View Full Version : HABS/HAER Photography guidelines

Ed Richards
9-Jul-2007, 18:46
Anyone do this sort of work? The guidelines are online here:


They are really out of date - they want a contact print on Azo, only, for example. I am curious if there are more up to date guidelines.

10-Jul-2007, 04:04
hi ed

someone asked something similar a few weeks ago ...

Ed Richards
10-Jul-2007, 07:17
Thanks! I missed that one. That helps a lot.

7-Jan-2010, 15:47
Here it is 2010 and it's nice to see that HABS/HAER/HALS are still requiring photography on archival large-format film in 4x5 and 5x7 and 8x10. I recently did a day of photo-documentation on 5x7 Ilford HP5 of Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village, a folk-art environment in Simi Valley, California, Listed on the National Register of Historic Places but badly damaged by the Northridge earthquake. LF photographers could document worthy locations on 4x5 and 5x7 and donate the images to the Library of Congress to document the places that matter in the USA. The processing requirements are meticulous but doable.


Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village, Spring Garden, Simi Valley, Ventura County, California.

Stephen Schafer
Architectural & Documentary Photography
ma bell: 805.652.1000
e-mail: schaf (at) west.net

Kirk Gittings
7-Jan-2010, 15:54
Ed one of my grad students at SAIC is doing his dissertation on HABS/HAER documentation. I could put you in touch with him if you want the latest.

Jack Dahlgren
8-Jan-2010, 14:30
I know black and white is more stable, and I like to use it. But just because something is old doesn't mean it has no color...

I'd like to see if those bottles are green, brown or cobalt blue. What does it look like inside? 10 years from now, people will be using video to get a sense of the place.

27-Jun-2010, 14:24
In some instances HABS does call for additional duplicate exposures of transparency film to be taken of subjects. The black and white, large format, polyester-based film is the primary recordation artifact, and a transparency is exposed after the black and white film.

Although the Library of Congress has the negatives of Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village, my workflow is to create a duplicate negative for my own files, and then a GPS tagged 12MP digital from the same camera position. So here is the digital color version, although not large format.

27-Jun-2010, 15:21
Who pays for the HABS/ HERS images. Building owner? Government? Photographer?

Kirk Gittings
27-Jun-2010, 15:25
All of the ones I have worked on were paid for by various govt agencies, though the work may be contracted through and supervised by an architect or preservationist.

27-Jun-2010, 15:26
Stephen, both of your shots of Grandma Prisbey's are great but the color one is more of what I recall. I haven't seen that place since sometime in the 1980's. Thaks for the great memory!

27-Nov-2012, 14:24
It seems the link to my original 5x7 negative photo of Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village is offline/lost... here are some other donations

84403... The Frank Lloyd Wright Ennis House in Los Angeles.

84402... Bixby Bridge, Near Big Sur, California

84404... The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Building in San Francisco. (Technically donated by the developer of the project to Historic American Buildings Survey)

I still try to donate the photography of one overlooked historic site each year. So far I have recorded the Ennis House, Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 near Big Sur, and the Sea Shadow before it was unceremoniously scrapped this month. It's a good way to use large format and give something back. And the team at the National Park Service, Heritage Documentations Programs, HABS / HAER / HALS are always thrilled to get a donation to the collection.

28-Nov-2012, 13:19
Bumped from 2007???

Sal Santamaura
28-Nov-2012, 19:41
Bumped from 2007???Appropriately so. Much better than cluttering up the archive with a duplicate thread on the same topic.

29-Nov-2012, 01:27
I photographed Bottle Village when grandma Prisbrey was still alive when I went to Simi High School and then several years later when I worked for the Simi Valley Enterprise ( now the Star ).

The second assignment after she passed away was pretty cool, light painting and all...

After 19 years, I moved away from So Cal in 94 and never looked back. The pollution, rampant development, the lack of seasons, the materialistic attitudes and finally the busted knee cap after flying up 5 feet in the air and hitting the bedroom wall at 4:31AM during the quake made it real easy to leave....I would have died of stress and depression years ago had I stayed...