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Thomas Durant Visser

Professor of Historic Preservation, University of Vermont

Thomas D. Visser, is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Vermont. He has taught courses at UVM since 1985 on such topics as historic preservation planning and policy, researching historic buildings, architectural conservation, history of American building technology, and other historic preservation topics.

As a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant award, much of Thomas Visser's scholarly research has focused on the preservation of vernacular architecture. His award-winning Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings was published by the University Press of New England.

His latest book, Porches of North America, examines how this remarkable building feature in its many forms and uses has evolved in the United States and Canada. It is also published by the University Press of New England in hardcover and as an e-book.

In addition to completing nearly two hundred professional report contract projects and nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, Visser's articles and works are published in such journals as the Bulletin of the Association for Preservation Technology, Preservation Education & Research, Vermont History, and New England Quarterly. He leads professional workshops and speaks regularly to preservation organizations and historical societies on a variety of preservation topics, including historic barns, building preservation technology, and the history of porches.


  • –present
    Professor of Historic Preservation, University of Vermont
  • 1998–2015
    Associate professor, University of Vermont
  • 1995–1998
    Research Associate Professor & Lecturer, University of Vermont
  • 1988–1995
    Research assistant professor, University of Vermont


  • 1986 
    University of Vermont, M.S. Historic Preservation
  • 1973 
    University of New Hampshire, B. S. Business Administration


  • 2012
    Porches of North America, University Press of New England
  • 2009
    The Status of Professional Career Openings in Historic Preservation in the United States, Preservation Education & Research
  • 2002
    Vermont’s Changing Rural Landscape: Paradise Lost?, Vermont History
  • 1997
    Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, University Press of New England
  • 1994
    A Primer on Conservation Assessments and Emergency Stabilization for Historic Farm Buildings, Association for Preservation Technology Bulletin

Professional Memberships

  • American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC),Professional Associate