U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Planning the Survey
An effective survey must be carefully planned, taking into account the community's planning needs, its legal obligations, the interests of its citizens, available funding, and the nature of its historic resources.
This chapter describes some of the basic considerations involved in planning a survey. It first addresses several general questions that those responsible for planning and funding surveys often ask. It goes on to discuss approaches to planning a survey and a community's preservation program in general, and then turns to practical questions of how to mobilize community resources to support a survey, how to obtain professional expertise, and how to obtain funding.
What kinds of resources should the survey seek?
As defined by the National Park Service, historic resources fall into the five broad categories-building, site, structure, object, and district-discussed in the Introduction. The following list, although not comprehensive, indicates the range of resources that fit into these categories and that communities may wish to survey. A number of the resources under the categories below may be considered in a district context.
Building (including groups of buildings)
Although the spatial relationships between component elements is usually important in the definition of a district, the elements of a district do not necessarily have to be contiguous. For example, a number of archeological sites in a stream valley, representing the settlement system of a prehistoric group, may be widely scattered and separated from one another by highways, housing tracts, and other modern developments, but still constitute a unified whole that can be categorized as a district. In a similar way, a series of canals and related structures and buildings, separated from one another by the natural bodies of water they connect, may nevertheless constitute an integrated transportation system that is best viewed as a district.
What kinds of information should be gathered?
The precise kinds of information that should be collected by a survey will depend on its purpose and the scale at which it is conducted, as discussed below. Survey planners should also consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer in determining what kinds of information to collect, and the methods and approaches to use in collecting it. To ensure effective incorporation of the survey data into the State and Federal planning processes, survey planners should strive for consistency with the standards and guidelines provided by the State Historic Preservation Officer, and should relate their research to historic contexts established in the State historic preservation planning process where these are applicable. Many State Historic Preservation Officers can provide detailed guidance and standard forms for the conduct of surveys and the recording of different kinds of resources.
If the survey is intended to result in nominations to the National Register, appropriate National Park Service guidelines should be consulted. The National Register bulletins entitled How to Complete the National Register Registration Form and How to Complete the National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form are the standard reference on National Register documentation requirements. Others in the National Register Bulletin series provide supplementary information on such topics as how to establish property boundaries, how to evaluate relatively modern properties, and how to improve the quality of property photographs.
What different kinds of surveys are commonly used?
Both the Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines for Identification and common practice distinguish between two general levels of survey: reconnaissance, and intensive survey. Both kinds of survey involve background documentary research into the community's history, archeology and architecture, as well as field work, but they are different in terms of the level of effort involved.
Reconnaissance may be thought of as a "once over lightly" inspection of an area, most useful for characterizing its resources in general and for developing a basis for deciding how to organize and orient more detailed survey efforts. In conjunction with a general review of pertinent literature on the community's past, a reconnaissance may involve such activities as:
An intensive survey, as the name implies, is a close and careful look at the area being surveyed. It is designed to identify precisely and completely all historic resources in the area. It generally involves detailed background research, and a thorough inspection and documentation of all historic properties in the field. It should produce all the information needed to evaluate historic properties and prepare an inventory.
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Identification provide outlines of the information that should be documented as the result of reconnaissance and intensive surveys. Where such surveys are supported by grants-in-aid funds from the Department of the Interior, such information must be recorded as a condition of the grant, and such documentation is basic to professional practice in the conduct of any survey, regardless of its source of funding.
Reconnaissance and intensive survey are often conducted in sequence, with reconnaissance being used in planning intensive survey. They are also sometimes combined, with intensive survey directed at locations where background research indicates a likely high concentration of historic resources and reconnaissance directed at areas where fewer resources can be expected, They can also be combined with reference to different resource types: for example, in a given area it may be appropriate to conduct an intensive survey of buildings and structures but only a reconnaissance with reference to archeological sites, while in another area archeological sites may require intensive survey while buildings need only a "once over lightly" examination.
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Identification specify the kinds of information that should be collected as a result of field survey:
A reconnaissance survey should document:
An intensive survey should document:
How large an area should be included in a survey?
City or county limits define the survey area for many communities. In other cases, decisions about what part of the community to survey may be based on community development project areas or on other areas with recognized development potential. The historic contexts relevant to the survey effort may also affect the size of the areas to be included. For example, if the history of ethnic minorities in the community is an important historic context addressed in the survey effort, neighborhoods known or thought to have been occupied by such minority groups in the past, or occupied by them today, should obviously be included in the survey. Public interest and support may also dictate the inclusion of particular neighborhoods in the survey. Members of the community knowledgeable about local history or archeology may be able to suggest areas of potential historic or archeological significance that should be considered for inclusion in the survey.
In planning a survey, background research should be conducted on the community to get an overview of its development. It also is advisable, as a preliminary step, to conduct at least a cursory reconnaissance of the community to identify potential significant areas or specific properties that might be the target of intensive survey efforts. Where this is done, provision should be made for adding properties and areas identified through documentary research and subsequent field survey, since historically significant places are not always obvious visually. In cases where the entire community is to be surveyed, it may be advisable to undertake these assessments in stages. Decisions about what areas to survey first may be based on time, money, or pending projects which may affect resources within a particular area.
How long should a survey take?
In planning a survey, a timetable should be worked out to establish deadlines for each stage of the project. The timetable should reflect not only community development planning needs but also the nature and scope of the survey project itself. In addition to deadlines, it should establish periodic evaluation sessions to review data gathered and overall progress to date. These sessions could provide the basis for ongoing publicity.
