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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.


COVID-19 Response

Masks are required for everyone, regardless of location or vaccination status, in all NPS buildings, crowded outdoor spaces, and all forms of enclosed public transportation. Additional details are available at Before visiting, please check the park website to determine its operating status. Please recreate responsibly.

Latest News

    • Apply for the 2022 Sally Kress Tompkins Fellowship The Historic American Buildings Survey invites graduate students in architectural history or related fields to apply for the 2022 Tompkins Fellowship. The Fellow will work on a 12-week HABS project during the summer. Learn more...
    • Winners of the 2021 Peterson Prize Contest We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Charles E. Peterson Prize Contest, which recognizes the best set of measured drawings prepared to HDP standards by students. Learn more...
    • New Virtual Tour: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a striking feature along North Carolina's Outer Banks. Heritage Documentation Programs created a virtual tour and animated fly-throughs of this iconic lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Learn more...
    • HDP Has Virtual Tours of Historic Sites around the Country (and the World)Would you like to explore someplace beyond your immediate horizon? Check out HDP's many virtual tours. We also have point cloud animations, virtual 3D mesh models, and story maps.Go on a virtual tour...
    • Update: HDP Modifies Office Operations due to COVID-19 Pandemic (March 2020) HDP staff members are teleworking. We are 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, without advance notice. Questions? Contact us.
    • 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]