The National Heritage Board of Poland is a state agency that gathers and disseminates information on heritage, sets standards for its protection and conservation, and aims to raise the social awareness on cultural heritage of Poland in order to save it for future generations in accordance with the strategy for sustainable development.
The National Heritage Board of Poland is a cultural institution established by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Its present structure was formed in 2007.
The main objective of the National Heritage Board of Poland is to implement the State’s policy concerning the protection of cultural heritage and its supervision through assuring the best and most comprehensive conditions for preserving it for future generations.The Board’s activities encompass in particular:
documentation of the cultural heritage through registering the historical monuments – their values and condition they are in; archiving documental resources that relate to the protection of historical monuments;
formation of the rules for the protection of historical monuments through recognizing the threats and elaborating the standards of conduct as well as the implementation of standards for conservation works;
education and promotion of heritage, which means popularization of knowledge about historical monuments and formation of social conditions enabling the effective protection of them.
The Board – in executing the goals listed above – keeps the National Inventory of Historical Monuments, forms digital information resources about material heritage of the cultural kind and establishes new techniques for scientific documentation and research on monuments. The Board’s professionals also conduct verification of the register of monuments in order to make the documentation fully correspond with reality.
The Board’s experts prepare conservation guidelines for the most valuable historical monuments that are endangered as well as expert’s statements and opinions concerning the protection of historical objects required by the General Inspector of Monuments. They also supervise the process of removing from the register of monuments those which lost their value or no longer exist as well as dealing with an appeals procedures concerning the protection of archaeological monuments. Besides, the Board supports the local inspectors of monuments in supervising the process of archaeological rescue research undertaken where motorways and express roads are built. The Board also develops a close cooperation with police and similar services in order to prevent crime against historical monuments.
The Board creates the bases for conservatory doctrine, works out and implements a homogeneous system of cultural heritage protection and documentation as well as methodological standards of research, documentation and conservation of monuments. It monitors the state of preservation of cultural heritage and estimates the threats to monuments. It supervises the preparation of periodic reports on Polish sites and objects placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It coordinates the procedure of submitting applications for nomination by the President of Poland particular sites and objects as the Monuments of History.
The Board is concerned about widely comprehended social education and conducts trainings for institutions and individuals engaged in the protection of cultural heritage; a programme of training covers research, protection, conservation and administration of monuments. It also co-conducts the postgraduate study in the archaeological heritage management and plans to launch another.
The important domain of the Board’s activities is the coordination of the European Heritage Days and organisation of the International Day for Monuments and Sites. Being concerned about the cultural education of the youngest, the Board organises, as part of the EHD programme, contests in the fields of tradition and history for children and young people. The Board also promotes volunteer works for salvaging monuments.
The Board prepares exhibitions and publishes a number of periodicals. The following regularly come out: a quarterly “Ochrona Zabytków”, an annual “Muzealnictwo”, a newsletter “Kurier Konserwatorski” and soon, a series “Studia i Materiały Krajowego Ośrodka Badań i Dokumentacji Zabytków – Monument”. Besides the mentioned titles, the Board also prepares other publications about national heritage.
The access to the specialist resources of the Board – the library, the conservatory documentation archive and the photographic archive – is open for everyone interested.
The Board also runs a telephone and address directory of Polish museums, which is accessible online, and gathers information about good practice in these institutions.
Moreover, the Board manages the programme of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage which supports projects of digitalisation of monuments and museum objects.
The Board’s aims and assignments are realized both in its headquarters in Warsaw and in the Regional Boards which are located in all the voivodeships. The Board cooperates with the state administration, local government units, non-government organisations, national, foreign and international cultural institutions, research centres, churches and religious unions, and the owners and users of historical monuments.
The Board is also present at an international forum by cooperating with similar institutions in other European countries as well as international organisations and networks whose aims are to propagate the highest standards of cultural management.