PreserveMaryland, the Statewide Preservation Plan 2014-2018
Goal 3: Expand and Update Documentation
To preserve places significant to culture and history, you must first understand what you
have. In addition to improving state programs, public response to PreserveMaryland outreach indicated
a strong need for renewed focus and investment in the survey and documentation of historic and
cultural resources, as well as the prioritization of future survey and documentation efforts. There
are three levels of inventory for historic sites in Maryland: state, federal and local.
State and Federal Inventories. The Maryland Historical Trust maintains the Maryland
Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP), which includes detailed information about potential historic
and prehistoric structures and sites. The MIHP is the recommended format for survey
and documentation in the state. In some cases, MIHP properties have been determined eligible for
listing in the National Register of Historic Places, the federal inventory maintained by
the National Park Service. The standards used by the state and federal inventories are almost identical.
Data from the National Register and the MIHP forms the primary basis for preservation planning,
as well as decision-making in all of MHT’s programs, including grant-making, project
review and tax credit review.
Local Inventories. Counties and municipalities also may maintain inventories of
historic places according to federal, state and/or local standards for historic and architectural
significance. The standards used by local jurisdictions vary widely, as do the systems for maintaining
and updating information and sharing data with the Maryland Historical Trust. As such, there is
room to improve data collection and sharing across programs.
What We Need to Do to UPDATE
Conduct needs assessment of local governments related to documentation and survey.
Identify gaps; develop statewide priorities.
In 2014, the Maryland Historical Trust received funding from the National Park Service to
research and document historic places related to Baltimore City's Civil Rights history. This
project will be implemented in partnership with the Baltimore National Heritage Area, Baltimore
Heritage, Inc. and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. For
FY 2018, MHT received $200,000 in Non-Capital Historic Preservation grant funding to
support research, survey, planning and educational activities, the first such appropriation in
more than five years.
Prioritize easement properties for documentation; complete baseline documentation.
Develop guidance on data collection and inventory for local groups and commissions planning
for historic properties, including those without resources necessary for MIHP-level survey.
Guidance specifically related to historic properties prone to flooding has been drafted and
is anticipated to be released in spring 2018.
As part of statewide workshop series, hold day-long training on survey and documentation
issues. Address "best practices" for priority themes or more complex resource types,
such as cultural landscapes.
MHT with National Park Service, MAHDC; Department of Natural Resources and State Highways
Administration (for cultural landscapes)
MHT provided training on survey and documentation as part of the agency’s day-long Weather It
Together workshop in 2017, which addressed historic properties and flooding. Since the implementation
of PreserveMaryland, MHT staff began conduct outreach and training to county planners related
to survey; this is ongoing.
Complete the digitization of MIHP data to allow searches and analysis of type of
construction, region, building use, etc. Post on MHT website.
County and Local
Based on MHT-led needs assessment, update MIHP inventories and add new surveys. Establish
local priorities/themes for new surveys in partnership with MHT.
Local commissions, Local preservation organizations
Upgrade county and local websites to include links to existing and developing local
databases, if they are different from MIHP. Use award-winning sites in recent
years as models.
All commissions and staff participate in needs assessment.
Local commissions with MHT, MAHDC
Design and develop events where local citizens can contribute information about historic
places or a cultural tradition that may be diminishing in importance or dying out.
Local commissions, Local preservation organizations with Maryland Traditions, Maryland State
Arts Council, Main Street Maryland
Train MAHDC circuit rider to provide ongoing assistance for local governments in
preservation planning, including survey and documentation.
Mine compliance reports for information that can be added to current MIHP records.
Explore ways to support comprehensive conservation assessments, collection management plans
and conversion of inventory data to computer systems. Build upon Museum Assistance
Program needs assessment.
MHT, SMA, MAHM
Work with agencies and institutions involved in documenting and preserving cultural
(intangible) heritage to set long-term goals and strategies.
Maryland Traditions, MHT, Maryland State Arts Council