This series of records include the planning, coordination, organization and implementation of long-term training programmes held in partnerships with other organizations, and a range of specific projects, including courses, conferences, workshops and other events; and the relations and exchange of correspondence with partner institutions, lecturers and course participants (who in many cases became influential conservators and conservation policy-makers in their own country and abroad). Records also document the specific capacity building role of ICCROM as an Advisory Body to the 1972 World Heritage Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
ICCROM programmes and projects deal with movable and immovable, tangible and intangible heritage worldwide, for the benefit of mankind. Cultural heritage presents multiple facets that deserve to be dealt with both in their specificities/materiality (ICCROM has organized and still organizes courses on the restoration of specific materials such as wood, stone or Japanese paper) and in their broader social, economic, and environmental implications, for example by analyzing the relationship between cultural heritage and their communities, or the interlinkages between culture and nature.
Over the years together with the support of its partners, ICCROM has developed and implemented, numerous programmes and projects, which reflect the evolution of methodologies and approaches to heritage conservation: from the study of restoration techniques and materials to an overall heritage management approach; from traditional/prescriptive preventive conservation to a more integrated, predictive risk management approach focused not only in the “response phase”, such as the reaction to a catastrophic event, but also in the prevention and preparedness, for example through the assessment of the various risks to allow comparison and prioritization.
Even if these projects were mainly conceived for the capacity building of heritage professionals from all over the world, ICCROM has always recognized and addressed the key role played by the general public and the importance of its awareness about the risks related to a careless, dangerous and intensive use of cultural heritage. To respond to this specific need, ICCROM developed awareness activities, such as “Media Save Art” (1990-2001), a successful programme of public advocacy, conceived to address and involve the general public through an engaging approach, with a particular focus on schools and media, through audiovisual and poster competitions, students exchanges and “adoption campaigns” (“Adopt a Monument” project).
As outputs of ICCROM’s capacity building activities, the Archives also preserve an important collection of didactic materials composed of models and samples, as well as technical cards (1970s-1980s) about different subjects, such as ‘Biology’ by G. Giacobini, ‘Biodeterioration’ by Aiken and A. Bakkenist, 'Climate Control and Security in Museums' by Gaël de Guichen; 'Metals' by Albert France-Lanord; 'Paper' by Rita Cassano and Giuseppe Calabrò; 'Wood' by Bruno Mühlethaler; 'Stone' by Peter Rockwell and V. Starr; and 'Mural Paintings' by Paolo and Laura Mora. These materials are fundamental for the understanding of the history and evolution of conservation teaching, as well as the conservation and restoration techniques, tools and approaches used in past decades.