Preservation > Integrity

Definition

"Although a cultural resource must have relevant associations, a cultural resource does not consist solely of those associations…Cultural resources are physical entities with qualities such as mass, color, and texture, some of which express historical or cultural associations. Integrity addresses the degree to which behavior and ideas are manifested in the form and substance of a resource. A cultural resource has integrity if it retains material attributes associated with its social values.

"Integrity has many attributes. It is the material aspect of a resource and the ways in which materials were put together; it is the relationship between different parts of a resource and the aesthetic qualities that resulted; it is the exact geographic location of a resource and the nature of its setting…

"Although all cultural resources must have integrity, the nature of integrity varies from resource to resource.

"Integrity is not the same as condition. The condition of a resource is defined in terms of deterioration; integrity is defined in terms of correspondence with associations in the past. Condition is a matter of rot and rust; integrity is a matter of age and authenticity. All physical things have a condition; they do not all have historical integrity. On the other hand, all things with historical integrity also have a condition. The condition of a resource during its period of significance is part of its integrity."

Chapter 1: Fundamental Concepts of Cultural Resource Management, C. The Nature of Cultural Resources, 3. Integrity, NPS-28: Cultural Resource Management Guideline, National Park Service

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