The length of time in which the survey project can be successfully completed depends on the size and complexity of the area(s) to be covered, the number of surveyors and researchers, and the amount of information to be gathered. Some localities have found it effective to approach the survey on an area-by-area basis, completing an inventory of one area before moving on to the next. This method has the advantage of letting the community build on past experience in each successive survey and of allowing for feedback on the usefulness of the material gathered in the planning process. It has the disadvantage of providing no data on substantial portions of the community until late in the overall survey process. A phased survey, in which background research and reconnaissance of most or all of the community is conducted first, followed by intensive survey where needed, is an alternative to area-by-area survey. A combination of approaches, as noted above, may also fit a particular community's planning needs. Decisions about what kind of survey to conduct, and how it may be phased, naturally define how long the survey will take.
Communities planning to hire professional consultants to conduct the survey should include a rough timetable as part of the general work prospectus that they present to potential consultants (see section on selecting a professional consultant. A detailed timetable or work schedule can then be developed in conjunction with the consultant hired. Deadlines scheduled well before those called for by procedural or other obligations will ensure timely completion of the project. It may be appropriate to establish separate timetables for the conduct of background research, reconnaissance, and intensive surveys, for the organization of survey data, for evaluation, for publication, and for development of preservation plans.
Elements of Survey Planning
How is the purpose of the survey established?
It is fair to say that any historic resources survey of a community has as one of its main purposes, if not its sole purpose, the development of a complete, fully documented, comprehensive inventory of the community's historic properties. It is important to recognize, however, that a survey need not be complete and comprehensive in order to be useful.
In short, a survey can be done at many different scales, with many different emphases, and using many different techniques at different levels of refinement. The kind of survey undertaken depends on the needs of the community.
What are historic contexts?
Together with the community's planning and development priorities, and its available personnel and financial resources, historic contexts are the most influential factors in defining the structure of a survey effort. A historic context is a broad pattern of historical development in a community or its region, that may be represented by historic resources.
For example, if a community began as a port village in the early 18th century, its functions as such may be reflected in its street plan, in the character of some neighborhoods, in some particular buildings or groups of buildings, or in archeological remains buried beneath more recent development. The operation of the early 18th century port is thus one historic context that influences the nature and distribution of the community's resources, and should influence survey efforts designed to find and document such resources. If the community underwent a commercial boom in the 1890s, was burned during the Civil War, received immigrant ethnic groups in the early 20th century, received the attention of a particular school of architecture, or was the probable location of a prehistoric American Indian village, each of these historic contexts should be considered in planning the survey.
The importance of taking historic contexts into account cannot be overemphasized. Failure to do so can lead to the application of survey methods that are not cost-effective, that fail to identify significant resources, or that contain uncontrolled biases.
The establishment of historic contexts is vital to targeting survey work effectively, and to the effective use of personnel. For example, if representatives of an important school of architecture designed a number of buildings in the community's central business district, knowledge of this historic context will lead survey planners to focus the attention of qualified architectural historians on this section of the community, while if prehistoric Indians in the area typically established their villages at the confluence of streams, knowledge of this historic context may lead surveyors to use information on old stream patterns within the community to identify locations for archeological survey and testing.
Historic contexts are developed on the basis of background data on the community's history and prehistory, or on such data from the surrounding area. To mobilize such data, survey planners should conduct initial research into the community's history and the history and prehistory of the region in which it lies, and should consult knowledgeable authorities. Local historical organizations and academic history departments, professional and avocations archeologists and archeological organizations, professional architects and landscape architects, and local chapters of the American Institute of Architects are all likely sources of useful advice. The State Historic Preservation Officer can often suggest knowledgeable local sources, as well as provide information on what surveys have already been done in the area and suggest possible topics of inquiry. Generally, establishing historic contexts involves reviewing the known history and prehistory of the State and region in which the community lies, seeking to define important patterns in the development of the area through time that may be represented by historic properties.
Historic contexts may be unique to a community, but often are reflected in, or related to, the surrounding region or to other communities. For this reason, it is important to coordinate the development of a community's historic contexts with the State Historic Preservation Officer's statewide planning efforts. Most statewide preservation plans developed by State Historic Preservation Officers establish at least broad, general historic contexts which may be directly or indirectly applicable at the local level. Furthermore, the State Historic Preservation Officer is likely to be aware of historic contexts developed through the planning efforts of other communities and Federal and State agencies.
Historic contexts are almost always refined, modified, added to, and elaborated on as the survey itself proceeds. At the point of planning the survey, it may be feasible to define them only in broad, general terms; sufficient flexibility should always be maintained to allow changes to take place as the survey progresses. An initial statement of historic contexts should be developed during the earliest stages of planning to guide development of the actual survey design.
How are survey goals and priorities established?
Ideally, survey goals should be based on historic contexts. For example, suppose that a community (a) was the probable location of a prehistoric Indian village near the confluence of two streams; (b) was a port during the 18th century; (c) experienced substantial commercial development in the late 19th century, during which many buildings designed by practitioners of an important school of architecture were constructed in the central business district; and (d) experienced growth in the early 20th century as Italian, German, Hispanic, and rural Black immigrants established row house neighborhoods ringing the center city. Goals for a first-stage, reconnaissance-level survey effort might be (a) to determine whether soil strata that might contain the archeological remains of the Indian village still exist under the modern streets and houses that overlie the old stream confluence; (b) to determine the boundaries of the 18th century port, identify major buildings still standing from the period, identify buildings requiring further study to determine whether they represent repeatedly modernized 18th century buildings, and determine locations of likely archeological interest; (c) to identify major surviving concentrations of 19th century commercial buildings; and (d) to identify ethnic neighborhoods that retain their architectural and cultural integrity.
The means to achieving these goals can then be assigned priorities based on such factors as work already conducted, available funding, planning and development constraints, and survey opportunities.
If some data are available on a given historic context as the result of prior work, it may be appropriate to assign relatively low priority to investigating that context, emphasizing instead those that are less well known; alternatively, the existence of information on a particular historic context may be taken as an opportunity to be built upon, thus giving investigation of that context higher priority.
Historical research and archeological testing to identify the boundaries of the 18th century port might be more expensive than a program of interviews and windshield survey to locate ethnic neighborhoods, for example, so the former might be assigned a lower priority than the latter, or divided into phases that could be implemented over time to reduce expense.
Planning needs are often the major bases for setting priorities. For example, if our hypothetical community's business people are interested in taking advantage of tax incentives to rehabilitate commercial buildings, it may be appropriate to facilitate this effort by giving high priority to the goal of documenting the community's downtown commercial districts in sufficient details to prepare complete National Register nominations. If the Army Corps of Engineers is planning a project to channelize streams flowing through the community, this may create both the need to give high priority to identifying the remains of the Indian village and the opportunity to use Federal assistance from the Corps of Engineers to do so. If a city government intends to target a particular area for rehabilitation of older buildings using Community Development Block Grant funds, this may justify giving priority to survey of the target area to identify historic properties that should be protected from inappropriate construction activities.
Finally, opportunities provide a basis for setting priorities. If a local university is interested in establishing a field school in historic archeology, the opportunity may exist to use the university's efforts to study the 18th century port area. If a neighborhood group is interested in documenting its social history in the community, this may present an opportunity to mobilize neighborhood support for the survey effort and suggest that the interested neighborhood should be assigned high priority.
It should be recognized that, as the survey progresses, it will almost certainly be necessary to adjust goals and priorities. The survey will probably identify new historic contexts and refine others. New opportunities and constraints will arise. Work will be completed sufficiently with respect to some goals to allow attention to shift to others. Finally, it may be necessary to correct distortions created by the pursuit of previous priorities. After a few years of response to the needs generated by tax incentives for commercial rehabilitation, for example, a community may have exhaustive documentation on its commercial districts but very little data on its residential neighborhoods, public buildings, or archeological resources. It may then be appropriate to adjust the survey to give higher priority to areas and resources earlier given short shrift.
How should the storage and use of survey data be considered during survey planning?
Chapter III discusses the review and organization of survey data, and should be considered during survey planning. It is important to consider how survey data will be stored, organized, and used before the survey itself begins, because many decisions about how to record information will depend on how the data are to be used and in what form they will be maintained. For example, if an important reason for the survey is to provide information to the city planning office, which maintains its data base on computer, it is important that the survey data be collected in a form that is compatible with that computer's operating system. Similarly, if there is a historic preservation ordinance calling for the review of proposed changes to historic properties, survey data should be stored in a form and location that are accessible and useful to the local historic preservation commission. At the same time, particular if the survey is being supported by the State Historic Preservation Officer as part of the statewide comprehensive survey, it is important that the data be collected in a form that can be easily put into the SHPO's data base, and if nominations to the National Register are being considered, the community will want to design its forms and records to ensure that collected data are compatible with National Register categories and documentation requirements. As another example, if the community feels that developing an extensive, high-quality photo archive of its significant architecture is an important goal, this will influence decisions about the kinds of cameras to provide to each survey team, the kind of training to provide, and the amount and kinds of film to budget for.
This aspect of planning will involve consulting with those who are likely to be important users of the survey data to determine the form of information that will be most useful and accessible. Recording forms, systems for translating raw survey data into computer-compatible formats, and archiving systems should then be designed with these considerations in mind, and surveyors should be trained in their use.
How can a community involve the public in planning a survey?
The success of planning a community survey, as well as conducting it and using the results, will depend on a broad base of local interest and involvement. Vital support for the survey, and for historic preservation in general, can be generated if a carefully planned campaign is mounted to involve the public and obtain their participation. Such a campaign can also identify valuable local sources of information and special expertise. Public involvement should begin at the earliest stages of survey planning.
Means of stimulating interest might include neighborhood meetings; displays at libraries, public schools, and museums; walking tours; lectures and discussions by preservation specialists; and newspaper articles about the survey, about preservation activities in other communities or about the history, archeology, or architecture of the community. Local newspapers may also be used to solicit historical data, reminiscences, old photographs, and other information. Community newspapers could, for example, carry a tear-out survey form to encourage readers to submit information on properties and on sources of unpublished documentary material with which they are familiar.
Special efforts should be made to involve those in the community with particular interests in historic properties or community development. Local historical organizations, neighborhood groups, and archeological societies should be contacted. Historians, architects, landscape architects, archeologists, folklorists, sociologists, and anthropologists should be sought out. Interviews with such organizations and individuals should seek to identify ways the survey can serve their interests, and how their expertise can contribute to the survey effort.
Potential users of survey information, including community planners, historic preservation commissions, business leaders, tourism offices, libraries, schools, and the Chamber of Commerce should be informed of the survey effort and asked how the survey can be designed to be of greatest value to them.
