Dr. Laurence H. Shoup, RPH, Principal Historian and Senior Partner

In addition to its comprehensive services for cultural resources management, A/HC historians have provided unique historic documentation for a range of industrial and corporate facilities in both urban and rural settings. Our professional historians have experience with a wide range of local and national archives including the California State Library, the Bancroft Library, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Huntington Library, and corporate records. We have significant expertise in research with industrial trade journals, Sanborn Maps, aerial photographs, and many other resources.

Historical Archive Research

Industrial History
California history is full of rapid industrial innovation. A/HC prepares accurate, accessible, and comprehensive studies ranging from individual facilities to whole industries. We have special expertise in the mining, logging, and hydroelectric sectors.

A/HC has prepared histories, HAER reports, and NRHP significance evaluations of many major hydroelectric properties, including PG&E’s Balch and Caribou systems, SCE’s Big Creek system, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Crystal Springs system.

A/HC has prepared detailed studies of dozens of historic manufactured gas plants (MGPs) and their surrounding properties. Understanding the technology, operations, and ownership of MGPs can help determine responsibility for cleaning up legacy hydrocarbon pollution often found on these sites.

Toxics Liability Historic Studies
A/HC’s expert historical researchers assist our clients in managing toxics liability. By reconstructing historical land uses, we can often determine the origins of soil and groundwater pollution on or near specific sites in order to identify Potentially Responsible Parties.

We have extensive experience with pollution deriving from polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (including coal tar, lampblack, fuels, and solvents) as well as asbestos products, PCBs, Chromium-6, heavy metals, paint residues, and other materials. Facilities investigated include manufactured gas plants, leaking underground storage tanks, electrical substations, power plants, foundries, gas stations, lumber yards, compressor stations, paint factories, and railroad facilities.

Corporate Histories
A/HC is expert in documenting and presenting the history of corporations. We can work with you to present engaging and readable histories of the people, products, facilities, and leadership of your company to a popular audience. Other clients may require more specialized studies for internal use. We are experts in tracing corporate successorship, mergers and acquisitions, directors and executives, activities, facilities, and products. We will work with you to craft a research program that meets the unique needs of your company.


A/HC often supplies historical research services in support of litigation. We are committed to maintaining all information received from the attorney-customer in strict confidentiality, to providing confidential attorney work products, and to maintaining the identity of our clients in strict confidence. Our recent clients have included major public utilities, an international law firm, and a Fortune 500 company.