6

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Conservation Institute