Historic Preservation at Home

By Lara Westwood, Librarian with contributions from MHT staff

The Maryland Historical Trust staff — like so many of you — have been spending a lot more time at home lately. We have turned to online resources and our home libraries to continue our education in historic preservation in these unprecedented times. For Preservation Month, here are few of our favorite resources that you can check out from the comfort of your couch.  

#HistoricPreservation on Instagram.

Social Media to Follow:

CheapOldHouses – If you are in the market for a historic fixer-upper, this Instagram account is for you. 

Heritage & Historic Preservation – NPS – Learn more on Facebook about historic preservation efforts led by the National Park Service across the country. 

#HistoricPreservation – A great hashtag to follow on Twitter and Instagram to find out the latest industry news, trends, and projects. 

Maryland Preservation Forum – Request to join this Facebook group to learn more about preservation projects and events around the state.

MdHistoricalTrust – Follow us on Instagram to find out more about our work. 

OldHouseLove – An Instagram account dedicated to the beauty of old houses, especially those in need of some TLC. 

PoplarForestRestoration – This Instagram account follows the restoration of Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s second home and one of the first octagonal houses built in America. 

#Preserve66 – A hashtag initiative on Instagram and Twitter to showcase historic preservation efforts on the famous Route 66. 

Rainbow Heritage Network – Learn more about efforts to preserve and document sites related to LGBTQ+ history. 

SavingPlaces – Follow the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Instagram account for updates on their latest initiatives. 

#ThisPlaceMatters – A hashtag campaign spearheaded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation on Twitter and Instagram to highlight forgotten spaces and neighborhood pride. 

USInterior – The official Instagram account of the U.S. Department of the Interior features photographs of the country’s most breathtaking spaces. 

What_style_is_that – An Instagram account curated by preservationist Karyn Wen that breaks down American architectural styles and features. 

WillieGraham1000 – Architectural historian Willie Graham shares beautiful photographs of his work in Maryland and Virginia on his Instagram account. 

A great resource on architecture and history in the Mid-Atlantic.

Books to Read:

The Chesapeake House: Architectural Investigation by Colonial Williamsburg by Cary Carson, Carl Lounsbury, and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation – An in-depth look at the development of the building practices and landscape of the Chesapeake region. 

A Field Guide to American houses: the Definitive Guide to Identifying and Understanding America’s Domestic Architecture by Virginia McAlester, Lee McAlester, Suzanne Patton Matty, and Steve Clicque – An excellent reference for both the professional and amateuer architectural historian to learn more about the styles seen in your own neighborhood. 

Identifying American Architecture: a Pictorial Guide to Styles and Terms, 1600-1945 by John J-G Blumenson – A quick reference for identifying architectural styles. 

An Illustrated Glossary of Early Southern Architecture and Landscape by Carl Lounsbury, Vanessa Elizabeth Patrick, and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation – Learn the terms for architectural elements present in colonial buildings down the eastern seaboard.

Preserving African American Historic Places by Brent Leggs, Kerri Rubman, and Byrd Wood – A guide to documenting and preserving spaces that have been often overlooked by mainstream preservation efforts. 

Sah-archipedia.org, a peer-reviewed encyclopedia of architectural terms and images.

Websites to Surf:

ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) Photobank – Explore photographs of sites of historical significance across the globe. 

Library of Congress Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey – Search documentation on the country’s historic places created by the National Park Service since 1933. 

Our History, Our Heritage – The MHT blog where we share stories about our projects, grants, and research. 

Preservationdirectory.com – A one-stop website for all things historic preservation, including a listing of historic house museums, historic real estate for sale, law library, and more.  

SAH Archipedia – A comprehensive online encyclopedia of American architecture created by the Society of Architectural Historians.

Technical Preservation Services – Learn more about the National Park Service’s historic preservation work and find online classes and publications, such as the Technical Briefs. 

UNESCO – Learn more about worldwide initiatives to protect international heritage sites. 

A Visual Glossary of Classical Architecture – An image library of ancient architectural elements. 

Videos to Watch:

Baltimore Heritage Five Minute Histories – Learn more about Baltimore landmarks in these short but informative videos presented by Baltimore Heritage. 

Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans online classes – While focused on the history of the Big Easy, the Preservation Center offers webinars on a variety of historic preservation topics, including wood window restoration and home decor tips. 

Podcasts to Listen to:

99% Invisible – Host Roman Mars explores “the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world” on this podcast. 

Practical Preservation Podcast – Presented by Keperling Preservation Services, this podcast features interviews with industry experts and discusses the importance of historic preservation. 

PreserveCast – Preservation Maryland Executive Director Nicholas Redding conducts interviews on his monthly podcast on all manner of subjects related to historic preservation.  

Please note: appearance on this list does not represent an endorsement by the State of Maryland or the Maryland Historical Trust. Happy exploring!

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