Resources for Compliance-Generated Determinations of Eligibility (DOEs)

Selected “Field Guides” and Architectural Dictionaries

America’s Architectural Roots; Ethnic Groups that Built America. ed. Dell Upton. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. \ Preservation Press, 1986.

American Landscape Architecture; Designers and Places. ed. William H. Tishler. Washington, DC: The Preservation Press, 1989.

Brownstone, Douglass. A Field Guide to America’s History. New York: Facts on File, 1984.

Carter, Thomas and Elizabeth Collins Cromley. Invitation to Vernacular Architecture; A Guide to the Study of Ordinary Buildings and Landscapes. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2005.

Dictionary of Building Preservation. ed. Ward Bucher, AIA. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. \ Preservation Press, 1996.

Foster, Gerald L. American Houses: A Field Guide to the Architecture of the Home. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

Howe, Barbara J., Delores A. Fleming, Emory L. Kemp, and Ruth Ann Overbeck. Houses and Homes; Exploring Their History. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press in cooperation with the American Association for State and Local History, 1997.

An Illustrated Glossary of Early Southern Architecture and Landscape. ed. Carl R. Lounsbury. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

McAlester, Virginia and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Knopf, 1984.

McVarish, Douglas C. American Industrial Archaeology; A Field Guide. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2008.

Pillsbury, Richard and Andrew Kardos. A Field Guide to the Folk Architecture of the Northeastern United States. [Hanover, NH]: Geography Publications at Dartmouth No. 8; Special Edition on Geographical Lore, [1970].

Common Sources of Information about Historic Places

Historic maps and aerial photographs

Maps and aerial photographs provide valuable information about construction dates, land use, property ownership, and change over time. At a minimum, the map collections of the MHT library and a local library or historical society should be consulted in the preparation of a DOE form.

Land records

Land records provide information about changes to a property over time, the names of a property’s owners, and a variety of other information. Information from land records is often necessary to evaluate a property under National Register Criteria A and B. Deeds from all Maryland counties are available online at Plats from all Maryland counties are available online at


In preparing a DOE form, the owners, users, and neighbors of a property should be consulted regarding its history.

The buildings and landscape

The preparer of the DOE form should consider the age, arrangement, method of construction, and other visible factors of the buildings and landscape as historical sources. Professional judgments and assumptions should be noted and explained, and relevant citations should be provided whenever possible.

Other primary sources

Agricultural and tax records, pattern books and builders guides, newspapers, and “vertical files” may provide necessary information about the subject property or provide relevant context. For many properties, relevant information is available at MHT, the Maryland Archives, and local libraries or historical societies. An increasing number of historic documents related to design and construction are publically available online from sources that include: Google Books (, Making of America (,, Project Gutenberg (, and Chronicling America (

Selected Publications about Local and Regional Architectural History

Architecture in Annapolis: A Field Guide; Second Edition. ed. Marcia M. Miller and Orlando Ridout V. Crownsville, MD: Maryland Historical Trust Press, 2001.

Architecture and Change in the Chesapeake: A Field Tour on the Eastern and Western Shores. ed. Michael Bourne. Crownsville, MD: Maryland Historical Trust Press, 1998.

Between the Nanticoke and the Choptank: An Architectural History of Dorchester County, Maryland. ed. Christopher Weeks. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.

Blumgart, Pamela James. At the Head of the Bay: A Cultural and Architectural History of Cecil County, Maryland. Crownsville, MD: Maryland Historical Trust, 1996.

Bourne, Michael Owen. Historic Houses of Kent County: An Architectural History, 1642-1860. Chestertown, MD: The Historical Society of Kent County, 1998.

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont. ed. Richard Guy Wilson. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Getty, Joe. Carroll's Heritage: Essays on the Architecture of a Piedmont Maryland County. Westminster, MD: Carroll County Commissioners and Historical Society of Carroll County, 1987.

Hayward, Mary Ellen and Frank R. Shivers. The Architecture of Baltimore; An Illustrated History. ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

Hayward, Mary E. and Charles Belfoure. The Baltimore Rowhouse. Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.

Haryward, Mary Ellen. “Rowhouse: A Baltimore Style of Living.” 3 Centuries of Maryland Architecture. Maryland Historical Trust, 1982. pgs 65-79.

Herman, Bernard L. Architecture and Rural Life in Central Delaware 1700-1900. Knoxville, TN: The University of Tennessee Press, 1987.

National Register Criteria for Evaluation (36 CFR 60.4)

The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

Criterion A

That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or

Criterion B

That are associated with the lives of significant persons in or past; or

Criterion C

That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction (architecture or engineering); or

Criterion D

That have yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in history or prehistory. (This criterion is used primarily for archaeological resources.)

The above is adapted from National Register Bulletin 15: How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation, a technical bulletin published by the National Park Service and available online.

National Register Criteria Considerations (36 CFR 60.4)

Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces, graves of historical figures, properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that have achieved significance within the past 50 years shall not be considered eligible for the National Register. However, such properties will qualify if they are integral parts of districts that do meet the criteria or if they fall within the following categories:

A. A religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance; or

B. A building or structure removed from its original location but which is primarily significant for architectural value, or which is the surviving structure most importantly associated with a historic person or event; or

C. A birthplace or grave of a historical figure of outstanding importance if there is no appropriate site or building associated with his or her productive life; or

D. A cemetery that derives its primary importance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events; or

E. A reconstructed building when accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan, and when no other building or structure with the same association has survived; or

F. A property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own exceptional significance; or

G. A property achieving significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance


Human Trafficking GET HELP

National Human Trafficking Hotline - 24/7 Confidential

1-888-373-7888 233733 More Information on human trafficking in Maryland

Customer Service Promise

The State of Maryland pledges to provide constituents, businesses, customers, and stakeholders with friendly and courteous, timely and responsive, accurate and consistent, accessible and convenient, and truthful and transparent services.

Take Our Survey

Help Stop Fraud in State Government

The Maryland General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Audits operates a toll-free fraud hotline to receive allegations of fraud and/or abuse of State government resources. Information reported to the hotline in the past has helped to eliminate certain fraudulent activities and protect State resources.

More Information