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Historic Resources

Information to help with your historic landmark.

Most local libraries, planning departments and museums have copies of the Cultural Resources Inventory for their area.  Many local museums have extensive collections of local photos, archival records and preservation resources available.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation, State Historic Preservation Office, Architectural Heritage Center (in Portland), Historic Preservation League of Oregon (HPLO), Oregon Preservation Alliance and Old Home Forum (in Oregon City) are all educational and support organizations for old-house owners.  SHPO and HPLO also have lists of craftsmen who specialize in historic construction.

In addition to the resources already listed, several other sources of information are available for owners of historic homes. Searching the Internet using key words such as historic homes, preservation, building technology, real estate, architecture, restoration, renovation and Victorian will help you locate appropriate information. In addition, these sources will also be helpful:

  • The National Trust’s Preservation Books has publications such as The New Old House Starter Kit (with information about researching a house, guidelines on hiring professionals, a bibliography, and guides to architectural and landscape styles), Buyer’s Guide to Older and Historic Houses, Appraising Historic Properties, Design Review in Historic Districts, Fabrics for Historic Buildings: A Guide to Selecting Reproduction Fabrics, Floor Coverings for Historic Buildings: A Guide to Selecting Reproductions, and Paint in America: The Colors of Historic Buildings. To place an order, call the National Trust at 202-588-6296 or visit the Preservation Books catalog at www.preservationbooks.org.
  • Heritage Preservation Services (a division of the National Park Service) provides services, advice and publications on historic preservation, restoration and rehabilitation technology. The publications include Preservation Briefs covering such topics as masonry, mortar, conserving energy in historic buildings, cleaning and caring for historic buildings, and aluminum and vinyl siding. All briefs are available online at www.cr.nps.gov/hps/tps/briefs/presbhom.htm. The website, www.cr.nps.gov/hps/tps/index.htm, includes information on researching a historic building, applying the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, technical information and other resources for restoration projects. Heritage Preservation Services has also created an online tutorial on the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation called Electronic Rehab at http://www.cr.nps.gov/hps/tps/e-rehab/index.htm. The program is designed for owners of historic buildings, new members of design review and historic preservation commissions, architects, contractors, developers, maintenance personnel and students. The site also has a test where you make critical decisions about the appropriateness of rehabilitation work on two buildings and get immediate feedback. For more information, visit www.cr.nps.gov/hps/tps/online_ed.htm.
  • APT Bulletin published quarterly by the Association for Preservation Technology International, features articles on all aspects of building and preservation technology, including historical research, scientific papers and project case studies. To order, write to the Association for Preservation Technology International, 4513 Lincoln Ave., Suite 213, Lisle, IL 60532-1290, call 630-968-6400 or visit their website at www.apti.org.
  • The Old-House Journal, edited by Gordon H. Block, is a bi-monthly magazine dedicated to rehabilitation, maintenance and decoration of old houses. The Old-House Journal Restoration Directory is an annual buyers guide to products for houses built prior to 1940 or new homes built in the traditional manner. Old-House Bookshop offers a variety of publications that cover topics including how-to techniques, the Victorian era, historic styles, landscape and gardens, and period decorating. Restoration Directory is available online through The Old-House Journal website at www.oldhousejournal.com or available at bookstores. For more information, call 202-339-0744. The website for The Old-House Journal provides information on the magazine, allows you to view their classified section, and presents information on new preservation-related products as well as tips for historic building preservation. You can also see historic house plans, and post preservation-related questions on a bulletin board. The Old-House Journal’s Find-A-Pro area of the website will help you locate a local architect, contractor or lender for your restoration project.
  • Old-House Online, once part of The Old-House Journal, is a journal, design center and sourcebook with period-inspired design and home products. For more information, visit their website at www.oldhouseonline.com
  • Caring for Your Historic House, by Heritage Preservation and the National Park Service, is a book on preserving and maintaining a historic house. Some of the topics covered are structural systems, roofs, paint, wallpaper, woodworking and landscape. To place an order, call 888-388-6789.
  • Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference includes seminars and workshops in preservation technology. The conference website contains valuable information for owners of historic homes, as well as a directory of preservation technology contractors. For more information about upcoming conferences, call 800-982-6247 or 202-339-0744, or visit their website at www.traditionalbuildingshow.com/index.shtml.  
  • Traditional Building is a bi-monthly magazine that serves as an “authoritative where-to-buy-it resource for historical products.” To order, write Traditional Building Magazine, PO Box 3000, Denville, NJ 07834-9232; email: subscriptions@traditional-building.com; phone: 800-548-0193 or fax: 973-627-5872. The website for Traditional Building magazine at www.traditional-building.com/index.htm includes an online directory of product suppliers, a product database, online articles and product reports from current and previous issues of the magazine.
  • The American Association for State and Local History has technical reports and technical leaflets covering a number of restoration and preservation topics. To obtain a catalog of the books, reports, leaflets and video tapes available, write to AASLH, 1717 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203, call 615-320-3203, email membership@aaslh.org or visit their website at www.aaslh.org.
