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Historical Preservation: Introduction

This research guide includes useful links to Dacus Library online catalog links, online databases, and useful Websites pertaining to the subject of historic preservation.

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This guide was designed to direct patrons to the best available resources available in-house at Dacus Library and its afffiliates and online through its subscription databases.  

Q: What is historic preservation?

A: Historic preservation is broadly defined as the activity and process of researching, identifying, protecting, and enhancing buildings, places and landscapes, and objects of historical, archaeological, and cultural significance. The process includes a variety of activities that include: 1) the survey and evaluation of historical, archaeological, architectural, cultural, and natural resources in an area; 2) the development of planning and implementing  legal measures to protect these resources; 3) the identification of public and private funding sources applicable to preservation projects; 4) the design for the restoration, rehabilitation, and/or adaptive use of historic structures and properties; and, 5) the ongoing maintenance of these resources.

Q: What subject areas are included in historic preservation?

A: By definition historic preservation covers a wide range of subjects and activities, among them, art, architecture, archaeology, business (non-profit), construction (historic rehabilitation), fundraising, historical research, public administration, urban re-districting, conservation, preservation, and environmental law. 

Q: I need information for a research paper and/or project related to a narrow topic within the field of historic preservation.  What resources does the library have that can help and how do I go about conducting a search strategy?

A:  A good starting point is to access the Dacus Online Catalog (DOC) to perform KEYWORD, AUTHOR, TITLE, SUBJECT, or JOURNAL TITLE searches of our collection holdings.  The Library of Congress Classification System tab can also yield some helpful hints about performing subject-specific searches, and the Academic Databases tab lists some useful databases to access on different aspects of historic preservation.  The Web Sites tab lists some recommended sites as well.    

We are receptive to the needs of the Winthrop community.  We welcome input and suggestions so that we can accommodate your information needs.  If you have needs or suggestions for additional resources, then please feel free to contact me.


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Martha Smith
Subjects: History, Law