A collection of books, periodicals, films and other materials on historic preservation subjects ranging from architecture styles to quilting designs has been donated to the University of Maryland by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. University officials said it is the most extensive collection of its kind in the country.
It is being cataloged in the library of The School of Architecture and will be open to the public starting July 1.
Included in the collection are more than 11,000 books, 500 periodicals, 60 boxes of reports, pamphlets, newsletters and brochures on 13,000 preservation-related topics, nearly 100 films, audio cassettes, 18,500 turn-of-the-century postcards of historic sites and microfiched newspaper articles.
In all, it adds up to "the Library of Congress of preservation," said William J. Murtagh, a preservationist and architect who teaches a class on historic preservation at the university. Murtagh, who once served as vice president of the National Trust and is a former keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, was instrumental in getting the collection to the university, officials said.
"We felt it would be in good hands at the University of Maryland," said Carl Nelson, spokesman for the National Trust.
"The university can put financial and organizational support behind expanding the collection that the National Trust could not," Nelson said, citing the university's plan to log the collection in its computerized library catalog system as an example.
A computer terminal with access to the university's library catalog system will be installed at the National Trust's headquarters at 18th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW.
Students and the general public will have access to the collection, but only trust members will be able to borrow materials from it.
A proposal is currently awaiting approval from university officials to offer a "certificate in historic preservation" to graduates and undergraduates majoring in architecture, anthropology/archeology, geography, history or American studies. The students would be eligible to do extra course work toward the certificate.