Skip to main content
UMW Libraries
Simpson | Stafford | Special Collections

Historic Preservation: Obtaining Background Material

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Historic Preservation

Using Reference Books

Use Reference books to:

♦  Obtain background material to help familiarize yourself with your topic

♦  Place your topic in historical context

♦  Locate definitions of terms and concepts

♦  Find bibliographies suggesting additional resources on your topic


Reference books are on the first floor of Simpson Library

Don't forget!  If you need assistance, stop at the Information Desk (located to the right as you enter Simpson Library's front door).

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

  List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦  Provide either footnotes or endnotes.

Here is a link to the UMW Libraries' Guide to Citing Resources.

Navigation Menu

When looking for background information related to any of the following topics, either click on the below links or scroll down for reference books found on the first floor of Simpson Library.

Note:  You can also browse the following call number areas in the Stacks or the Reference Collection:

  • Architecture History, NA
  • Fashion Design and History, GT
  • Clothing Manufacture, TT 490-695
  • Decorative Arts, NK
  • Textiles, TS

Architecture and Ornament


Clothing and Textiles


Historic Landmarks

Historic Preservation


Preservation Law

Popular and Material Culture

Architecture and Ornament

American Architecture
REFB NA 705 .H36 1998

American Folk Art: A Regional Reference
REFB NK 805 .C655 2012

American House Designs
REFB NA 7207 .C85 1994

Architecture: A Bibliographic Guide to Basic Reference Works, Histories, and Handbooks
REFB NA 2520 .E375x

Architecture and Ornament
REFB NA 2840 .M36 1998

Dictionary of Architecture and Construction
REFB NA 31 .H32 2006

Encyclopedia of Architectural Terminology
REFB NA 31 .G53

Encyclopedia of Architecture
REFB NA 31 .E59 1988

Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Architecture
REFB NA 680 .E495 2004

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Homes Through World History
REFB NA 7105 .S74 2009

An Illustrated Dictionary of Ornament
REFB NK 1165 .S72 1975

Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture
REFB NA 31 .H56 1983

An Illustrated Glossary of Early Southern Architecture and Landscape
REFB NA 727 .I44 1994

What Style Is It?: A Guide to American Architecture
REFB NA 705 .P6 1996


An Illustrated Dictionary of Ceramics 
REFB NK 3770 .S38

Encyclopedia of Marks, 1780-1980
REFB NK 4007 .K69 1999

    Clothing and Textiles

    Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion
    REFB GT 507 .E53 2005

    Fairchild’s Dictionary of Textiles
    REFB TS 1309 .F34 1996

    The Guide to Historic Costume
    REFB TT 503 .B33 1995

    Warp & Weft
    REFB TS 1309 .B87 1981


    Furniture: World Styles from Classical to Contemporary
    REFB NK 2235 .M54 2005

    Historic Landmarks

    Landmark Yellow Pages
    REFB E 159 .L28 1993

    National Register of Historic Places from 1966-1994 
    REFB E 159 .N343 1994

    Historic Preservation

    America Preserved: A Checklist of Historic Buildings, Structures, & Sites
    REFB E 159 .A37 1994

    Archaeology in America:  An Encyclopedia
    REFB 159.5 .A68 2009

    Dictionary of Building Preservation
    REFB NA 31 .D55 1996

    The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Homes Through World History
    REFB NA 7105 .S74 2009

    A Guide to Historic Preservation Periodicals
    REFB E 159 .N373 1988

    Historic Preservation 
    REFB E 159 .R35

    Historic Preservation Yearbook
    REFB KF 4310 .H57

    Illustrated Dictionary of Architectural Preservation
    REFB NA 105 .B87 2003

    Mutual Assurance Insurance Policies, Fredericksburg, Virginia., 1796-1862
    [index to microfilm reels], REFB F226 .M871 Index. 
    Microfilm call number is M-FILM F 226 .M87

    National Register of Historic Places
    REFB E 159 .N343

    The Official Museum Directory
    REFB AM 10 .A2 O4

    Preservation Yellow Pages
    REFB E 159 .P73


    Directory of Historic House Museums in the United States
    REFB E 159 .W29 1999

    Directory of Unique Museums
    REFB AM 11 .T78 1985

    Museums of the World
    REFB AM 1 .M76 1997

    The Official Museum Directory
    REFB AM 10 .A2 O4 2006

    Preservation Law

    Major Acts of Congress
    REFB KF 154 .M35 2004

    Preservation Law Reporter
    REFB KF 4310 .A15 P73

    Popular and Material Culture

    American Decades (organized by decades; each volume cataloged separately, but see REFB E 169.12)

    American Decades: Primary Sources (organized by decades; each volume cataloged separately, but see REFB E 169.12)

    American Folk Art: A Regional Reference
    REFB NK 805 .C655 2012

    American Icons: An Encyclopedia of the People, Places, and Things That Have Shaped Our Culture
    REFB E 169.1 .A47215 2006

    American Pop: Popular Culture Decade by Decade
    REFB E 169.1 .A4475 2009

    Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th- Century America (organized by decades)
    REFB 169.1 .B7825 2002

    The Dictionary of Art
    REFB N 31.D5 1996

    Encyclopedia of American History (volumes organized chronologically)
    REFB E 174 .E53 2010

    Encyclopedia of Technology and Applied Sciences
    REFB T 48 .E52 2000

    The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures (each volume covers a region of the U.S. , with chapters on Architecture, Art, Ethnicity, Folklore, etc.)
    REFB E 169.1 ,G718 2004

    The Greenwood Guide to American Popular Culture
    REFB E 169.1 .G7555 2002

    Icons of Invention: The Makers of the Modern World from Gutenberg to Gates
    REFB T 39 .K56 2009

    International Directory of Company Histories
    REFB HD 2721 .I63 1988

    Inventions and Inventors
    REFB T 20 .I59 2002

    Material Culture in America: Understanding Everyday Life
    REFB GN 560 .U6 M37

    This Fabulous Century (volumes organized chronologically)
    REFB E 161 .T55

    The Twenties in America, The Thirties in America, The Forties in America; The Fifties in America; The Sixties in America, The Seventies in America; The Eighties in America; The Nineties in America, The 2000s in America (each title cataloged separately)