WHEELING - Sir Neil Cossons, former English Heritage chair, historian and museum director, will give the presentation "A Future for the Past: Preserving the Past as an Asset for the Future" at 7 p.m. May 9 at the West Virginia Independence Hall.
Cossons was the first director of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum - a World Heritage site in Shropshire encompassing 10 museums collectively telling the story of the Industrial Revolution - as well as director of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
He will discuss the philosophy and processes for historic preservation in England. He will examine what is preserved, why and how; consider new uses for historic buildings; and share examples of how communities can use historic places as the framework for creating the future in England and other countries.
Cossons was knighted in 1994 for his work with museums and historic preservation and has advised governments, museums and preservation organizations in several countries.
His visit to West Virginia was facilitated by his friend and colleague Emory L. Kemp, founder of the Institute for the History of Technology and Industrial Archaeology at West Virginia University and former chair of the department of civil engineering.
The presentation is free and open to the public. For information call the West Virginia Humanities Council at (304) 346-8500.