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Historic Preservation: A Guide to Resources

Historic Preservation is a guide to strategies and resources for students beginning research on the conservation, preservation or restoration of historic buildings, landscapes or cities, with an emphasis on California and the Bay Area. See Environmental Design Library Research Guides for more. For additional assistance please consult the Environmental Design Library reference staff, 210 Wurster Hall.

  • Research Methods
  • Reference Sources
  • History & Philosophy
  • Legal & Political Aspects
  • Social & Cultural Aspects
  • Economic Aspects
  • Documentation & Interpretation
  • Handbooks & Manuals
  • Archives, Associations & Organizations
  • Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Planning
  • Browser's Guide
  • UC Berkeley faculty, registered students, and staff who are off campus may use items marked UCB Only or UC Only via the Library's proxy service or the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

    Compiled by Elizabeth D. Byrne, with thanks to Helaine Kaplan Prentice. Content reviewed: July 2009.

    Research Methods


    See also the Research Guides and Research Methods.


    Finding Books

    For information about the library's catalogs, see Guide to UCB Library Catalogs For information about off-campus access to The Library's online resources, see Connecting From Off Campus Also consult the section below on Archives, Associations and Organizations for links to their catalogs and publications.


    Terminology or Subject Headings for Searching Library Catalogs

    tip Use the Advanced Search which allows you to combine keywords (and, or, not), authors, subject headings and more, and limit by date, language, etc. Modify subject headings with the addition of sub-headings, such as place names and standard terms, (many of which will also be useful when searching periodical indexes and databases).

    SAMPLE SUBJECT HEADINGS (combine with sub-headings to narrow your search)

    Archaeology and history
    California antiquities
    Cultural property
    Heritage tourism
    Historic buildings
    Historic districts
    Historic gardens
    Historic preservation
    Historic sites
    Landscape assessment
    Landscape protection
    Nature conservation
    Neighborhood conservation
    [Type of building or site, e.g., Cemeteries, Central Business Districts, Churches, Houses, Monuments, Parks, School buildings, etc.]
    SAMPLE SUB-HEADINGS (to combine with subject headings)

    --Conservation and restoration
    --Economic aspects
    --Interpretative programs
    --Law and legislation
    --Remodeling for other use
    --Repair and reconstruction
    --Social aspects


    Finding Journal Articles

    For information about off-campus access to The Library's online resources, see Connecting from Off Campus.

    Journal Article Indexes and Databases: See the following web guides for descriptions of and links to the core journal article indexes that cover historic preservation.

    Selective list of key preservation journals:


    Finding Images & Plans

    Two excellent guides to locating images, maps and plans related to the built environment are found at:

    Interviewing & Oral Histories


    Additional Guides

    Related guides will also be very helpful:


    Reference Sources




    Good starting places for background information, terminology, and bibliographies.




    History & Philosophy

    Below is a selective list of publications that provide an introduction to the history and philosophy of historic preservation, with an emphasis on California and the U.S.



    Be sure to check Melvyl catalog for additional titles in the Law Library.



    See also Building Codes and Regulatory Resources.



    See a complete list of all the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines, as amended and annotated


    Political Climate


    Social & Cultural Aspects


    Economic Aspects


    Documentation & Interpretation





    Handbooks & Manuals

    See also publications listed under Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Planning below.


    Archives, Associations & Organizations

    This is a selective list of related organizations with useful collections, information or publications. Archival and other original materials are often difficult to locate, so check in directories of archives and special collections to locate manuscripts, drawings and other unpublished materials. Use WorldCAT (UC Only), RLG Union Catalog (UC Only), Online Archive of California, and other guides to determine which institutions have collections on your topic. See also Library Catalogs and Special Collections in Reference Sources on Architecture, an Environmental Design Library reference guide. Use Associations on the Net to identify associations on your topic.


    California & Bay Area

    Additional listings at California and Bay Area archives, associations and organizations


    Important Local Archival & Research Collections

    Bancroft Library & UC Archives
    U.C. Berkeley

    Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association
    2318 Durant St., Berkeley 94704

    Berkeley Historical Society
    Veteran's Building, 1931 Center St., Berkeley

    California Historic Preservation Office
    1416 9th Street, Room 1442, Sacramento 95814
    (mailing address: P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento 94296)

    California Historical Society Library
    678 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105

    California State Archives
    1020 O St., Sacramento, CA 95814

    California State Library, California History Section
    900 N St., Room 200, Sacramento, CA 94237-0001
    (mailing address: P.O. Box 42837)

    California State Library, Sutro Library
    1630 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132

    Environmental Design Archives U.C. Berkeley, 230 Wurster Hall #1820, Berkeley, CA 94720-1820

    Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey
    250 Frank Ogawa Plaza 2114, Oakland 94612
    510- 238-6879

    Oakland Heritage Alliance
    446 17th St., Suite 301, Oakland, CA 94612

    Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room
    125 14th St., Oakland 94612

    San Francisco Architectural Heritage
    2007 Franklin St., San Francisco, CA 94109

    San Francisco History Room and Archives
    San Francisco Public Library, Civic Center, San Francisco, CA 94102

    State Historic Preservation Officer
    1416 9th St., Room 1442, Sacramento 95814
    (mailing address: P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento 94296)







    Below is a selective list of publications that focus on the general conservation, restoration or preservation of buildings. Be sure to consult the sections above for more specific aspects.


    Landscape Architecture

    Below is a selective list of publications that focus on the general conservation, restoration or preservation of the landscape. Be sure to consult the sections above for more specific aspects.



    Below is a selective list of publications that focus on overall planning for preservation, or the conservation, restoration or preservation of cities or districts. Be sure to consult the sections above for more specific aspects.

    Preservation Planning


    Neighborhood & District Preservation


    Browser's Guide to Historic Preservation

    The University of California, Berkeley, Libraries' collections are arranged according to a subject classification system devised by the Library of Congress. For a detailed listing see the Library of Congress Classification Outline

    The following guide will assist the student who wishes to browse the Environmental Design Library's historic preservation collection. Note that browsing a collection as large as the Environmental Design Library has considerable limitations: users will miss volumes checked out, in remote storage, in other libraries on campus, on the Internet, and in other classifications. Historic preservation materials fall into many classifications, and classifications change over the years, so a thorough search of your subject will require checking the Library catalogs.

    If you need help, please be sure to consult an Environmental Design Library reference librarian, 210 Wurster Hall.

    Historic Preservation by Broad Subject LC Classification
    Archaeology, historic sites CC77
    Architectural landmarks NA105-NA106; NA111-NA112
    By region, state HE356
    California, Bay Area F868-F869
    Cities and districts HT119; HT167
    Economic aspects HT175-HT176
    General, historic monuments, handbooks, manuals E159; NA705
    General works: Preservation, restoration, conservation of historic & artistic monuments, landmarks, etc. CC135
    Historic monuments, illustrative materials F169
    Houses--Restoration NA7200-NA7300s
    Landscapes, gardens SB457-SB467; SB472.8
    Laws--California KFC 610; KFC813-KFC814
    Laws--US KF4310
    Monuments of specific regions, countries DA-F
    Political aspects--US HT167
    Standards CC136; NA105-NA106
    Technical & structural aspects TH3351-TH4800s