Call to Action Item #25, What’s Old is New, focuses on updating the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for a range of cultural resource activities, including those for Architectural and Engineering Documentation. On May 15, Heritage Documentation Programs conducted an overview of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS), and the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at the Library of Congress, with Federal Preservation Officers (FPOs) from over thirty agencies. Paul Dolinsky (HALS Chief), Catherine Lavoie (HABS Chief), Anne Mason (Collection Manager), and Richard O’Connor (HAER Chief) covered topics that included the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Architectural and Engineering Documentation; guidelines for meeting the Standards; stipulation of documentation levels; and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Sections 106 & 110.
In addition to increasing awareness of the programs within the FPO community, the two meetings (morning and afternoon) highlighted a desire on the part of the FPOs for standardized language for stipulations to be included in Section 106 agreement documents. A surprising finding, from an initial survey circulated to the FPOs, indicated that the preservation community is not aware that the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at the Library of Congress (LoC) accepts ALL documentation completed to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, for sites of local, regional, and state, as well as National, significance. Since the LoC curates the Collection in new, state of the art facilities at Fort Meade, and makes the documentation available in downloadable, publishable format on the Web, it is an ideal repository for all documentation that meets the Secretary’s Standards.
A similar presentation is scheduled for a webinar titled In Pursuit of the Complete Resume of the Builder’s Art in the National Register Webinar series on June 13, 2012, from 12:00 – 2:00PM (EDT), and at the 2012 Preservation Combination conference in Lancaster, PA July 17, 2012. Plans are being developed for presentations and discussions with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, additional presentations to the State Historic Preservation Officers, and the Tribal Historic Preservation Officers. For additional information, please contact Richard O’Connor, (202) 354.2186; richard_o’firstname.lastname@example.org.