U.S. federal law mandates, basically, that we must preserve our history through photography, if we cannot do it any other way. For instance, if a historic structure is set to be elevated or demolished due to repetitive flooding, it must be documented before the work is completed. They call these historic documentations “Recordations”, and they are to be produced in accordance with the Historic American Building Standards/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) standards.

My early work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), between 1997 and 2002, involved producing several of these comprehensive photographic recordations using large format (4×5), black and white negatives and contact prints.

Aside from the negatives and photographs, each effort also included the assembly of a report based on HABS/HAER standards, including logs describing the photographs and roofline views illustrating photograph locations and angles.

Each of these recordations (list shown below) was submitted to the corresponding State Historic Preservation Office for their archives.


Chickamauga, Georgia
In the historic Mill Village neighborhood, exterior views of three homes to be elevated,
and interior and exterior views of four homes to be demolished.
Streetscapes of the historic district were also included.

Radium Springs, Georgia
Historic Radium Springs Lodge with outbuildings, interior and exterior views.

Belhaven, North Carolina
Sixteen historic homes, exterior views, with streetscapes of the entire historic district.

Ralston, Pennsylvania
1901 American Bridge Company steel truss railroad bridge, to be relocated or demolished.

Luray, Columbia Furnace, and Lexington, Virginia
Seven historic homes, exterior views.

Geneva, Alabama
Bethel AME Church and Mount Hermon Masonic Lodge, interior and exterior views.

Fort Payne, Alabama
One historic home, exterior and interior, as well as photographs of the demolition process.

Albany, Georgia
One historic home and pump house, interior and exterior views.

Vienna, Georgia
Six historic homes, exterior views.

Clay City, Claysville, Falmouth, Kentucky
Three historic homes, interior and exterior views, and one historic culvert, exterior views.

Clarksville, Tennessee
Several historic downtown buildings and church rectory, interior and exterior views.

Mocanaqua, Pennsylvania
Two historic homes, exterior views.

Smithfield, North Carolina
Eight historic homes, interior and exterior views.

Speed, North Carolina
Eight historic homes, exterior views.

Upland Borough, Pennsylvania
Two historic homes, exterior views.

Glen Rock, Pennsylvania
One historic downtown building, exterior views.

Hancock, Lonaconing, Maryland
Two historic homes, interior and exterior views.

Greensboro, Millington, Maryland
Four historic homes, exterior views.

Lewisburg, Milton, Muncy, Pennsylvania
Three historic homes, exterior views.

Washington Park, Windsor,  North Carolina
Seven historic homes, exterior views.

Tarboro, Seven Springs, Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Five historic homes, exterior views.

Snow Hill, North Carolina
One historic downtown building, exterior views.

Oak Orchard, Delaware
One historic home, exterior views.

Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Historic Imperial Tobacco Factory, interior and exterior views.