Where the survey will take place in neighborhoods whose residents do not speak English as their first language, or where social customs are not those of mainstream Anglo-American society, efforts to involve the public should be carried out in the language of the neighborhood's residents as much as possible, and should be sensitive to their cultural values and systems of communication. In some societies, for example, it is very disrespectful for young people to talk about history in the presence of their elders; in such a context, an open public meeting to seek information on the community's history may not only be ineffective, but may endanger the support that prominent older members of the community would otherwise have for the survey. Neighborhood leaders should be consulted to design public involvement efforts that are consistent with local values and expectations. If professionals knowledgeable about the neighborhoods in which surveys will take place-for example, sociologists, anthropologists, and social workers-are available, they also should be consulted during early survey planning.
Community enthusiasm for the survey project can generate volunteer support and assistance for various aspects of the survey, such as historical research and field survey work. Survey planning should be coordinated with local historical commissions and societies, civic groups, archeological societies, and other professional organizations. These organizations are usually knowledgeable about their community's historic resources and often can provide useful documentation as well as volunteer assistance in conducting the survey. The following community groups are also potential sources of volunteers for the survey: Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees, Junior League, fraternal organizations (Rotarians, Elks, Kiwanis, etc.), youth organizations (YMCA, YWCA, high school clubs, service organizations, etc.), men's and women's clubs, universities and colleges, and religious groups.
Before initiating fieldwork, it is important that the public be given adequate notice of the appearance of surveyors in their neighborhoods and be informed of the kind of documentation they will be gathering. Newspaper articles providing such information, as well as posters in supermarkets, schools, churches, etc., can allay unnecessary Suspicions, and help assure a positive reception for the surveyors. It may also be useful for surveyors to carry a letter of introduction explaining the survey project its goals, and its methods.
What form should a survey design take?
Based on initial background research, minor reconnaissance, consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer and others, and public participation, it should be possible to draft a general scope of work for the survey. The scope of work should outline the purpose of the survey, survey goals at least for the first phase of work, and priorities as appropriate. It should specify the objectives of each phase of work, and identify the methods to be used (for example, background research, field study, supervision of volunteer survey teams). It should establish approximate time frames for the conduct of the work, or for the conduct of particular phases of work, and it should include or be supported by a brief description of the historic contexts to be investigated. To the extent possible, it should describe the expected results of the investigation of each context-that is, what kinds of historic resources may be expected, what their general nature and numbers maybe, and what condition they may be in. Finally, it should specify the purposes to which it is expected that the survey data will be put, and how these purposes will structure the collection and recording of data.
Survey planners should consult the State Historic Preservation Officer when preparing a survey design. State Historic Preservation Officers have considerable experience in designing and implementing surveys, and can provide valuable advice and models, as well as help ensure that the design is consistent with statewide survey standards.
Mobilizing Resources for the Survey
What qualifications should those supervising a survey have?
The usefulness of the survey as a planning tool will depend in large part on its overall accuracy and professional quality. It is important, therefore, for communities to obtain the advice and involvement of qualified professional personnel in all phases of the survey project. Typically, a historic resources survey should make use of professional historians, architectural historians, archeologists, and other specialists, in the supervision of both historical research and field inspection. Minimum qualifications for these professional personnel, as defined by the National Park Service, are listed under Professional Qualifications below. Other professionals, such as historical architects, planners, social and cultural anthropologists, and landscape architects, may be helpful in gathering survey data. Familiarity with the National Register program and the application of its criteria for evaluation is extremely helpful.
Professionals should be responsible for all major decisions affecting the survey effort, including providing guidance to inexperienced surveyors, defining districts and properties of potential significance within the overall survey areas, evaluating and interpreting data gathered in the survey, and producing or overseeing the production of photographic and other graphic documentation.
Some professionals within the community may be willing to volunteer their time to undertake survey work. In most cases, however, communities will find it necessary to hire professionals. Where volunteer labor is relied upon, it is advisable to appoint or hire at least one professional who can administer or oversee survey activities, coordinate the work being done, and make program decisions. Ideally, such a person-referred to in this publication as a survey coordinator-should have the ability to organize survey teams, budget time and money wisely, and assemble and interpret raw data.
Where can qualified professionals be located?
The State Historic Preservation Officer should always be consulted for advice when seeking professionals for participation in a survey. Responsible for the statewide comprehensive survey, the State Historic Preservation Officer is usually familiar with the State's historic preservation professionals. National Park Service Regional Offices can also often provide knowledgeable advice about potential professional assistance. In addition to the State Historic Preservation Officer, and the National Park Service, the following individuals and organizations can often be helpful in finding professional assistance.
State Archeologist, whose office in some States is separate from that of the State Historic Preservation Officer (addresses available from the National Park Service).
National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (444 North Capitol Street, Suite 332, Washington, DC 20001). The NCSHPO is the organization that represents the State Historic Preservation Officers in Washington. It can assist in making contact with State Historic Preservation Officers about sources of professional assistance.
National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (Post Office Box 1605 Athens, GA 30603). The NAPC is a membership organization that seeks to coordinate local preservation programs and provide them with national representation. It can put local officials and survey planners in touch with other communities and statewide alliances that have undertaken similar projects and can provide first-hand advice about consultants and other matters.
National Trust for Historic Preservation (1785 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036). The Trust also has regional offices which can provide advice about qualified professionals, institutions, and firms. It also includes a placement service in Preservation News, its monthly newspaper.
State and regional archeological councils and societies (addresses available from the State Historic Preservation Officer).
Local colleges and universities, especially history, architecture, and anthropology departments.
