Farm barns, outbuildings, and landscapes are underutilized primary sources for agricultural history. They can offer insight unavailable in traditional documentary sources. For example, buildings contain information about the lives of groups that did not leave many written documents (workers, children), and they convey the nature of experiences hard to capture in conventional source material (what it was like to work in various environments). Buildings can occasionally tell a story without reference to other sources, but more often they are integrated with other source types to enrich and enhance historical analysis and sometimes even to counter a narrative that predominates in written documents. As with other source types, historians using buildings must contend with interpretive issues such as selective survival. The author refers readers to resources for documenting buildings and concludes with suggestions for new research that would incorporate architecture and landscape as integral components.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.