By GUY LAMOLINARA
Of all the Works Progress Administration programs begun during the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, only the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) continues to this day.
Launched in 1933 and overseen by the U.S. Parks Service, HABS and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) (begun in 1969) have documented more than 30,000 structures and sites, many of which no longer exist.
During an Aug. 2 presentation, the Library celebrated the publication of America Preserved: A Checklist of Historic Buildings, Structures and Sites. The volume, available from the Library's Cataloging Distribution Service, will make the HABS/HAER collections more accessible to researchers.
According to Dr. Billington, America's "built environment" is "something worth recording and important to future generations, not just here but abroad."
The features of the structures and sites are recorded by HABS and HAER in the form of measured drawings, photographs, descriptive data and field records.
For Ralph Bowers, assistant director of the National Park Service, the occasion was "an opportunity to recognize the importance of recording America's architectural heritage."
Stephen Ostrow, chief of the Library's Prints and Photographs Division, where the collection is housed, called it "the fundamental record of America's built environment. Sometimes the only record."
The current volume supersedes the 1983 survey with the addition of 14,000 new entries. Bob Capsch, chief of HABS/HAER, called the publication of America Preserved the result of a "very successful effort among the National Park Service, the American Institute of Architects, the Library and the American Society of Civil Engineers."
It is an especially valuable research tool for librarians as well as architects, historians and others interested in the nation's architectural and engineering history. America Preserved features a comprehensive checklist of structures and an index by county. It also includes Library of Congress shelflist numbers to help librarians find materials more quickly and instructions on how to order copies of measured drawings from the Library's Photoduplication Service.
America Preserved (1,184 pages, $74) is hardbound in leather and includes 60 black-and-white photographs and 32 measured drawings. To order, contact the Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, Customer Services Section, P.O. Box 75720, Washington, DC 20541-5017; telephone (800) 255-3666 (U.S. only) or (202) 707-6100; fax (202) 707-1334; TDD (202) 707-0012; Internet firstname.lastname@example.org.