American Anthropological Association (1703 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009). The AAA may be able to advise about locating archeologists and cultural anthropologists.
American Institute of Architects (1735 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006). Each State has an AIA Preservation Coordinator to oversee and advise on preservation activities. The AIA has a Committee on Historic Resources, and publishes a directory of its members.
American Association for State and Local History (172 Second Avenue North, Suite 102, Nashville, TN 37201). AASLH publishes a Directory of Historical Societies and Agencies in the United States and Canada, and provides a variety of other services to communities seeking consultants and planning surveys.
American Folklore Society (1703 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009) can advise on folklorists and anthropologists qualified to participate in oral historical and ethnographic survey work.
American Planning Association (1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637) and its Historic Preservation Division (1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036), can put communities in touch with preservation planners and community planners with experience in preservation.
American Society of Landscape Architects, Historic Preservation Committee (1733 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009) can offer advice about landscape architects with experience in preservation. The Society publishes a National Directory of Landscape Architecture Firms.
Association for Preservation Technology (Box 2487, Station D, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada KIP5W6). This is a joint Canadian-U.S. organization that can put communities into contact with architects and architectural conservationists experienced in preservation and restoration work,
National Council for Public History (Department of History, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506). This organization seeks to coordinate the activities of professional historians in non-academic work.
Organization of American Historians (112 North Bryan Street, Bloomington, IN 47401). The OAH provides a professional placement service for its members.
Register of Professional Archaeologists (5024-R Campbell Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21236) RPA provides the mechanism for the easy identification of Registered Professional Archaeologists, who have agreed to comply with a Code of Ethics and other professional standards, and who have been certified by RPA to meet specified professional qualifications. RPAs are listed in a directory, published annually, and updated quarterly on the Register's Web site.
Society for American Archaeology (1511 K Street, NW, Suite 714, Washington, DC 20005). A membership organization of professional and avocational archeologists, the SAA runs a placement service at its annual national meeting.
Society for Applied Anthropology (1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036). The SFAA can advise about cultural anthropologists who can provide assistance in oral historical and ethnographic work, and about archeologists.
Society of Architectural Historians (1700 Walnut Street, Room 716, Philadelphia, PA 19103). SAH runs a placement service at its Philadelphia headquarters.
Society for Historical Archaeology (1703 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009) may be able to provide information on archeologists who specialize in the study of archeological remains representing periods since the arrival of Europeans in America.
Society for Industrial Archeology (c/o National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Room 5020, Washington, DC 20560) can provide information on archeologists who specialize in the study of industrial sites and structures.
How is a professional consultant selected?
The following steps are suggested as a guide for selecting a professional consultant:
Consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer and, in some cases, with the National Park Service Regional Office, is recommended during selection of consultants. Establishment of a review panel including appropriate professionals and representatives of the community may be appropriate.
Selection of a consultant simply on the basis of a bid is not recommended. A historic resources survey is a complicated professional activity that requires the exercise of careful subjective judgment. Simply obtaining the cheapest services, without full consideration to the quality of work offered, will almost certainly result in poor work and wasted time, money, and public enthusiasm. For consultants who can provide the necessary services within the established budget range, competition should be on the basis of professional competence, experience, and quality of proposal.
What fees do historic resources consultants charge?
Fees charged by professional consultants are generally based on the scope and complexity of the work as measured by the time or professional personnel required to complete it; experience, education, training, and reputation of the personnel involved; and the quality of service the consultant is prepared to provide. There are five basic kinds of financial arrangements used for consultant services:
The following definitions have been developed by the National Park Service to help States, communities, Federal agencies, and others identify qualified professionals in the disciplines of history, archeology, architectural history, and historic architecture. In some cases, additional areas or levels of expertise may be needed, depending on the complexity of the tasks involved and the nature of the historic properties. It should be noted that 1 year of full-time professional experience when stipulated below need not consist of a continuous year of full-time work, but may be made up of discontinuous periods of full-time or part-time work that add up to the equivalent of a year of full-time experiences.
The minimum professional qualifications are a graduate degree in history or a closely related field; or a bachelor's degree in history or a closely related field plus one of the following: (1) at least 2 years of full-time experience in research, writing, teaching, interpretation, or other demonstrable professional activity with an academic institution, historical organization or agency, museum, or other professional institution: or (2) substantial contribution through research and publication to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field of history.
The minimum professional qualifications are a graduate degree in archeology, anthropology, or closely related field plus (1) at least 1 year of full-time professional experience or equivalent specialized training in archeological research, administration, or management; (2) at least 4 months of supervised field and analytic experience in general North American archeology; and (3) demonstrated ability to carry research to completion. In addition to these minimum qualifications, a professional in prehistoric archeology shall have at least 1 year of full-time professional experience at a supervisory level in the study of archeological resources of the prehistoric period. A professional in historic archeology shall have at least 1 year of full-time professional experience at a supervisory level in the study of archeological resources of the historic period.
C. Architectural history
The minimum professional qualifications are a graduate degree in architectural history, art history, historic preservation, or a closely related field, with course work in American architectural history; or a bachelor's degree in architectural history with concentration in American architecture; or a bachelor's degree in architectural history, art history, historic preservation, or a closely related field plus one of the following: (1) at least 2 years of full-time experience in research, writing, or teaching in American architectural history or restoration architecture with an academic institution, historical organization or agency, museum, or other professional institution; or (2) substantial contribution through research and publication to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field of American architectural history.
The minimum professional qualifications in architecture are a professional degree in architecture plus at least 2 years of full-time practice in architecture; or a State license to practice architecture.
