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Homeowner Bibliography

Recommended Home Maintenance References

Publications marked with an asterisk (*) are available to members at a discount through Historic New England’s online shop and at selected museum sites throughout New England.

Architecture and Architectural History

Benes, Peter, ed., (various titles), The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife Annual Proceedings. Boston, MA: Boston University.

Cummings, Abbott Lowell. The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay 1625-1725. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979.

Foster, Gerald. American Houses: A Field Guide to the Architecture of the Home. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

*Garvin, James. A Building History of Northern New England. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2001.

Herman, Bernard L. Town House: Architecture and Material Life in the Early American City, 1780-1830. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.

*Hubka, Thomas C. Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: The Connected Farm Buildings of New England. Hanover, NH: University of New England, 1984.

*McAlester, Virginia and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York, NY: Knopf, 1984. 

*Nylander, Jane C. Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home: 1760-1860. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.

*Visser, Thomas Durant. Field Guide to New England’s Barns and Farm Buildings. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1997.

Whiffen, Marcus. American Architecture Since 1780. Cambridge, MA and London, England: The MIT Press, 1976.

Building Maintenance and Materials

Preservation Briefs 1-44:
The “Preservation Briefs” series of articles, published by the National Park Service’s Technical Preservation Services division, is the best source of information on a wide range of specific conservation or maintenance problems related to historic buildings. Over 40 Briefs have been published on topics covering all aspects of building repair and preservation. They are available online at the National Park Service website.

Dietz, Albert G. H. Dwelling House Construction. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1973.

Heritage Preservation and the National Park Service. Caring for Your Historic House. New York, NY: Abrams, 1998.

Jester, Thomas C. Twentieth-Century Building Materials: History and Conservation. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1995.

*Kitchen, Judith L. Caring for Your Old House. Washington, DC: Preservation Press, 1991.

Nash, George. Renovating Old Houses: Bringing New Life to Vintage Homes. Newtown, CT: The Taunton Press, 2003.

*New York Landmarks Conservancy. Repairing Old and Historic Windows: A Manual for Architects and Homeowners. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992.

Olkowski, William, Daar, Sylvia, and Olkowski, Helga. Common-Sense Pest Control: Least-toxic solutions for your home, garden, pets, and community. Newtown, CT: The Taunton Press, 1991.

*Reed, Roger and Greer Hardwicke. Carriage House to Garage: A Guide to Brookline’s Transportation Buildings to 1940. Brookline, MA: Brookline Preservation Commission, 2002.

*Sullivan, Charles, Eileen Woodford, and the Staff of the Cambridge Historical Commission. Maintaining Your Old House in Cambridge. Cambridge, MA: The Cambridge Historical Commission, 1988.


Chase, Sara B. Preservation Briefs No. 28: Painting Historic Interiors. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, Technical Preservation Services, 1992.

*Maycock, Susan E. and Sarah J. Zimmerman. Painting Historic Exteriors: Colors, Application, and Regulation. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Historical Commission, 1998.

Moss, Roger W. Paint in America. Washington, DC: The Preservation Press, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1994.

*Moss, Roger W. and Gail Caskey Winkler. Victorian Exterior Decoration. New York, NY: Henry Holt & Co., 1987.

*Historic New England, Historic Colors of America paint chart and Guide to Color, Styles, and Architectural Periods. Boston: Historic New England/SPNEA,1997.

Park, Sharon C. AIA and Douglas C. Hicks. Preservation Briefs No. 37: Appropriate Methods for Reducing Lead-Paint Hazards in Historic Housing. Washington, DC: National Park Service, Technical Preservation Services, 1995.

Rossiter, E. K. and F. A. Wright. Authentic Color Schemes for Victorian Houses: Comstock’s Modern House Painting, 1883. New York, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2001.

Weeks, Kay D. and David W. Look, AIA. Preservation Briefs No. 10: Exterior Paint Problems on Historic Woodwork. Washington, D.C: National Park Service, Technical Preservation Services, 1982.


Lynn, Catherine. Wallpaper in America. New York, NY: Norton, 1980.

*Moss, Roger. Lighting for Historic Buildings. Washington, DC: Preservation Press, 1988.

Moss, Roger and Gail Caskey Winkler. Victorian Interior Decoration: American Interiors, 1830 – 1900. New York, NY: Henry Holt & Co., 1986.

*Nylander, Jane C. and Richard C. Nylander. Fabrics and Wallpapers for Historic Buildings. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005.

*Nylander, Richard, Elizabeth Redmond, and Penny J. Sander. Wallpaper in New England. Boston: Historic New England/SPNEA, 1986.

*Rosenstiel, Helene Von and Gail Caskey Winkler. Floor Coverings for Historic Buildings. Washington, DC: Preservation Press, 1988.

Schulz. Arthur W., ed. Caring for Your Collections. New York, NY: Abrams, 1992.

Wharton, Edith & Ogden Codman, Jr. The Decoration of Houses. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 1997.


* Albers, Jan. Hands on the Land: A History of the Vermont Landscape. Cambridge, The MIT Press, 2002.

*Brookline Preservation Commission. Historic Views of Walls and Fences in Brookline: A Portfolio of Styles. Brookline, MA: Department of Planning and Community Development, 2000.

Cronon, William. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 1983.

*Emmet, Alan. So Fine A Prospect: Historic New England Gardens. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1996.

*Favretti, Joy Putnam and Rudy Favretti. Landscapes and Gardens for Historic Buildings. Nashville, TN: The American Association for State and Local History, 1978.

*______________, For Every House a Garden. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1990.

Lenney, Christopher J. Sightseeking: Clues to the Landscape History of New England. Durham, NH: University Press of New England, 2003.

Weishan, Michael. The New Traditional Garden: A Practical Guide to Creating and Restoring Authentic American Gardens for Homes of All Ages. New York: Ballantine Books, 1999.

Researching Your Old House

Green, Betsy J. Discovering the History of Your House and Your Neighborhood. Santa Monica, CA: Santa Monica Press, 2002.

*Howe, Barbara J., ed. Houses and Homes: Exploring Their History. Nashville, TN: American Association for State and Local History, 1987.

*Light, Sally and Margaret Eberle. House Histories: A Guide to Tracing the Genealogy of Your Home. Spencertown, NY: Golden Hill Press, 1989.


Antique Homes Magazine

Atomic Ranch

Fine Homebuilding

Journal of Light Construction

Old House Interiors

Old House Journal

Period Homes Magazine

This Old House Magazine

Traditional Building Magazine





Homeowner Bibliography