House History Resources

About Our House Histories

The Preservation Collaborative loves to explore house histories. No matter if your home is thirty or three hundred years old, each has a unique history. Finding that history can be an exciting adventure which often yields important information. From historic persons and places to understanding your neighborhood development, it all starts with exploring your building. The adventure continues into dusty archives, meeting with old neighbors, and even sometimes trips on unexpected leads. The adventure is complete when your evidence and imagination craft a story which can be shared with others. That is often the most rewarding result: the ability to share what you found.

We want you to suceed in creating your house history. We use a number of historic resources, some of which are included here. You are welcome to use these guides to dive in. We only ask you tell others about us. When you're finished, send your history along. We love a good story!

Resources For Your Project

New England Architectural Styles: A portable guide for predominant architectural styles from 1630 through 1930. While impossible to include every architectural style available, it should be easy to determine the style of your building using this pamphlet. Click here to learn more.

Tracing the History of Your House: A brief guide on a number of sources available to historic homeowners looking to research their building. Pamphlet covers deeds, census data, directories and voting lists, maps and more. Works well in conjunction with the architectural styles above. Click here to learn more.

Following the Papertrail: A 2011 article published in the Medford Historical Society and Museum's newsletter. Focusing on researching your home, the article walks step by step through some of the most easily accessible documents in researching your building. Click here to learn more.

Dating Your House: Another brief guide which you can take with you to explore another side of your house history. This guide looks at architectural technology to date your old house. While not all inclusive, it picks a few of the key features which help you hone in on a date. Click here to learn more.

Suggested Readings: Having amassed quite a library of literature,we want to share some of the best reads with you. From how to research your house to old house preservation, we've included something for everyone. Click here to learn more.

Suggested Links for Old House Owners

Historic New England

Ancestry.com

Historic Map Works

Boston Public Library