Who We Are

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) is an interdisciplinary National Park Service office with expertise in historic architecture and engineering, archaeology, collections, cultural landscapes, and material conservation. We are an external program that reaches beyond national park boundaries to help sustain and conserve historic resources throughout the United States.  We also focus inwardly, ready to aid and partner with national parks and regional offices.

Our project partners include National Park Service sites; other federal agencies; state and tribal historic preservation offices; universities; and local, state, and national non-profits. The Center also cooperates with international preservation organizations to promote understanding and application of technology to cultural issues.

What We Do


woman in a lab using an engraving tool
NCPTT research associate, engraving brick samples before alternative herbicide testing.

NCPTT undertakes research at its in-house laboratories and in partnerships with universities and laboratories around the U.S.  The NCPTT labs include the National Park Service’s richest store of scientific equipment specifically designed to study environmental impacts on cultural materials. Current research includes:

  • Cleaning methods to remove crude oil from cultural heritage.
  • Mitigating the effects of fire suppressants on cultural resources.
  • Analyzing the effects of alternative herbicides on historic stone and masonry.
  • Best material and procedures for stabilizing paper shale fossils excavated at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
  • Documentation of sites and properties disappearing due to loss of coastal wetlands, sinking land, rising sea-levels, storm surges, and manmade alterations to land and waterways in the Mississippi River Delta.

Technical Services

NCPTT offers a range technical services to the  National Park Service and other agencies in the cultural heritage sector.  Examples include mortar sampling and analysis and non-destructive evaluations.


The National Center provides direct and competitive grants to promote research and training opportunities in preservation technology. The Preservation Technology and Training (PTT) Grants program provides funding for innovative research that develops new technologies or adapts existing technologies to preserve cultural resources. Recent grants awarded to NPS offices and parks include:


Four men standing next to a grave marker with cleaning supplies
HOPE Crew Project cemetery restoration training at KALA

NCPTT promotes excellence in preservation by developing training events in house and in partnership with others. These includes nationwide seminars, workshops, classes, and webinars.

Topics have ranged from traditional trades to non-destructive technologies.


NCPTT video library includes instructional videos and a large collection of presentation videos.


NCPTT’s Podcast series debuted 2008. The series includes interviews with professionals from every corner of the cultural heritage world.


The NCPTT website includes over 300 documents, including research reports, how-to manuals, and best practices. Many of these are products of  PTT grants.  Others were produced in-house and with partners. All are available to download from the NCPTT website.

In-house publications include:

Social Media

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