Background Research and Context Development

Skelly and Loy's knowledgeable historians and architectural historians have extensive experience in the types of background research needed to successfully complete cultural resources investigations. A nuanced understanding of the history of a particular locale helps to identify expected resources, guides the interpretation of findings, and supports the evaluation of the significance of individual and collective resources. Historic contexts formalize the background research and answer specific questions that are pertinent to the cultural resources investigations, while avoiding extraneous information.

Background research incorporates a variety of information from a variety of sources. Historic mapping such as centennial atlases, fire insurance maps, topographical maps, and historic aerial photographs provides valuable information about the evolution of specific sites and changing land uses over time. State Historic Preservation Office files and online databases can be reviewed to identify previously surveyed sites and find contextual information. Research for historic properties includes searching through deeds, tax assessment records, will books, probate and orphans court records, and census information. Historic contexts rely on local histories as well as archival research at historical societies and special collection repositories, and oral histories add color and dimension to the interpretation of a site's past.


Agreement Documents
Background Research and Context Development
Effect Evaluations
HABS HAER Recordations
Historic Structures Survey
National Register Evaluations
Open End Contracts
Phase I Archaeological Survey
Phase II Archaeological Testing
Phase III Archaeological Mitigation
Predictive Modeling
Public Outreach and Education


    Tel: 717.232.0593
    Address: 449 Eisenhower Boulevard, Suite 300
    Harrisburg, PA 17111


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