List of Links for Preservation Research

On this webpage you will find a handy and convenient set of links of history sources as you conduct research on your house. Many (but not all) are in the “How to do research” page, but we find new sources all the time with documentation on great research and you will find those here, too.

General Info

Local Historic Districts in Arlington from Arlington County Government. This list is by type of district and includes such places as houses, cemeteries, commercial buildings, and apartment complexes. An alphabetical listing is available at this link.

National Historic Places in Arlington from Arlington County Government. This list is by type and includes houses, apartments, and neighborhoods. An alphabetical listing is available at this link.

The Arlington Historical Magazine published from 1957-the present. This is now a peer reviewed historical publication of original local history research. AHS makes all editions, except the current year, available online, free to the public.

Online Arlington County Records

Department of Real Estate Assessments This is the landing page for county information about real estate assessments and:

Arlington Property Search Read and click on the “I have read and accept these disclaimers” before running your search. After you plug in the address, you get a page that provides you with the current owner. Be sure to click on “View” on the left to see more details that could be useful in your research.

Digitized Maps Some but not all areas maps in the county are digitized.

Environment Services Department Request non-digitized records and plat maps at the contact information provided on this webpage.

Arlington Center for Local History This is a public resource, can help you with historic maps, telephone and business directories, old newspapers (online and on microfilm), oral histories, photographs (including aerial shots of Arlington), historic building permits (on microfilm and microfiche), and books and ephemera on local history.

Arlington County Street Names Before 1935 For people researching Arlington before 1934, the street name change can present challenges. This searchable PDF of the Arlington County Virginia Directory of Street Names, which opens by clicking or tapping on the cover image, can help with navigation of Arlington before the change.

Historical House Cards House cards were created from 1935-1988 when a building or alteration permit was issued. Properties can be searched by street name and block number. Depending on the date of the card, here also you may find information such as previous owners and occupants; the builder; house number and street; lot, section, and block; subdivision; building permit number and/or dates and permit numbers for remodelings and alterations. 


Old newspapers are especially good for searching the dedication of subdivisions, either in articles or accompanying real estate advertisements. 

Virginia Chronicle: Digital Newspaper Archive The Library of Virginia has digitally available The Northern Virginia Sun and The Alexandria Gazette. This is available to the public.

D.C. Public Library: Local Newspapers includes The Evening Star and many other local news sources. This is available to the public. The Evening Star (Historical) can be accessed from the Arlington Public Library using your library card number.

The Library of Congress: Chronicling America includes newspaper from all over the country from 1777 through 1963. This is available to the public.

The Washington Post (historical) can be accessed through the Arlington Public Library using your library card number. Coverage begins in 1877 and ends 15 years ago from today.

The Washington Post: Digital Archives webpage gives paid subscribers access to all past issues

Research on Specific House-Types

Sears Houses This is a nationwide group of researchers who look for Sears houses around the country. They maintain the National Database of Sears Houses. They authenticate these houses through mortgage and deed research, or other primary sources. When that documentation isn’t possible, they apply a careful, team approach to conducting historical analysis on each house before it goes on the national list. They invite homeowners to contact them for information on their homes.

Sears House Seeker This is a blog that has developed a list of Arlington County Sears Homes. This is research conducted by a team who work together to hunt around the U.S. for Sears kit houses built during the era of the Sears Modern Homes program (1908-1942). They scour real estate listings, “drive” around streets (using Google maps Streetview) in towns with a concentration of homes of the era, and the conduct research using primary sources such as historic newspapers and the old mortgage and deed resources held in each town’s Register of Deeds office, looking for houses that were financed through Sears. They are limited to counties that have online accessible historic records, and to counties which we are able to physically visit to search in person.

Ancestral Research

Ancestral research can help identify who actually lived in your house.

Heritage Quest You can access US Census Records and City Directories free through the Arlington Public Library

Ancestry (Library Edition) has billions of geneaological documents and can be accessed from the Arlington Public Library using your library card number.