Care > Assets

Assets (Capital)

    1. Tangible
      1. Fiscal
      2. Physical ("Collections"
    2. Intangible
      1. Organizational
        1. Structure
        2. Information Management and Communication
        3. Knowledge and Skills (Individual and Collective)
      2. Cultural Heritage (Documentation, authenticity, context, integrity)
      3. Social (Membership, Visitors, Community, Professionals)

There are two intrinsic assets:

  • the collections, which are tangible, limited and non-renewable;
  • its stewardship, which includes a learning organization whose structure, cöoperative management, knowledge and skill are intangible yet unlimited and renewable.

In careful combination, through records, risk management, preservation treatments (including interpretation), and in service to the public, these create a third asset:

    Extrinsic, renewable, intangible, added cultural value through collections stewardship: preservation and interpretation of the collection and its stewardship. The value of the collection is augmented by its stewardship (research, preservation and interpretation) by stakeholders: board and staff, and members, professionals and the public who are not only "customers" but investors who, through interpretation and education, appreciate the value and, through involvement and investment, value the appreciation of the steward's shared assets.


Cultural Property: Objects that are judged by society, or by some of its members, to be of historical, artistic, social or scientific importance. Cultural property can be classified into two major categories:

    Movable objects such as works of art, artifacts, books, archival material and other objects of natural, historical or archaeological origin.

    Immovable objects such as monuments, architecture, archaeological sites and structures of historical or artistic interest.

    D. Glossary, Code of Ethics, Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property
    and of the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators

Social Capital: Whereas physical capital refers to physical objects and human capital refers to the properties of individuals, social capital refers to connections among individuals – social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them. In that sense social capital is closely related to what some have called “civic virtue.” The difference is that “social capital” calls attention to the fact that civic virtue is most powerful when embedded in a sense network of reciprocal social relations. A society of many virtuous but isolated individuals is not necessarily rich in social capital.

    Putnam, R. D. Bowling Alone. The collapse and revival of American community, New York: Simon and Schuster, 200. p. 19.

  © 2002-2012 Heritage Stewardship     contact