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|Understanding and Defining Heritage Assets|
Understanding Heritage Assets
A number of elements contribute to an understanding of the conservation requirements of heritage assets. The strategic process follows the SoE Report approach:
In establishing an understanding of the condition of heritage assets, the focus is on:
In establishing an understanding of pressures bearing on heritage assets, the principal focus is on:
In establishing an understanding of the management response appropriate for heritage assets, the focus is on:
Defining Heritage Assets
The strategic process measures the characteristics of the widest possible range of cultural heritage attributes. To make sense of these, a simple classification system has been adopted, designed to encourage the management of related sites, objects, records, customs, and practices. Conservation management is necessarily directed at physical expressions of thematic systems within these classes. The range of key headings has been identified as:
Thematic systems encompass broad themes indicating a Tasmanian sense of place and identity. Many will represent ongoing activities, while others may be associated with past practices. Examples might include Aboriginal culture, the Catholic Church, maritime history, Irish or Chinese culture, and convictism. Draft themes have been proposed based on functional types developed for the Tasmanian Historic Places Index (see table)
It is proposed to undertake a pilot project applying the thematic systems to Tasmanian history, ranking the thematic systems and linking heritage assets to each thematic system. A method for ranking themes has not been developed, but may take the form of establishing a value for each theme linked to chronological stages of Tasmanian history. There will be an ongoing need to upgrade any system adopted based on new information and assessment needs.
Trial 'scores' for condition, threat and rarity applying to each type of physical expression of cultural heritage have been developed. The trail scores have been adapted from a range of sources, including Federal and State legislation, and heritage industry principals.
Prioritising of heritage assets will be achieved through an algorithm linking the 'scores' of individual heritage assets across these categories. The resulting data set could then be used to establish priorities across key headings or under each key heading.
One of the many difficulties associated with identifying cultural heritage indicators is that attempts to measure condition must take into account intangible records or 'memories' and the 'contemporary significance' of heritage attributes.
As has been suggested, cultural heritage is the product of human endeavour, encompassing not just 'things', but a social, intellectual, and spiritual inheritance. To address this issue the key heading, 'contemporary significance', is designed to reflect a community's continuing usage and memory of a heritage attribute.
The condition and pressure scores outlined in each of the issue reports within this chapter are predictive, providing indicators for recovery, which in turn, will facilitate a more accurate rating of cultural heritage.
Three issues in this assessment process merit further discussion. These issues are detailed below and relate to the importance or context, continuing the use of an asset as originally intended, and active management considerations.
It must also be highlighted that the strategic process is not intended to replace existing listing and cataloguing systems (for instance those maintained by the Tasmanian Heritage Council, National Trust, Tasmanian Heritage Office, local government councils, museums or State Archives). The approach is designed to work in conjunction with systems already in place, by providing a facility for driving inter-agency cooperation through the standardisation of data collection and coordinated analysis of data.
Contact the Commission on: email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (03) 6233 2795 (within Australia) Fax: (03) 6233 5400 (within Australia) Or mail to: RPDC, GPO Box 1691, Hobart, TAS, 7001, Australia
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2006
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