National Historic Preservation Act of 1966
As amended through 2000
[With annotations]

[This Act became law on October 15, 1966 (Public Law 89-665; 16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.). Subsequent amendments to the Act include Public Law 91-243, Public Law 93-54, Public Law 94-422, Public Law 94- 458, Public Law 96-199, Public Law 96-244, Public Law 96-515, Public Law 98-483, Public Law 99-514, Public Law 100-127, Public Law 102-575, Public Law 103-437, Public Law 104-333, Public Law 106-113, Public Law 106-176, Public Law 106-208, and Public Law 106-355. This description of the Act, as amended, tracts the language of the United States Code except that (in following common usage) we refer to the “Act”(meaning the Act, as amended) rather than to the “subchapter” or the “title” of the Code. This description also excludes some of the notes found in the Code as well as those sections of the amendments dealing with completed reports. Until the Code is updated through the end of the 106th Congress, the Code citations for Sections 308 and 309 are speculative.]

AN ACT to Establish a Program for the Preservation of Additional Historic Properties throughout the Nation, and for Other Purposes.

Title IV

[16 U.S.C. 470x — National initiative to coordinate and promote research, distribute information and provide training about preservation skills and technologies]

The Congress finds and declares that, given the complexity of technical problems encountered in preserving historic properties and the lack of adequate distribution of technical information to preserve such properties, a national initiative to coordinate and promote research, distribute information, and provide training about preservation skills and technologies would be beneficial.

[16 U.S.C. 470x-1— Definitions]

For the purposes of this title —

  1. The term “Board” means the National Preservation Technology and Training Board established pursuant to section 404 of this Act.
  2. The term “Center” means the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training established pursuant to section 403 of this Act.
  3. The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior.

  1. [16 U.S.C. 470x-2(a) — Establish a National Center for Preservation Technology and Training]

    There is hereby established within the Department of the Interior a National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. The Center shall be located at Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Nacthitoches, Louisiana.

  2. [16 U.S.C. 470x-2(b) — Purposes of Center]

    The purposes of the Center shall be to —

    1. develop and distribute preservation and conservation skills and technologies for the identification, evaluation, conservation, and interpretation of prehistoric and historic resources;
    2. develop and facilitate training for Federal, State and local resource preservation professionals, cultural resource managers, maintenance personnel, and others working in the preservation field;
    3. take steps to apply preservation technology benefits from ongoing research by other agencies and institutions;
    4. facilitate the transfer of preservation technology among Federal agencies, State and local governments, universities, international organizations, and the private sector; and
    5. cooperate with related international organizations including, but not limited to the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the International Center for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, and the International Council on Museums.
  3. [16 U.S.C. 470x-2(c) — Programs]

    Such purposes shall be carried out through research, professional training, technical assistance, and programs for public awareness, and through a program of grants established under section 405 of this Act.

  4. [16 U.S.C. 470x-2(d) — Executive Director]

    The Center shall be headed by an Executive Director with demonstrated expertise in historic preservation appointed by the Secretary with advice of the Board.

  5. [16 U.S.C. 470x-2(e) — Assistance from Secretary]

    The Secretary shall provide the Center assistance in obtaining such personnel, equipment, and facilities as may be needed by the Center to carry out its activities.

  1. [16 U.S.C. 470x-3(a) — Establish a Preservation Technology and Training Board]

    There is established a Preservation Technology and Training Board.

  2. [16 U.S.C. 470x-3(b) — Duties]

    The Board shall —

    1. provide leadership, policy advice, and professional oversight to the Center;
    2. advise the Secretary on priorities and the allocation of grants among the activities of the Center; and
    3. submit an annual report to the President and the Congress.
  3. [16 U.S.C. 470x-3(c) — Membership]

    The Board shall be comprised of —

    1. The Secretary, or the Secretary’s designee;
    2. 6 members appointed by the Secretary who shall represent appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, State and local historic preservation commissions, and other public and international organizations; and
    3. 6 members appointed by the Secretary on the basis of outstanding professional qualifications who represent major organizations in the fields of archaeology, architecture, conservation, curation, engineering, history, historic preservation, landscape architecture, planning, or preservation education.

