Established in 1980, the Center for Historic Preservation is a research and public outreach organization affiliated with the Department of Historic Preservation. The Center has two main missions that govern its activities:
- The Center supports the undergraduate academic major in Historic Preservation by sponsoring lectures, workshops, symposia and conferences; by organizing fieldwork and international study opportunities for students and faculty; and by sustaining activities that expand opportunities for students to participate in preservation-related research. To this end, the Center participates actively in local, regional and international preservation organizations.
- The Center supports Historic Preservation activities by offering public programs, by undertaking cooperative research, by providing professional services and technical assistance to organizations, property owners, and local governments and agencies.
The Center facilitates the Department of Historic Preservation’s newsletter. Annually the Center awards the nationally competitive Historic Preservation Book Prize. Through its website the Center hosts the Virginia Local Preservation Reference Collection, a database of local government ordinances and comprehensive planning elements for protecting historic resources.