E. Historical architecture
The minimum professional qualifications are a professional degree in architecture or a State license to practice architecture, plus one of the following: (1) at least 1 year of graduate study in architectural preservation, American architectural history, preservation planning, or a closely related field and at least 1 year of full-time professional experience on preservation and restoration projects; or (2) at least 2 years of full-time professional experience on preservation and restoration projects. Experience on preservation and restoration projects shall include detailed investigation of historic structures, preparation of historic structures research reports, and preparation of plans and specifications for preservation projects.
No official standards have been established by the Secretary of the Interior for such preservation-related professions as landscape architecture and cultural anthropology. In reviewing the qualifications of such professionals, approximate equivalencies to the qualifications listed above should be looked for, and professional organizations in the specialties involved should be consulted.
How do non-professionals fit into a survey?
Although a survey should be supervised by professionals, there is no reason that volunteers and others without professional training in the preservation disciplines cannot carry out much of the survey work. The use of volunteers from the community is important because it can bring to the survey people with specific knowledge of the community's history and resources, help ensure public support for the project, and reduce costs.
Ways in which community volunteers can participate fruitfully in survey include the following:
People with avocational interests in local history may have already gathered much of the primary data needed to interpret the community's history and establish historic contexts. People with training or skill in library work will be highly efficient historical researchers. People with background or interests in environmental studies or soil science can be helpful in reconstructing the community's past environments, which is often of vital concern in identifying likely archeological site locations. If recording oral histories will be part of the project, personable people who are able to carry on a good conversation, listen well, and record what they hear will be welcome members of the survey team, whatever their background.
Field survey work can be carried out by people from any kind of background, provided they are appropriately supervised and trained. The only major prerequisites are the abilities to understand and follow instructions, to be reasonably observant, and to be able to fill out recording forms and take other notes clearly, accurately, and completely. Naturally, the more observant, thoughtful, and interested in historic resources a field surveyor is, the better the product is likely to be. Specific skills that can be tapped among volunteers that are of great use in field survey include cartography, drafting, photography, operation of such excavation equipment as power augers and backhoes for archeological testing, and first-hand knowledge of local architectural styles. Simply knowing the community and its people, of course, and being known by them, can be of great value to the survey effort, simplifying communication about the survey and its purposes, making possible access to properties where study is needed, and opening up sources of historical information.
Handling Survey Data
Evaluations of properties to determine their historic value should be done by professionals, or under direct professional supervision, but non-professionals can participate in the evaluation process in many ways. Evaluation is a subjective activity, and should be responsive to community values, particularly where the value of resources may lie in the contribution they make to the cultural integrity of the community or its neighborhoods. Community leaders and residents can and should work with professionals to define the resources that they perceive to be important to the history and character of the community, and the same sort of consultation with the people of individual neighborhoods can make vital contributions to the definition of particular historic districts.
Volunteers and other non-specialists in the preservation disciplines can also help work with the survey data in other, less subjective but equally important ways: carrying out the clerical work of organizing the data, coding data for computer storage and manipulation, and preparing publications. Specific useful skills include typing, word processor operation, general clerical skills, knowledge of computer science, use of darkroom equipment, editing, and design and layout.
If a community's efforts at public involvement in survey planning are successful, volunteer participants in the survey may be recruited from a diversity of sources. Civic and fraternal organizations and organizations representing particular interested professional groups (e.g. building contractors) may make the survey an activity to which their members donate their time. College and secondary school history, anthropology, and social science students may be encouraged to participate. Members of neighborhood organizations and organizations representing particular social or ethnic groups in the community may donate their time. Local historical and archeological societies may provide the backbone of the survey work force.
Organization and supervision of volunteers may be one of the major jobs of the survey leaders and should be carefully considered in preparing scopes of work and negotiating contracts. It may be appropriate to organize volunteer coordinating committees in various neighborhoods or other survey areas, or committees of people interested in different aspects of the survey process. To the extent such groups can be organized during survey planning, coordination of actual volunteer work on the survey will be facilitated.
Volunteers' work should be reviewed at regular intervals during the survey process and periodic meetings should be held to discuss and evaluate progress. In this regard, it is vital that there be a clear understanding of the relationship between volunteers and professionals from the outset. To avoid wasted effort and ill feelings, it is necessary for each participant in the survey, whether volunteer or professional, to understand and respect the work of the other participants.
The more thoroughly volunteers are trained, the greater their contribution to the survey will be. The precise nature of the training program undertaken will depend on the particular situation, but every program should emphasize the need for thoroughness, consistency, and accuracy. Because the usefulness of the survey will depend in large part on the reliability of information gathered, the need for careful training and close supervision of volunteers cannot be overemphasized.
For guidelines and assistance in locating and organizing volunteers, a community may find it useful to contact Volunteer: The National Center for Citizen Involvement, 1111 North 19th Street, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22209, or Post Office Box 4179, Boulder, CO. A good general reference work on the use of volunteers is Adams' Investing in Volunteers (see Bibliography).
What kind of training will ensure a consistent and high-quality survey?
The amount and type of training necessary will depend on the previous experience of those who are to conduct the survey, and on the aspect of the survey in which those being trained will participate. Although training will be needed primarily by volunteers and other non-professionals in the preservation disciplines, professionals too may need at least a brief orientation to the specific problems of the survey and the community.
Training should emphasize the need for thoroughness, consistency, and accuracy in all aspects of the survey, including historical research, field survey, and organization of survey data.