  1. [16 U.S.C. 470x-4(a) — Grants for research, information distribution and skill training]

    The Secretary, in consultation with the Board, shall provide preservation technology and training grants to eligible applicants with a demonstrated institutional capability and commitment to the purposes of the Center, in order to ensure an effective and efficient system of research, information distribution and skills training in all the related historic preservation fields.

  2. [16 U.S.C. 470x-4(b) — Grant Requirements]

    1. Grants provided under this section shall be allocated in such a fashion to reflect the diversity of the historic preservation fields and shall be geographically distributed.
    2. No grant recipient may receive more than 10 percent of the grants allocated under this section within any year.
    3. The total administrative costs, direct and indirect, charged for carrying out grants under this section may not exceed 25 percent of the aggregate costs.
  3. [16 U.S.C. 470x-4(c) — Eligible applicants]

    Eligible applicants may include Federal and non-Federal laboratories, accredited museums, universi- ties, non-profit organizations; offices, units, and Cooperative Park Study Units of the National Park System, State Historic Preservation Offices, tribal preservation offices, and Native Hawaiian organizations.

  4. [16 U.S.C. 470x-4(d) — Standards]

    All such grants shall be awarded in accordance with accepted professional standards and methods, including peer review of projects.

  5. [16 U.S.C. 470x-4(e) — Authorization of appropriations]

    There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary.

  1. [16 U.S.C. 470x-5(a) — Center may accept grants, donations, and other Federal funds; may enter into contracts and cooperative agreements]

    The Center may accept —

    1. grants and donations from private individuals, groups, organizations, corporations, foundations, and other entities; and
    2. transfers of funds from other Federal agencies.
  2. [16 U.S.C. 470x-5(b) — Contracts and cooperative agreements]

    Subject to appropriations, the Center may enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, Native Hawaiian organizations, educational institutions, and other public entities to carry out the Center’s responsibilities under this title of the Act.

  3. [16 U.S.C. 470x-5(c) — Authorization of appropriations]

    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the establishment, operation, and maintenance of the Center. Funds for the Center shall be in addition to existing National Park Service programs, centers, and offices.

[16 U.S.C. 470x-6 — Improve use of existing NPS centers and regional offices]

In order to improve the use of existing National Park Service resources, the Secretary shall fully utilize and further develop the National Park Service preservation (including conservation) centers and regional offices. The Secretary shall improve the coordination of such centers and offices within the National Park Service, and shall, where appropriate, coordinate their activities with the Center and with other appropriate parties.


[National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980, Public Law 96-515, December 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3000

This addendum contains related legislative provisions enacted in the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980 but that are not part of the National Historic Preservation Act.]

  1. [16 U.S.C. 470a-1(a) — International activities and World Heritage Convention]

    The Secretary of the Interior shall direct and coordinate United States participation in the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, approved by the Senate on October 26, 1973, in cooperation with the Secretary of State, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Whenever possible, expenditures incurred in carrying out activities in cooperation with other nations and international organizations shall be paid for in such excess currency of the country or area where the expense is incurred as may be available to the United States.

  2. [16 U.S.C. 470a-1(b) — Nominations of properties to World Heritage List]

    The Secretary of the Interior shall periodically nominate properties he determines are of international significance to the World Heritage Committee on behalf of the United States. No property may be so nominated unless it has previously been determined to be of national significance. Each such nomination shall include evidence of such legal protections as may be necessary to ensure preservation of the property and its environment (including restrictive covenants, easements, or other forms of protection). Before making any such nomination, the Secretary shall notify the Committee on Natural Resources of the United States House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate.

  3. [16 U.S.C. 470a-1(c) — Concurrence of non-Federal property]

    No non-Federal property may be nominated by the Secretary of the Interior to the World Heritage Committee for inclusion on the World Heritage List unless the owner of the property concurs in writing to such nomination.


[National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980, Public Law 96-515, December 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3000

This addendum contains related legislative provisions enacted in the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980 but that are not part of the National Historic Preservation Act.]

[16 U.S.C. 470a-2 — International Federal activities affecting historic properties]

Prior to the approval of any Federal undertaking outside the United States which may directly and adversely affect a property which is on the World Heritage List or on the applicable country’s equivalent of the National Register, the head of a Federal agency having direct or indirect jurisdiction over such undertaking shall take into account the effect of the undertaking on such property for purposes of avoiding or mitigating any adverse effects.