Sometimes special challenges require specialized information. Check out the topics below to find tools and organizations that may help. (Know of other helpful resources? Let us know and we’ll consider adding them.) Follow us on Facebook for time-sensitive postings such as job openings, internships, or workshops. Sign up for our monthly e-news for upcoming events, advocacy alerts, grant opportunities and other news you can use.
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Historic Barn & Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania: The Historic Barn and Farm Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational resources for the long-term preservation, protection, and documentation of historic barns in Pennsylvania, and the agricultural heritage of the Commonwealth. The HBFF Archive is an on-going barn survey database compiled to facilitate the documentation and research of Pennsylvania’s barns and farm structures. Learn more about the launch of their matching grant program for barn owners.
Historic Gettysburg–Adams County Barn Preservation Project: Get involved or tap their expertise.
National Barn Alliance: seeks to provide national leadership for the preservation of America’s historic barns and rural heritage through education, documentation, conservation, and networking. Lots of great resources on their website.
Preservation Pennsylvania webinar on barn preservation, presented in partnership with the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. Click here to view the recording.
If you live near Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum offers lectures and activities that highlight the amazing history under your feet! Their website also features great resources, from The Boghouse Podcast to the PAF Burial Ground Map and Database.
The Pennsylvania Archaeological Council actively promotes best practices in the field across the commonwealth. They regularly offer education opportunities and work to represent legislative interests of archaeologists as well as sharing information and resources.
Did you know…? October is Archaeology Month, so check and see if there are local activities offered in your area.
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN FUNDS
You’ll find a summary of our April 2022 webinar about accessing and using American Rescue Plan funds for local revitalization and preservation projects under our News section or click here.
Pennsylvania Hallowed Ground Project: a small group dedicated to conserving and honoring the burial sites of Pennsylvania’s United States Colored Troops (USCT). Their annual meeting is a great way to learn from others and be inspired about all aspects of preserving any burial ground and its monuments and history. Follow their Facebook page for alerts.
The Philadelphia Archaeological Forum (PAF) shares their database and map of Philadephia Burial Grounds.
The National Park Service Technical Preservation Services website has many resources that may be of interest, including Guidelines on Flood Adaptation for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a range of resources that address this topic on a national, local and homeowner level. Click here for their climate page.
Historic New England uses their historic properties to test new (and old) approaches to challenges facing old house owners. Check out their resources on weatherization, maintenance and management of vintage homes.
This publication pdf is an oldie (1982) but a goodie from the National Park Service to help homeowners “understand and utilize existing architectural features in older homes to achieve energy conservation.”
The Local Preservation School, an open learning environment where preservation advocates and volunteers share how we can work together to save and sustain historic places in our communities.
The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) offers information on their website. Sign up for their newsletter to receive alerts about upcoming trainings and preservation initiatives. Click here to visit their website.
From preparing for natural disasters to fire or flood recovery, the National Trust has a series of climate and disaster-related toolkits that offer helpful guidance. Click here to read more.
Natural Lands is a non-profit organization that saves open space, cares for nature, and connects people to the outdoors in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.
PA Heritage Areas: Heritage areas are defined as community led conservation and development. It’s a technique that aims to manage economic revitalization with preservation of historic resources, natural landscapes and recreational opportunities.
Living Landscape Observer: With a global perspective, Brenda Barrett covers issues related to the emerging fields of landscape scale conservation, heritage preservation, and sustainable community development. For example, learn more about Pennsylvania’s Conservation Landscapes.
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
The National Register of Historic Places was created by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. It is managed by the National Park Service, in cooperation with each State’s Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Visit the National Park Service website for useful information about the National Register, the process of listing a property, and resources for finding places that are already listed on the register.
The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) is a bureau within the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg. Visit their website for information on their role in the listing process, forms and contact information and helpful theme studies and context statements. According to their website “Historic contexts help assess the significance of a property by determining if a property represents a significant part of history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture of a geographical area.”
Our FAQ on the main Resources page offers some information about the National Register for homeowners.
Neighborhood Preservation Toolkit from PennPraxis at the University of Pennsylvania. Winner of a Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award. It is published in English, Chinese, and Spanish, and is available for download as the full version or as individual chapters.
Philadelphia Rowhouse Manual, from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission to help residents learn about their row homes and what they can do to maintain and update them. Useful whether you live in Philadelphia or elsewhere.
PENNSYLVANIA HISTORICAL & MUSEUM COMMISSION
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is a bureau within the PHMC. It is responsible for the collection, conservation, and interpretation of Pennsylvania’s historic heritage. The Pennsylvania State Archives, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Trails of History (historic sites and museums), the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, and the Bureau of Management Services are all part of the PHMC. Visit their website for information, research and resources.
To learn about using the PA-Share platform, watch our webinar, featuring Shelby Splain, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the PHMC–PA State Historic Preservation Office. Click here to get links, slides and watch the video on our website in the News/Blog section. Click here to watch the webinar on YouTube.
Partners for Sacred Places helps active congregations in older sacred places plan for the future. They assist with programming planning, capital campaign training and fundraising strategies, along with technical assistance, and grants. Grant funding is available through the National Fund for Historic Places.
Partners for Sacred Places offers this guide for churches facing transition.
(For cemeteries and burial grounds, see above.)
American Memory at the Library of Congress: “Administered since 1933 through cooperative agreements with the National Park Service, the Library of Congress, and the private sector, ongoing programs of the National Park Service have recorded America’s built environment in multi-format surveys comprising more than 581,000 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 43,000 historic structures and sites dating from Pre-Columbian times to the twentieth century. This online presentation of the HABS/HAER/HALS collections includes digitized images of measured drawings, black-and-white photographs, color transparencies, photo captions, written history pages, and supplemental materials.” Access the Historic American Building Survey, the Historic American Engineering Record and the Historic American Landscape Survey records at this link.
National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks: The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 created the National Register, which now lists more than 95,000 properties considered worthy of preservation. The documentation holds information on more than 1.4 million individual resources–buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects. Click here for more information on how to use the database via the National Park Service or search the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission CGIS database.
Historic Preservation Tax Credits
Preservation Pennsylvania led advocacy efforts that resulted in the state historic preservation tax credit. We also advocate at the national level for the preservation and enhancement of the preservation tax credit. Here are some helpful resources that demonstrate the effectiveness of the state and federal tax credits in saving old buildings, creating jobs and driving economic revitalization.
Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) reviews all state tax credits over a five-year period. Click here to access the IFO Historic Preservation Tax Credit Report, published in January 2019.
Preservation Pennsylvania commissioned a study to evaluate the state historic preservation tax credit. Read the Executive Summary or the Full Report: The Missing Key: A Study of the Impact and Potential of the Pennsylvania State Historic Tax Credit.