Training should be designed to:
Training sessions should familiarize both historical researchers and field surveyors with the broad physical and historical development of the area. Everyone involved in the survey effort should, in addition, have an opportunity to visit and become familiar with the survey area. Training sessions and on-site orientation sessions may be supervised by the survey coordinator or a trained professional familiar with the survey area.
On-site orientation as part of training can make clear which properties or areas researchers and surveyors will be responsible for and how these will be covered during the intensive survey. This overview of the character of the area and distribution of kinds of resources in it will help surveyors identify areas and isolated buildings that will require considerable attention, plan their method of approach, and budget their time. During the actual field survey, of course, the surveyor will be able to return for a careful examination of buildings, structures, sites, and districts.
Training for Archival Researchers
Archival research involves the development and refinement of historic contexts and the acquisition of information that can aid in the identification and evaluation of resources. Training should enable historical researchers to recognize the kind of historical data relevant to the survey project. The researchers should also understand how research information fits into the project as a whole, how it is to be recorded, and how it will be organized later. Careful coordination between research and field survey can be effected only if researchers understand both the nature of the research required and the way research and field survey efforts will be coordinated.
When conducting archival research, it is very easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available, and to become so involved in tracing minutiae that one loses track of the main points of the research. Supervision is important to keep researchers on track: researchers should begin with a clear understanding of the questions the research is designed to answer, the patterns or trends it is seeking to identify, and the results it is expected to produce.
Depending on the size of the group and experience of the researchers, training might ideally consist of several lectures and field or lab sessions designed to familiarize trainees with the sources of information available and specific assignments to provide practice in actual research. Lectures could provide research trainees with an understanding of the kinds of information they will be gathering.
Researchers should be given a thorough understanding of the historic contexts that have already been established during survey planning, and oriented toward seeking information about how each historic context might be expressed in the actual distribution and nature of historic resources. This will involve understanding and studying such topics as:
Researchers should also be instructed in the development of new historic contexts, organizing their research around such topics as:
Field or lab sessions should be scheduled to familiarize researchers with the physical layout of the survey area and to give them an understanding of how to correlate their activities with those of the field surveyors. There should be specific discussion and practice in how to use field survey or special research forms.
Researchers should be made familiar with the types of historical information already known to be available in local and regional libraries, archives, and other sources, and through State and Federal agencies and organizations. Sessions might be scheduled at the local library to learn about types of general information and special collections such as manuscript, rare book, and photographic collections, and at the city or county courthouse where research on tax lists, building permits, plot maps, wills and deeds, etc. could be explained. A visit to the local historical society may familiarize trainees with another important source of information. Attendance at local preservation commission meetings and familiarity with the local review process, criteria, and design guidelines may supplement the trainees' understanding of the local needs and uses for survey data.
Individual assignments may be made to provide the group of researchers with more specific information and enable them to practice their research skills. They might be assigned specific practice tasks pursuing a small scale research topic already well enough known to the trainer to permit evaluation of the researcher's techniques and results.
Training for Field Surveyors: Architecture
Specific training sessions should be designed to acquaint field surveyors with (1) appropriate architectural terminology, (2) construction techniques and practices peculiar to the area, (3) local architectural features or styles, (4) survey techniques that will be used, (5) photographic coverage and equipment, and (6) actual maps and survey forms that will be used. Slide talks or films, with particular attention to local architecture, reading assignments, and the completion of practice forms, are all appropriate training methods. Familiarity with building styles should enable the surveyors to identify approximate ages of buildings in the survey areas and to describe them accurately. Inevitably, there will be regional variations in styles and buildings that cannot be described using standard terms, but as much as possible, standard architectural historical terms rather than more interpretive or creative terminology should be used. Particularly in rural areas or small towns, efforts should be made to make surveyors familiar with vernacular (as opposed to high style) building forms. They should be familiar with local styles and with plan and building types found in the area.
Many State Historic Preservation Officers have prepared identification guides to historic building types that are common in their States, and will be able to assist in using or adapting these in the training of field surveyors.
Some familiarity with building materials and methods is also important. Surveyors should be able to identify various building materials and know something about construction techniques.
Surveyors should also be acquainted with the terminology for detailed parts of buildings. Harley McKee's Amateur's Guide to Terms Commonly Used in Describing Historic Buildings and similar guides (see Bibliography) should assist surveyors in developing a vocabulary of architectural terms.
Identification and description of historic districts require special skills and may better be left to surveyors with specific experience and training. Training sessions, however, should attempt to make laymen aware of the qualities (visual, architectural, physical, spatial, social, etc.) that may make an area recognizable as an historic district. Surveyors should be taught to see how buildings, open spaces, natural features, roads, and other aspects of the environment interact to create particular urban or rural configurations, and how to conduct a precise visual analysis of those elements and their interrelationships. An effort should be made to convey an appreciation for the ways in which the cultural characteristics of a social group or period in a community's history may be reflected in its buildings and the organization of its spaces. Readings drawn from the literature of urban design, urban geography, anthropology, and environmental design, in addition to practice sessions in the field, should provide surveyors with a general approach and models of analysis (see Bibliography).
Surveyors should be taught to be alert to the archeological value of buildings and their contents-that is, their potential for producing information useful in important historical, anthropological, or sociological research. Particularly if the survey will involve the inspection of building interiors, surveyors should be taught to be on the lookout for such building contents as furniture, collections of papers, wallpaper, graffiti, industrial equipment, tools, and the organization of objects in buildings and structures that may reveal aspects of the lives of those who built, lived in, or used the space in the past.
