Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

September 17, 1998

Portion of Historic American Buildings Survey/ Historic American Engineering Record Available On-Line

Beginning Sept. 28, more than 9,000 photographs, 260 architectural drawings and 80,000 pages of written history from the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) Collections will be on-line from the Library's American Memory Web site at Also available are the catalog records for the survey that contain approximately 183,000 photographs, 52,000 drawings and 115,000 pages of history, which will continue to be digitized over the years.

HABS, joined by HAER in 1963, is the only New Deal-era project that is still in operation. It was the federal government's first attempt to systematically record America's built environment through graphical and written records. Since November 1933, more than 35,000 historic structures and sites have been documented. For more than 60 years, these collections have been among the most popular in the Prints and Photographs Division, where they are housed at the Library.

The on-line records in "Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present" can be searched by building name and place, and in many cases by type, creator name and subject.

Lighthouses, county courthouses, bridges, historic homes, even windmills are just some of the many buildings and structures documented by HABS/HAER under the direction of the Interior Department. Records and drawings for national landmarks such as Independence Hall, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Statue of Liberty are also included. Once created, the records and documentation are transferred to the Library of Congress for safekeeping and public access.

American Memory is a project of the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress, which, in collaboration with other institutions, is bringing its important American historical materials to citizens everywhere. More than 40 collections are now available, including the recent addition of many never-before-seen photographs in "America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photos from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, 1935-1945."

Other collections being made available this month include "An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera," "Buckaroos in Paradise: Folklife on a Nevada Cattle Ranch, 1945-1982," "Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910," "Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-85" and "American Landscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920," a collection from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, made available through an award from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition.

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PR 98-132
ISSN 0731-3527

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