Providing collection care, preservation and conservation treatment services to collectors and collecting institutions.
by Eric Swanson
When restoring your historic building, maintaining your museum facility, or planning a building expansion, look online for useful information. The Internet and its subset, the World Wide Web, contain a wealth of information about preserving and restoring historic buildings.
Perhaps the best place to start is Links to the Past: National Park Service Cultural Resources. The site (www.cr.nps.gov) offers great information, including Preservation Briefs (www2.cr.nps. gov/tps/briefs/presbhom.htm) and a Check List for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (www2.cr. nps.gov/tps/Rehablst.htm). Another essential tool published on this site is the list Internet Resources for Heritage Conservation, Historic Preservation and Archaeology (http://www.ncptt.nps.gov/pir/).
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Technical Center of Expertise (TCX) for Preservation of Historic Structures and Buildings (www.cadd.nps.usace.army.mil/tcx_psb/histpres.htm) site contains some Guide Specifications for Historic Preservation available for downloading.
Use the Architecture Web Resources site (www.nscee.edu/unlv/Libraries/arch/rsrce/webrsrce/contents.html) to find helpful links. The site provides a comprehensive list of building-related resources organized by categories and also contains a great reference tools section.
Other good resources include:
National Trust for Historic Preservation Home Page (www.nthp.org) Cyburbia - Historic Preservation (www.arch.buffalo.edu/cgi-bin/pairc/hst_pres) Preserve/Net - Historic Preservation Links (www.preservenet.cornell.edu/pnetman2.htm) Masonry Conservation Research Group - Links to other heritage conservation sites (www.rgu.ac.uk/schools/mcrg/sites.htm) Historic HomeWorks Web Site (www. housenet.com/HistoricHomeWorks/index.htm)
Need funding for historic rehabilitation? As a starting place, visit the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (www.cr.nps.gov/ncptt/) and review the PTT Grants Call for Proposals (www.cr.nps.gov/ncptt/pttgrant.html). Another excellent resource for private foundation funding is The Foundation Center Online (fdncenter.org). The foundation center has grant information and links to foundation sites.
To find specific preservation or funding resources, try Metacrawler (www. metacrawler.com), to search on a subject, topic or specific item. Metacrawler incorporates several search tools into one form. We think it might become a favorite.
In addition to research, the Internet also provides an excellent way to exchange ideas using Discussion lists and Usenet newsgroups. Learn the basics about these two forums at LEARN THE NET: Mailing Lists (www.learnthenet.com/ english/html/24mlists.htm) and LEARN THE NET: newsgroups (www.learnthenet.com/english/ section/newsgroup.htm). Discussion groups can be useful and informative, but they sometimes generate a large volume of e-mail. Be sure to read any instructions and descriptions before subscribing. Also, save the instructions for unsubscribing.
The Listservs, Mailing Lists and Discussion Groups page (www.cr.nps.gov/ncptt/ irg/irg-listservs.html) contains descriptions and instructions for many useful lists. Preservation-L is a forum for individuals with an interest in architectural restoration and preservation. Other discussion groups cover conservation -- Con DistList (palimpsest.stanford.edu/byform/mailing-lists/cdl/) -- and museum -- Museum-L (ftp://darwin.nmmnh-abq.mus.nm.us/misc/ museum-l-faq.txt) issues. The Directory of Scholarly and Professional E-Conferences (www.n2h2. com/KOVACS/) evaluates and organizes discussion lists, newsgroups, mailing lists, and interactive Web chat groups (all known as e-conferences) on topics of interest to scholars and professionals for use in their scholarly, pedagological and professional activities.
In the next edition of Collections Caretaker, we will take you through the steps we took to create a new Web site. Some of you folks might already have found our new site, (www.collectioncare.org). If you have, a tip of the cap for good searching. This site is under development. We are planning some exciting links and training opportunities, stretching the ability of the web to provide the best preservation information possible. Add us to your bookmarks. In the meantime, happy surfing.
Eric Swanson, Webmaster, has been developing websites for museums and historical societies since spring of 1995. Special thanks to Homer Hruby and Jason Peterson who assisted with this article. Eric can be reached at: