Skip to main content
Use the right side menu to identify relevant boxes and place requests.

Charles E. Peterson papers

 Collection 0295-MDHC

Charles E. Peterson (1906-2004) was an architectural historian, restorationist and planner. He began his career with the National Park Service in 1929. In 1933 he founded the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). After serving as a naval commander during World War II Peterson planned the new Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia. After retiring from the Park Service in 1962, Peterson became active in Philadelphia preservation issues and was instrumental in the revitalization of Society Hill. He was active in a number of professional organizations and was one of the founders of the Association of Preservation Technology. The Peterson papers include, among other items, the correspondence of his consulting office, 1962 to present, with a particular focus on the status of the HABS program over the years. Also in the collection are materials covering Mr. Peterson's career in the National Park Service; course syllabi related to Mr. Peterson's teaching in the Columbia University School of Architecture; and documentation of a two-summer HABS program in Hawaii. Mr. Peterson's awards and trophies, as well as original photographs, drawings, and his freehand sketches made in the West between 1927 and 1941, are also included. Materials related to Peterson's personal research interests can also be found in this collection.


  • 1927-2004
  • Majority of material found within 1929-2000

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is unprocessed, and may require pre-screening before viewing. Please contact the Archives and Manuscripts Department for more information.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


590.00 Linear Feet

Guide to Charles E. Peterson papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742