Where landscape architecture is a concern of the survey, surveyors will need training in the kinds of landscape features to be recorded. If the primary focus of this aspect of the survey is on designed and constructed landscapes (e.g., parks, parkways, and landscaped housing tracts), background information on the design characteristics and concepts used by the landscape architects responsible for them should be provided to surveyors, so they can recognize and interpret such features when they see them. The American Society of Landscape Architects' Historic Preservation Committee (see contact information above) has developed forms that may be used in recording designed landscapes. Where non-designed cultural landscapes are the focus of attention-e.g., well preserved agricultural areas-fewer guidelines are available, but training should be provided in the natural geography of the study area and in the historical land uses that have shaped it. An excellent example of a study of such an area, which might usefully be studied during training, is Allen D. Stovall's preservation study of the Sautee and Nacoochee Valleys in Georgia (see Bibliography).
Training for Field Surveyors: Oral history
Where the collection of oral historical information is important to the project, researchers should be given specific training in interview techniques, use of questionnaires (if used), use of recording equipment, and-very importantly-ways to avoid giving offense to those interviewed. Where the collection of oral data will take place in an ethnic neighborhood, researchers should be made aware of and sensitive to the social and cultural values of the neighborhood's residents.
Training for Field Surveyors: Archeology
Where the identification of prehistoric archeological sites is a focus of the survey, since such sites are almost always substantially underground, surveyors should be trained to look for surface indications' of their presence and for conditions under which buried material may be exposed. Depending on local conditions, prehistoric sites may be marked on the surface by soil discolorations, fire-fractured rocks, scatters of pottery, flaked stone, and other debris, and concentrations of marine or freshwater shell. Stream cuts, drainage ditches, utility trenches, road cuts, and basement excavations may reveal buried sites. Surveyors should be trained to recognize typical local archeological phenomena (housepits, burials, middens, hearths, etc.) in such buried contexts, and should be taught basic concepts of stratigraphy and soil formation. They should be taught to recognize common prehistoric artifacts of the area, and to understand, in general, their functional, temporal, and cultural contexts.
Where the identification of archeological sites of more recent periods is involved, surveyors should be given training similar to that appropriate for prehistoric archeology, but with special attention given to the recognition of artifacts, construction techniques, building styles, and other features specific to the periods under study. They should be taught to be alert to such features as filled-in basements, wells, and privies, which are often important sources of archeological data.
An excellent handbook on the identification of prehistoric and historic archeological sites, oriented to the lay reader, is Archeological Resources and Land Development by Paul Brace (see Bibliography).
Where the archeological value of standing structures is important to the survey, surveyors should be trained in the recognition of architectural features, contents of structures, and spatial relationships within structures that may reveal aspects of their use, their history, and the social organization, economy, values, perceptions, and activities of their builders, residents, or users.
Close interaction between archeological surveyors and historical researchers should be stressed, because historical study of the community and its environment is vital in allowing archeologists to focus their efforts in areas most likely to produce results, and because archeological discoveries in the field may suggest fruitful lines of historical inquiry.
How much should a survey cost?
Communities should draw up a detailed budget of survey expenses before undertaking any phase of the project. Some of the factors affecting the size of the budget-time, available funding, size of survey area, type and depth of information to be gathered-have already been discussed. Other factors, including salaries for personnel, administrative expenses, and publications, will be discussed in later chapters.
Survey costs can be reduced by using large numbers of volunteers, by reducing the level of professional supervision, by eliminating publication of survey results, or by simply cutting the size of the survey area. Such cuts, however, can affect the quality of the data gathered and undermine the usefulness of the results. Professional advice and assistance from the State Historic Preservation Officer in the initial stages of the survey project can help a community draw up a budget that is both accurate and reasonable.
Where can funding for surveys be obtained?
Because of the usefulness of survey data to community planning, and because of the economic stimulus that the rehabilitation of historic buildings can provide a community, financing a survey may be a good investment for local government. A variety of Federal, State, and non-governmental programs provide funding assistance to survey projects, however.
Many local governments allocate Community Development Block Grant funds to the conduct of surveys. Historic preservation grants-in-aid passed through by State Historic Preservation Officers to certified local government preservation programs or allocated directly to survey projects are also frequently used sources of assistance. Other Federal agencies from time to time make funding available to support surveys, often in the context of specific development projects. Some State governments provide financial assistance to survey efforts, either through the State Historic Preservation Officer or in connection with economic development and planning assistance programs.
Funding for specific projects can often be obtained from such Federal granting agencies as the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Support for particular projects and programs may also be obtainable from such nonfederal sources as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the American Association for State and Local History, and private foundations that support research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
The State Historic Preservation Officer will be able to provide current information on potential sources of financial assistance. Other good sources of information include economic development officials in local and State governments, National Park Service Regional Offices, and grants and contracts offices in local colleges and universities.
The following publications, which are updated regularly, may be helpful in locating sources of funds:
Annual Register of Grant Support. Edited by Alvin Renetzsky and others. Orange, NJ: Academic Media.
The Brown Book: A Directory of Preservation Information. Prepared by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Washington, DC: The Preservation Press.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
Federal Funding Guide. Arlington, VA: Government Information Service.
Foundation Directory. Prepared by the Foundation Center. New York: Columbia University Press.
A Guide to Federal Programs. Prepared by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Washington, DC: The Preservation Press.
National Directory of Arts Support by Private Foundations. Washington, DC: Washington International Arts Letter.
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