About NPI

Online Training Available!

NPI is offering online training modules that complement our existing seminar curriculum. Click here for a list of available modules. We will be adding new online training modules on a regular basis. We also are accepting proposals from potential instructors on new topics.

Protecting seminar participants, instructors, staff of Cooperating Organizations, and everyone who works with NPI to fulfill its mission is our highest priority during this challenging time. As a precautionary measure against COVID-19, we have temporarily suspended in-person seminar training. However, online training modules are now available and we would be glad to discuss the option of online customized training with interested organizations. 

As we navigate the new reality, please look for updates on training options on this site, on Facebook, and in listserv notices. Check back with us often and sign up to receive email notices using the Contact Us (Mailing List) button if you are not already receiving them.

Stay safe!


The mission of the National Preservation Institute (NPI) is to educate those involved in the management, preservation, and stewardship of cultural heritage. NPI was founded in 1980 as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.

Continuing Education and Professional Training

NPI offers continuing education and professional training for those involved in the management, preservation, and stewardship of cultural heritage. NPI serves a broad spectrum of individuals and groups from the government and private sectors by providing eLearnings, webinars, and seminars in historic preservation and cultural resource management. Read more.

Customized Training

NPI offers customized training to meet specific organizational needs. Continuing education and professional trainings may be tailored to create eLearnings, webinars, and single- or multiple-day seminars at a location and time convenient to the sponsor. NPI also can develop other preservation-related trainings. For a list of organizations that have worked with NPI to receive customized training and/or related conference services, visit the Customized Training page. Read more.


NPI was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1980 by James C. Massey and Constance Werner Ramirez. The purpose was to provide training by preservation professionals who were paid to develop a syllabus with appropriate class materials and to teach the same course in various locations. In the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's, some organizations and universities began to offer occasional day- or week-long historic preservation courses. NPI was created to provide a consistent schedule of classes with instructors prepared to teach the subject many times.

Important to NPI's early development was the provision of office space and a meeting room by the National Building Museum, providing instant stature for the fledging organization. NPI has since shifted to an arrangement of working with Cooperating Organizations around the country while maintaining an office in Alexandria, Virginia. NPI has received grants from the National Park Service and other organizations.

Initially, in addition to offering a series of short courses held in a variety of locations, NPI provided technical assistance to a number of historic properties by producing historic structures reports and offering federal tax credit assistance. NPI also acquired historic properties, including a mill in Paterson, New Jersey, and transferred them with preservation easements to easement holders. For a time, NPI authenticated historic wallpapers for Thibaut's heritage wallpaper collections. 

Early members of the board of directors included James Biddle, Margaret J. Drury, Roy Graham, Barclay Jones, Burt Salwen, and Charles W. Sloan. Consultants and administrators have included Barbara B. Ballentine, Peggy Boucher, Jere Gibber, and Frances Lumbard.

Today NPI is one of the oldest preservation training programs in the United States and continues to provide both scheduled and customized professional training seminars in historic preservation and cultural resource management taught by experienced professionals.

Donations and Annual Giving Campaigns

Donations make it possible for NPI to provide scholarships for professionals and advocates to attend NPI educational trainings on the management, preservation, and stewardship of cultural heritage. Individuals can make a donation by credit card, check, or securities. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way to support NPI every time you shop, at no cost to you. Workplace donations can be made through the Combined Federal Campaign; United Way campaigns; state employee campaigns; municipal, county, and university campaigns; and other independent corporate campaigns. NPI is a member of America’s Best Charities (ABC), an IRS-recognized, nonprofit association of national charities, with the lowest operating overhead of any federated group. Click here to donate to NPI or to read more.

Board and Staff

NPI is managed by a Board of Directors composed of experts in historic preservation, cultural resource management, advocacy, law, archaeology, architecture and landscape architecture, architectural history, historic site management, planning, and education.

