Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Morgan, Matthew Robert (2014). Responsible Recording of Historic Sites and Buildings Based on Skills, Training and Sound Judgment. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


It has always been important for the field of Preservation to collect data as a means for understanding the past or present of a particular site, and to comprehend how that data will be used as a mechanism for future understanding and interpretation of the site. There is a place for technology and preservation recording to work together, however the field must take steps to properly educate its graduates and professionals in understanding the benefits and limitations of each, and allowing them to answer the question that preservationists must ask: Is the selected technique for recording justifiable? Are the people doing the work qualified? How can the product of that work justify the cost? And does the resulting work have any longevity? All good decisions for recording should first address the issue of need. Unfortunately, the use of expensive tools is harder to accept when the budgets associated with projects are tight as they are in preservation. Lack of knowledge though is the principle driving force for why these tools have been vilified by some in preservation, while praised by others. Without clearly defined tools, capture methods, resolution standards, file types and necessary final deliverables, understood by both the provider and user, the gap of knowledge in proper recording tools and methods will continue to widen.


NPS, AIA, certification, registration, requirements



Date Posted: 03 September 2014