HABS/HAER/HALS/CRGIS

Heritage Documentation Programs¬†of the National Park Service administers HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey), the Federal Government’s oldest preservation program, and companion programs HAER (Historic American Engineering Record), HALS (Historic American Landscapes Survey), and CRGIS (Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems). Documentation produced through the programs constitutes the nation’s largest archive of historic architectural, engineering, and landscape documentation.¬†Records on nearly 40,000 historic sites, consisting of large-format, black and white photographs, measured drawings, and written historical reports, are maintained in a special collection at the Library of Congress, available to the public copy-right free in both hard copy (in the Library of Congress) and electronic (via the Web) formats. CRGIS data, maps and GIS applications are available at parks, battlefields, and other historic sites.

Santa Clara Public Library

Santa Clara Public Library

At the local level, HABS-like documentation is often required by a public agency when a project may impact a historic resource that is listed in or eligible for the California Register of Historical Resources. This documentation may take many forms; each agency defines the necessary documentation that meets the requirements for specific situations. In addition to photo-documentation, written and descriptive reports according to HABS standards may be required, and other forms of documentation such as video, oral interviews, and the archiving of primary records may accompany the photo-documentation.

ARCHIVES & ARCHITECTURE, and its predecessor firm Dill Design Group, has prepared over 25 documentation projects. A full listing can be viewed here.