CRM Journal


by Antoinette J. Lee, Editor


After a quarter century, CRM achieved "classic" status. First published by the National Park Service in 1978, CRM Bulletin was a pioneering effort to exchange information on cultural resources work in the national parks. When its mandate expanded to encompass both the parks and the partnership programs in the early 1980s, CRM became a vehicle for sharing information among the National Park Service and its partners in the public and private sectors. By the early 21st century, CRM was published almost monthly and reached thousands of readers both in the United States and abroad.

Why change a successful model? CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship is part of a larger restructuring of cultural resources publications and products. CRM Journal; our sister publication, Common Ground; the electronic newsletter, Heritage News; and the forthcoming Website, Heritage Exchange, reflect the standards that Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton has set for the Department of the Interior and its bureaus. The Secretary has emphasized the "Four C's"—Consultation, Communication, and Cooperation, all in the service of Conservation—as the cornerstone of her tenure. This group of publications and products represents our effort to communicate better with the heritage community and the public.

CRM Journal responds to the evolution of the cultural resources field itself. Where once cultural resource management was practiced by relatively small staffs in the National Park Service and a handful of other government agencies, serious and substantive work is now being conducted by many Federal Government agencies, tribal governments, State and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and consulting firms under contract with government agencies and private organizations.

The intellectual growth of the field is evident also in the greater involvement of the academic community. Colleges and universities offer degree programs in historic preservation, public history, museum studies, and applied history as well as nondegree courses and other training. Academic scholars are pursuing research in areas relevant to cultural resource decision-making and technologies. Preservation practitioners are teaching and blurring the line between the academic and practitioner spheres.

Given this transformed professional context, the National Park Service, in consultation with its partners, decided to use the good name of CRM and transform it into a scholarly peer-reviewed journal. CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship features scholarly articles, viewpoint essays, research reports, and reviews of print and nonprint materials that cover the range of cultural resources work, including history, architecture, curation, ethnography, archeology, cultural landscapes, folklife, and related fields. CRM Journal aims to encourage scholars and preservation practitioners to address the "history and development of and trends and emerging issues in cultural resource management in the United States and abroad." In the process, we hope that CRM Journal will stimulate active dialogue among authors and readers and encourage creativity and new approaches in our work.

Authors for this first issue of CRM Journal include distinguished figures such as David Lowenthal, professor emeritus at University College London, and Arleen Pabón, professor in the School of Architecture at Florida A&M University. The interview with Russell V. Keune provides a spotlight on a consequential preservation career that began with the National Park Service's Mission 66 program and encompassed tenures at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, US/ICOMOS, and The American Institute of Architects.

Articles on new research lie at the heart of scholarly journals. We are pleased to include work by younger scholars whose works underscore the creative potential in this field. Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Martin J. Perschler present new and previously unpublished material on the early years of the Historic American Buildings Survey, a model documentation program that began in the depths of the Great Depression in 1933 and celebrates it 70th anniversary this fall. Amy Squitieri and Mary Ebeling offer the insights of those who work for consulting firms under contract to public agencies and a model for determining the significance of and managing a large group of related properties.

To facilitate reader participation in current research, a regular feature, "research reports," will summarize projects that are open to reader input. This issue includes five research reports—covering archeology in the Channel Islands, the Vicksburg Campaign Trail, civil rights resources in Alabama, the National Park Service's Mission 66 program, and the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Finally, the journal includes a significant number of book reviews, reviews of recent exhibits, and reviews of relevant Internet sites. These reviews help CRM Journal to address the full range of cultural heritage issues of interest to professionals both in this country and abroad and suggest the variety of means possible for presenting and disseminating heritage materials.

The development of CRM Journal would not have been possible without the guidance of the members of its editorial board, who are leading figures both in and outside of the National Park Service, and the contributing editors, who represent the programs of the National Park Service's National Center for Cultural Resources. All played a major role in identifying peer reviewers and reviewers for print and nonprint materials. The CRM Journal staff, including Brian D. Joyner, Michèle Gates Moresi, and Martin J. Perschler, contributed greatly to the intellectual underpinnings of this publication.

Finally, this new iteration of CRM would not have been possible without the heroic work of former CRM editor, Ron Greenberg, who transformed an in-house publication into a valuable tool for the heritage community. After Ron's retirement, John Robbins, Assistant Director, Cultural Resources steered the National Center for Cultural Resources toward the restructuring of our publications. Thanks are due also to publisher Sue Waldron, who orchestrated this new suite of important publications and products, and to Mike Konetzka of the Dennis Konetzka Design Group for the outstanding design of this journal.

We hope that you, the reader, will enjoy the first issue of CRM Journal. We are looking forward to hearing from you and learning how well this publication meets your expectations.

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