  • Meagan Baco
  • Pat Burke
  • John E. Dumsick, P.E., Treasurer
  • Erik M. Hein
  • Christine R. Henry, Ph.D., Secretary
  • Constance Lai, FAIA
  • Bruce MacDougal
  • R. Maria Marable-Bunch
  • Gail C. Rothrock
  • Carol D. Shull
  • Charles R. Smith
  • Robert C. Sonderman, President
  • Charlene Dwin Vaughn, AICP
  • Esther White, Ph.D.
  • Kim Prothro Williams, Vice-President
  • Constance Werner Ramirez, Ph.D., Emeritus Founder
  • Jere Gibber, Executive Director
  • Jennifer Barker, Executive Assistant
  • Pam Koger-Jesup, Executive Assistant


NPI's trainings are taught by nationally recognized educators, consultants, and practitioners in historic preservation, archaeology, architecture and landscape architecture, conservation, engineering, historical research, laws and regulations, planning, restoration, technology, and cultural resource management. NPI reserves the right to substitute an instructor if necessary and will notify registered participants whenever possible. To learn more about an instructor, visit the Faculty page and click on an instructor's name. Read more.

Cooperating Organizations

NPI actively seeks partners to assist in providing continuing education and professional training across the country. Cooperating organizations work with NPI by providing training space and audiovisual equipment, and/or by promotion through listservs, social media sites, and web listings. In return, staff and students of cooperating organizations receive valuable educational opportunities. Cooperating organizations include universities and historical societies, government agencies, and other nonprofits working in the field. For more information on becoming a cooperating organization, contact NPI at 703.765.0100 or info@npi.org. For a current list, visit the Cooperating Organizations page. Read more.


For 2019-2020, NPI has received a grant from the Historic Preservation Education Foundation (HPEF). A new seminar on Risk Assessment and Resiliency Planning for Cultural Resources is in part funded by HPEF. In the past, NPI has received grants from:

  • Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
  • The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), National Park Service
  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH)

Photography Credits

Photographs used on the NPI web site are courtesy of:

  • Susan Crook: homepage, classroom scene
  • F.T. Eyre, National Building Museum: Scholarship heading, view of second floor arcade, National Building Museum
  • Gavin Ashworth, Ceramics in America, and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, City of Alexandria: seminar subject listing, Curation, Conservation and Stewardship, slipware sherds
  • Alexandria Archaeology Museum, City of Alexandria: seminar, Archaeological Curation and Collections Management
  • J.G. Harrington: seminar, Emerging Technologies for Cultural Resources, drone at national park, OR; seminar, NEPA Compliance and Cultural Resources, U.S. Coast Guard/DHS lighthouse, OR
  • Deidre McCarthy: seminars, GIS for Cultural Resources: An Introduction and GIS for Cultural Resources: Advanced Techniques
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation: seminar, Historic Bridges: Management, Regulations, and
    Rehabilitation, Stillwater lift bridge, Stillwater, MN
  • Chicora Foundation, Inc.: seminar, Cemetery Landscapes: A Practical Guide to Care and Maintenance
  • Alexandria Archaeology Museum, City of Alexandria: seminar, Conservation Strategies for Archaeologists
  • James C. Massey: seminar, Identification and Evaluation of Arts and Crafts, Ready-cut, and Prefabricated Houses, Aladdin Pomona house, Madison, NJ
  • Jan I. Bernstein: seminar, NAGPRA Essentials, left to right: Christina Cain, collections
    manager, and Jen Shannon, curator of ethnology, University of Colorado Museum of Nature
    History; Elgin Crows Breast, THPO and NAGPRA coordinator, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara
    Nations (Three Affiliated Tribes)
  • Dan Marriott: seminar, Preservation Planning and Policy Development for Historic Roads
  • Mark Wolfe, FEMA: seminar, Risk Assessment and Resiliency Planning for Cultural Resources, firefighters wrapped a historic property and installed an emergency sprinkler system, Charlton County, GA
  • Jere Gibber: all other photographs


Contact NPI at 703.765.0100 or info@npi.org.