  • Heritage Preservation is a non-profit organization that helps citizens and communities identify, evaluate, protect and preserve historic buildings, landscapes, landmarks, archeological sites, battlefields and tribal communities. Its diverse partners include state historic preservation offices, local governments, tribes, federal agencies, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations. For more information, visit www.heritagepreservation.org/Index.html.
  • A Comprehensive Guide for Listing a Building in the National Register of Historic Places by Gail Greenberg takes readers through the process of successfully nominating an historic property to the National Register. The book includes a discussion of eligibility criteria, suggestions for research procedures, an explanation of and information needed to complete each item on the application, and a sample completed application. To order, call 1-800-222-0737. There is a discount for local historical organizations.
  • The National Housing Library, under the sponsorship of the National Association of Home Builders, publishes the quarterly Housing Abstracts. Housing Abstracts offers access to a variety of housing industry information. All of the materials cited in Housing Abstracts are part of the National Housing Library’s collection. For information, call 202-266-8200 and ask for the Resource Center at extension #8296.
  • To locate resources about protecting historic buildings from fires, repairing historic buildings after a fire, fire protection options and many other issues surrounding historic buildings, fire damage and fire prevention, contact the Historic Annapolis Foundation at Shiplap House, 18 Pinkney Street, Annapolis, MD 21401 or call 410-267-7619, toll free 800-603-4020.
  • Fire Safe Building Rehabilitation, written by a fire protection engineer and a preservation architect, is the industry’s first complete guide on how to bring older buildings up to code while respecting their original features. Approx. 400 pages, $77.90 including shipping and handling, order no. FSBR03. Order from the National Fire Protection Association at www.nfpa.org/catalog (search for “Rehabilitation”) or call 800-344-3555.
  • American Bungalow Magazine’s website is a wonderful resource for people who own or are interested in historic bungalows. The site offers tips on restoration and interior design, helps you determine what style a bungalow is, has information on publications, and keeps you up to date on the Arts and Crafts movement.   
  • Visit the American Institute of Architects website to find an architect and contractor, help decide whether you should renovate, read tips on managing the construction process, and find information on architect’s fees or on your local AIA chapter.
  • The Arts and Crafts Society online marketplace is a virtual home for the Arts and Crafts movement. The site contains information on architecture, design, antiques, restoration products and services, wallpaper, furniture, metalwork, lighting and textiles.
  • The Victorian Society in America is a national non-profit organization committed to the preservation and protection of 19th-century heritage and historic buildings. The website offers information about publications, resources, summer schools, symposia and architectural study tours devoted to fostering education and appreciation of Victorian heritage.
  • Ian Evan’s World of Old Houses is an online guide to caring for and restoring old homes. The web site contains preservation product directories for the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. There are also sections for frequently asked restoration questions, essays about preservation technology and technical tips.
  • The Interactive Old House Network offers historic homeowners a place to buy and sell historic properties, antiques and historic hardware; find companies that specialize in historic preservation, building technology or supply restoration materials; and ask other historic homeowners questions about their restoration projects.
  • The Old House Web contains reviews of new restoration products, lists historic hardware suppliers and offers tips on financial assistance, technical problems and historic gardening.
  • The Restoration Trades website contains a wealth of information on preservation technology including a service directory, bulletin boards, classifieds, job and resume postings, bid invitations and education resources.
  • The website of the Marble Institute of America contains information on the care and cleaning of natural stone and ceramic tile as well as a list of publications on such topics as the history of ceramic tile in America, and the names and quarry locations of the world’s marbles.
  • The website for the Public Broadcasting System’s History Detectives includes a guide to investigating the history of a house with a checklist, leads to additional information and sources, and a case study of an investigation of one home’s history.
  • Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet is a good source for resources on researching the history of your home. The House and Building Histories section of this website provides links to websites for libraries, archives and museums; professional and volunteer researchers; publications, software and supplies; and locally specific resources.
  • The Great American Home Awards® presented by the National Trust for Historic Preservation is a national competition recognizing outstanding residential rehabilitation projects in the United States. Established in 1989, the contest honors homeowners and professionals for their dedication to the ideals of preservation, as well as for their commitment to excellence in rehabilitating old houses. Call the membership office at 202-588-6135 for more information.
  • The Straw Bale Association of Nebraska has launched a website to promote their efforts to preserve these structures and general awareness of this building type. There is also a straw bale registry where you can register your building at www.thelaststraw.org.
  • There are several information sheets on preservation-related topics available from the National Trust’s Resource Center. For a complete list of information sheets available, email feedback@nationaltrust.org. Related topics include:

    • Information sheet #5 – The National Register of Historic Places
    • Information sheet #7 – Plaques for Historic Buildings and Homes
    • Information sheet #32 – Working with Contractors and Architects; Finding Supplies and Furnishings; Interior Design and Decorating
    • Information sheet #33 – Information for Realtors
    • Information sheet #43 – Historic Mail Order Homes and Barns
    • Information sheet #45 – Bed and Breakfast Inns

The National Trust for Historic Preservation provides this list of resources solely for informational and educational purposes. This is not intended as a specific recommendation or endorsement of any particular organization or entity.

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