Through a partnership with the Library of Congress, ARTstor will distribute approximately 200,000 images from the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) image collections.

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) is the nation’s oldest federal preservation program. HABS was created with the goal of systematically documenting “America’s antique buildings” before they disappeared, thereby preserving the architectural heritage of the United States for future generations. HABS is a national survey, encompassing regional building traditions, and building types and styles of all kinds. Inspired by the success of HABS, the National Park Service founded the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) in 1969. HAER focuses on the documentation of historic sites and structures related to engineering and industry. HAER complements HABS by focusing less on the structures themselves, and more on the machinery and processes within them.

Together, both collections record America’s built environment, encompassing approximately 37,000 historic sites and structures: residential, commercial, public, monumental, religious, military, and industrial. Coverage spans across the United States and its territories, representing various periods and styles from the 17th through the 20th century. Since the HABS and HAER programs are constantly producing new documentation, the collection will continue to grow as new materials are added.

Through its collaboration with ARTstor, the Library of Congress will contribute 200,000 HABS/HAER images to the ARTstor Digital Library. In addition, the Library of Congress is currently in the process of acquiring material from the associated Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS), which it hopes to share with ARTstor, as well.

For more detailed information about this collection, visit the Images from the Library of Congress’ Historic American Buildings Survey/ Historic American Engineering Record page.