At the Center for Heritage Resource
Studies, the concept of heritage focuses on the relationship
between the uses of the past, local cultural expression, and the
natural environment. Heritage encompasses a broad array
of resources: community identity, ethnic and cultural traditions
and practices, environmental resources affected by both human and
natural actions, historic architecture, and archaeological ruins.
The emerging field of “heritage resource studies” reflects the
need for research devoted to understanding the cultural characteristics
of heritage, its importance in contemporary society, and its uses
||Whose past is to be represented?
||How are competing claims to the use of environmental
resources to be resolved?
are preservation, conservation, and development, often inherently
conflicting efforts, to be balanced?
| In answering these questions, a view of
heritage that stresses the relationships between the uses of the past,
local cultural expressions, and the natural environment has emerged—the
essence of the mission of the Center for
Heritage Resource Studies. Investigation of these issues crosses
many disciplines, including cultural anthropology, archaeology, historic
preservation, community development, environmental sciences, and others.
One of the major challenges of the new millennium will be learning
how to counterbalance the effects of globalization and rapid technological
change with efforts to conserve our cultural and natural heritage.
Global development has begun to threaten those vital senses of place
and identity that in the past have helped promote the conservation
of cultural and natural resources. In recent years, efforts
to conserve such resources are increasingly expressed in terms of
In the United States, numerous public and private initiatives direct
attention to the importance of sustaining locality and encouraging
diversity in the face of increased pressures toward globalization.
Similar initiatives can be found throughout the world. Indeed,
globalization has inspired global movements to protect natural and
cultural resources that respect this sense of place.
The Center for Heritage Resource Studies was established to help
bring scholars and practitioners together to support a comprehensive
approach to the study of heritage. To this end, the Center
conducts and supports original research into all aspects of heritage,
sponsors educational seminars and workshops, and provides a forum
for debate between academic and applied anthropological approaches
to the study of heritage.
Center for Heritage Resource Studies
1111 Woods Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland 20742
- Phone: 301-405-0085