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Significance is the criterion for inclusion on the Register.


Significance is determined by assessing a vessel’s historic, aesthetic, scientific, cultural and spiritual qualities and is then compared with other vessels that share the same context or background.


Vessels are nominated to the ARHV under four Primary Criteria.


Their significance is then further determined using Comparative Criteria.


Primary Criteria



The significance of the vessel’s connections to people and events:  trade and commerce; the development of communities; military associations; historic events; sport and leisure pursuits.



The significance of the vessel’s design and construction background, including associated people.



The significance of the vessel’s educational value, and what it can teach or demonstrate.


Cultural and Spiritual

The significance of the vessel to its related communities


Comparative Criteria



What is the vessel’s history; is there a documented chain of ownership, a recorded context of origin and use, who are the key people or events associated with the craft?



Is the vessel a typical or a rare example of a particular type, class, builder or designer? Does it demonstrate aspects of craftsmanship, style, design or innovation?  How much of the original construction does the current vessel retain?


Interpretive potential

Does it demonstrate potential for examination, study or research? Is it unique, unusual or a fine example of a type and a reference point for study? What condition and integrity does the vessel show? Does it present opportunities for visitor activities, interests and services and use within interpretive programs?


Community values

Is the vessel held in esteem through social, cultural or other bonds connected to various communities, associations or regions?


Significance 2.0, a guide to assessing the significance of cultural heritage objects and collections gives further definition and background including the Burra Charter that helped establish the foundation of assessment criteria.