November 20, 2009


IMLS Press Contacts
Jeannine Mjoseth,
Mamie Bittner,

Washington, DC—On October 31, 2009, 59 cultural heritage leaders from 32 countries, including representatives of Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Asia, unanimously passed the Salzburg Declaration on the Conservation and Preservation of Cultural Heritage (PDF, 15KB). The declaration was the culmination of "Connecting to the World’s Collections: Making the Case for Conservation and Preservation of our Cultural Heritage," the Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS) held October 28 – November 1, 2009 under the auspices of the U.S. federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and SGS. The declaration will be widely distributed to cultural ministries and other policymaking entities; it has already been translated into Arabic.

The seminar built on the findings of "Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action," IMLS’s multi-year initiative on collections care, putting them into a global context. It combined presentations by leading experts in conservation and preservation throughout the world with small working groups tasked with making practical recommendations for future action on specific topics. Those guiding topics included emergency preparedness, education and training, public awareness, new preservation approaches, and assessment and planning. One evening was devoted to a fireside chat on "conservation in the developing world," with a panel of participants representing Benin, Iraq, Mexico, Singapore, and Trinidad and Tobago.

At the opening session, Vinod Daniel, Seminar Co-leader and Head of Culture Heritage & Science Initiatives at the Australia Museum, noted that he had never attended a meeting "as diverse as this, with people from this many parts of the world, as cross-disciplinary as this." A report summarizing the discussions and outlining the recommendations will be published later this year, sent to key stakeholders around the world, and made available online at and

Additional support for the seminar was provided by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. For more information about the program contact Nancy Rogers, Senior Project Coordinator, IMLS, or Susanna Seidl-Fox, Program Director, SGS:

Daily seminar blog posts by Richard McCoy, Associate Conservator of Objects at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, are available at

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit

About the Salzburg Global Seminar
The Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent, non-governmental organization with its headquarters at the magnificent Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria. For 62 years, the Seminar has brought together leaders, scholars, practitioners, and students from the fields of politics, economics, law, media, culture and the arts to address issues of global concern. Its faculty, fellows, and staff come from diverse regions, backgrounds, and professional expertise. To learn more about the Seminar, please visit

About the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) bridges the bi-partisan interests of federal agencies and the private sector to support arts and humanities efforts in education, cultural diplomacy, economic revitalization, and special events dedicated to recognizing excellence in these areas. First Lady Michelle Obama is the Honorary Chairman of the PCAH. To learn more about PCAH, please visit