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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 surveys are essential tools in this effort, and their use in managing national, regional, and local heritage is mandated in heritage-related legislation across the globe.Despite the widespread understanding of the importance of inventories and surveys, however, practical, up-to-date guidance on how they should be created, implemented, and maintained has been substantially lacking—until now.

This publication draws from the Getty Conservation Institute’s ongoing work with heritage inventories and on the Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources’ experience with SurveyLA. It provides technical advice, guidance, and lessons learned for employing inventories and surveys as tools for heritage conservation and management.

The free online edition of this open-access publication will be available at Also available are free PDF and EPUB downloads of the book. 

David Myers is a senior project specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute. Janet Hansen is former 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