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Heritage Documentation Programs


Heritage Documentation Programs administers the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), the Federal Government's oldest preservation program, and its companion programs: the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). Documentation produced through the programs constitutes the nation's largest archive of historic architectural, engineering, and landscape documentation. The HABS/HAER/HALS Collection is housed at the Library of Congress.

 

Latest News

    • Update: HDP Modifies Office Operations due to COVID-19 Pandemic As of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, HDP staff members are teleworking and available to provide assistance via email, telephone, and direct messages to HDP's Facebook page. During this time, please do not ship any packages to HDP's office in Washington, DC.

      The NPS taking extraordinary steps to implement the latest guidance from state and local public health authorities, which support the CDC's efforts to promote social distancing and slow the spread of COVID-19. The NPS is modifying operations, until further notice, for facilities and programs that cannot adhere to this guidance. Read more about the NPS response to the pandemic
    • Updated HAER Drawing Guidelines AvailableHistoric American Engineering Record staff members have produced updated guidance for creating HAER drawings.Learn more...
    • Updated Transmittal Guidelines & HABS History Guidelines AvailableHDP staff members have made some updates to the Transmittal Guidelines (for all three programs) and the HABS History Guidelines.Learn more...
    • Update: Extended deadline for the 2020 Leicester B. Holland ContestThe Holland Prize recognizes the single-sheet measured drawing prepared to HABS/HAER/HALS standards and donated to HDP. Entry forms are now due September 1, 2020.Learn more...
    • Enter the 2020 HALS Challenge: Vanishing or Lost LandscapesFor the 11th annual HALS Challenge, we invite you to document vanishing or lost landscapes. Entries are due July 31, 2020.Learn more...
    • Enter the 2020 Charles E. Peterson Prize ContestThe Peterson Prize recognizes the best set of measured drawings prepared to HABS/HAER/HALS standards and donated to HDP by students. Entry forms are due June 1, 2020.Learn more...
    • New Book: Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Covered BridgesThe Historic American Engineering Record is pleased to announce the publication of Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Covered Bridges (2019), edited by Christopher H. Marston, HAER Architect, and Thomas A. Vitanza, Senior Historical Architect, NPS Historic Preservation Training Center.Learn more...
    • New Virtual Tour and Story Map: Arlington Memorial BridgeTo provide additional information to the public during a major rehabilitation of the bridge, HDP and Cultural Resources GIS created a virtual tour and story map for Arlington Memorial Bridge. The bridge spans the Potomac River between Washington, DC, and Arlington, VA.Learn more...
    • Article about HAER's Documentation of Rocket Test StandsIn 1996, HAER began documenting rocket test stands such as those at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Learn more about test stands' role in space flight and HAER's documentation in this article from Civil Engineering Magazine (May 2019).Learn more... [external link will open in pdf]
    • Historic American Engineering Record's 50th AnniversaryIn 2019, HAER marked its 50th year. Learn more about the history of the program and some of its current work in this article, which was published by the American Society of Civil Engineers in Civil Engineering Magazine (January 2019).Learn more... [external link will open in pdf]
    • New Point Cloud Animation: Tortugas Harbor LightIn August 2017, HABS architects Paul Davidson and Daniel De Sousa documented this historic lighthouse at Fort Jefferson (Dry Tortugas National Park) using 3-D high-definition terrestrial laser scanning.See the video and learn more about the project on Facebook.
    • New Time-Lapse Video: High-Definition Laser ScanningHere's a day's worth of work in 30 seconds. HAER architects Dana Lockett and Thomas Behrens recently scanned the fifteen-millionth Ford Model T on behalf of the Historic Vehicle Association. See the video and learn more about the project on Facebook.
    • Virtual Tour: Ellis Island The Historic American Buildings Survey is working on a multiyear project to document Ellis Island. Take a virtual tour of areas on Ellis Island that aren't open to the public. Learn more...
    • HABS Guide to Field DocumentationThis Field Guide offers step-by-step instructions about how to observe, take field measurements, and create field notes and a short-form report about a historic site or structure to HABS standards. Learn more...
    • Producing HABS/HAER/HALS Measured Drawings from Laser ScansThe pros and cons of using laser scanning for heritage documentation.Learn More...