Heritage manager

 17 February 2011

Heritage managers are responsible for keeping or managing historic places. They can also be responsible for buildings and their contents or other historic assets in good condition. Heritage managers need to promote access and understanding. However, they also need to balance the use of the place with its conservation.

Heritage managers may work:

  • On buildings or objects with a view to making them accessible, their preservation or restoration
  • At parks and gardens of special historic or architectural interest
  • With cultural collections where they may specialise in areas such as management of historic sites, places or buildings.

Some managers are generalists with experience in managing a large operation. They may have strategies to maximise both the conservation and educational benefits. This can apply to a variety of areas, such as a building or set of objects.

Managers investigate the asset and assess its condition. They then decide on the best method of balancing access and preservation priorities. This process can include introducing dedicated conservation or preservation or restoration strategies. They use a wide range of tools, including:

  • Inventories
  • Management tools, such as access audits
  • Cleaning procedures etc, usually in a managerial rather than a technical capacity.

As part of a team in a larger organisation, they may also be responsible for the conditions in which assets or exhibits are interpreted, stored and displayed. They may also monitor environmental factors.

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