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Student Work


The preparation of a thesis is a requirement of the M.S. in Historic Preservation. Amanda Brown received the 2016 Preservation Society of Charleston Thesis Prize for her thesis City-Scaled Digital Documentation: A Comparative Analysis of Digital Documentation Technologies for Recording Architectural Heritage.

Theses by year: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

Peterson Prize Submissions

Each year the program submits an application for the Peterson Prize sponsored by the Historic American Building Survey and the National Park Service. To compile these drawings students learn the skills required to accurately record historic structures. The process of measuring and carefully recording buildings is proven to be a very effective way to gain an understanding of historic construction, building fabric and design. It also provides an accurate record of American architectural heritage and the drawings produced become a part of the permanent HABS collection in the Library of Congress. While a systematic examination of buildings is labor intensive, it creates an academic database and provides a form of insurance if the buildings are later destroyed. See drawing index here.

Research and Documentation

The City of Charleston and its environs provide case study projects throughout the course of study.  Archival research, field investigation, conditions reporting, significance evaluation, and final documentation often work in combination to provide a snap-shot in time of a historic resource, and inform treatment and management plans. Access to a number of repositories around the city provides students with the opportunity to build research skills.  Laboratory and library research, observation, and field work supplement developing documentation skills for projects, such as those presented below, and offer a set of tools to enable thesis work during the second year of the program.

Material Conservation

All MSHP students are introduced to material conservation in the first year of the program. During the second year, students have the opportunity to enroll in an Advanced Conservation elective course led by adjunct professor Frances Ford as well as a Conservation Special Topics elective course in partnership with the Warren Lasch Conservation Lab. The range of conservation projects our students work on are represented in the reports below:

Click here for more information about our on-site Conservation Lab.


The MSHP class of 2015 won an honorable mention in the Historic American Landscapes Survey 2014 HALS Challenge. The theme of the HALS Challenge was "Documenting Landscapes of the New Deal." The Spring 2014 Cultural Landscapes Class submitted documentation for four South Carolina State Parks acquired and constructed during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration, a federal New Deal agency.  Judges for the competition commended MSHP students for "adding greatly to historic landscape scholarship and the WPA in South Carolina."

Student Work