Research and Survey

Research and survey are the foundation of all preservation activity. The first step in the protection and interpretation of historic and cultural resources is to fully understand the object, site, or event.  The Trust’s Research and Survey program takes the lead in identifying important resources and developing a detailed record of their past and present appearance, history, and significance.

The investigative process is varied and may include archival research, field survey of archeological sites and historic structures, or analysis of the historic fabric.  Projects take place throughout the state, and may serve a wide variety of purposes, including the development of a county-wide inventory of historic resources, testing a predictive model for locating historic and prehistoric archaeological sites, conducting site-specific research to aid in the preservation and rehabilitation of a significant resource, or collecting research material for a planned museum exhibit.  In the past, research and survey projects have documented a diverse array of resources from agricultural or industrial structures to early 20th century neighborhoods and threatened archaeological sites and buildings across the state.

While some research and survey projects are developed and undertaken by Trust staff, the majority are joint projects in partnership with local government agencies, private nonprofit organizations, or museums.  Both state and federal grant funds aid these activities. The data collected is maintained in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties and field and research reports in the Trust library, and is also incorporated into the Trust’s Geographic Information System.



Drury Austin House, Montgomery County

The Office of Research, Survey, and Registration coordinates efforts to carry out research on historical and architectural themes throughout Maryland.  This research involves staff, as well as outside partnerships, and results in a wealth of information on Maryland’s historic resources which is housed in our library.



Archeological Site

MHT’s statewide Architectural and Archeological survey programs work with county and local governments, as well as non-profit organizations throughout the state to locate, document, and evaluate historic and pre-historic resources.



Evaluation & Designation Bollman Truss Bridge, Savage Mill, Howard County

Properties that have been surveyed and that may be considered historically significant may be evaluated for inclusion on The National Register of Historic Places, or designated by local governments. This section provides information about the different types of designations and what they mean.



This page updated: July 17, 2014