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Historic American Engineering Record (HAER)

HAER Brochure
The Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) was established in 1969 by the National Park Service, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Library of Congress to document historic sites and structures related to engineering and industry. This agreement was later ratified by four other engineering societies: the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers. Appropriate subjects for documentation are individual sites or objects, such as a bridge, ship, or steel works; or larger systems, like railroads, canals, electronic generation and transmission networks, parkways and roads.

HAER developed out of a close working alliance between the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Smithsonian Institution's (SI) Museum of History and Technology (now the Museum of American History). From its inception, HAER focused less on the building fabric and more on the machinery and processes within, although structures of distinctly industrial character continue to be recorded. As the most ubiquitous historic engineering structure on the landscape, bridges have been a mainstay of HAER recording; HABS also documented more than 100 covered bridges prior to 1969. In recent years, maritime documentation has become an important program focus.