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Photolab HABS / HAER film processing

HABS/HAER/HALS processing services

Photolab can provide complete HABS/HAER/HALS processing services for film and paper. We have extensive experience with meeting Library of Congress & NPS standards. We can assist you with getting your project completed correctly and on time.

Black & White Darkroom Service Each
4 x 5 sheets HABS process $5.75
5 x 7 sheets HABS process 7.00
4x5 or 5x7 fiber contact 9.50
8x10 fiber contact sheet 15.00

The Heritage Documentation Program, part of the National Park Service, administers:

  • HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey), the oldest preservation program,
  • HAER (Historic American Engineering Record), and
  • HALS (Historic American Landscapes Survey).

Film photography continues to be the best way to store visual information about architecture and engineering for the long term, which is why it is still the standard in the HABS, HAER, and HALS collections. Photographs taken and printed for HABS, HAER, or HALS, in accordance with the Secretary’s Standards are made from large-format, black and white film. The images are perspective corrected in the field at the time of capture using a view camera.

Large-format (4x5, 5x7, and 8x10) refers to the size of the negative in inches, not the print.

The large-format negative is preferred for two reasons: longevity of the film and clarity of the image. The material stability of cut sheet film satisfies the archival requirements for longevity (500 years), while the clarity of the resulting image comes from a high level of resolution not possible in smaller film formats.

Photolab has been printing fine art
silver gelatin prints
since 1970

The HABS Process

Documentation produced through the HABS programs constitutes the nation's largest archive of historic architectural, engineering and landscape documentation.

Records on nearly 40,000 historic sites, consisting of large-format, black and white photographs, measured drawings, and written historical reports, are maintained in a special collection at the Library of Congress, available to the public copy-right free in both hard copy (in the Library of Congress) and electronic (via the Web) formats.

For more information on the requirements for B&W large format photography for these projects the National Park Service has an extensive web site devoted to HABS/HAER standards.

Download a PDF of the Photography Standards  & Guidelines  for producing photographic work for the Heritage Documentation Program.


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page last modified on 02/16/17