ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - - As RDECOM Command Historian for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Jeffery Smart has recorded and preserved Aberdeen Proving Ground's history for 33 years.Smart was recently selected to receive the Harford County 2017 Preservationist Honor Award, recognizing his, "extensive efforts to advance the history of Harford County and significant contributions to recording and preserving military history at APG and Edgewood Arsenal."The award will be presented to Smart on May 18.The award recognizes someone who communicates the values of historic preservation to the community, advances and promotes the cause of physical historic preservation and provides continuous leadership in issues important to historic preservation."It's a tremendous honor," Smart said. "I give a lot of credit to Joe Swisher."Swisher, a longtime friend and fellow Harford County historian, nominated Smart for the award."(Swisher) was excited because no one had been keeping this information. Joe was impressed that I started with absolutely nothing, literally an empty room, and now look the records we have. The Historical Office has the only remaining historical collection of Aberdeen Proving Ground," Smart added.Becoming interested in history as a young boy, Smart said his father was a major influence. During summer breaks, his father would take him to battlefields and other historical places. In fifth grade, he wrote his first history paper about Gettysburg."From then on, history the rest of the way," Smart said.He was hired as a field historian in 1984, for the Chemical Research and Development Center at APG South. The first historical office had been abolished 1977, and 450 boxes of files had been sent to the National Records Center.Smart's first priority was to reestablish the history office under the Chemical Research, Development and Engineering Center. In 2004, the APG North historical office was abolished and combined with APG South under RDECOM.On his first day at work, Smart started without any historical files or even an office. Over time he gathered a collection of records, videos, training aides and photographs, some dating from 1917. He also began retrieving the file boxes from the National Records Center, and analyzed each document as it came in. Community members also soon began donating 'training aides' such as gas masks and projectiles.The Historical Office currently has about 450 filing cabinets, 400-500 boxes of files, 1,000 training aides and 15,000 photographs filed in chronological order."It's a challenge to find things that will be pertinent, and to guess what information someone may ask about in 10 to 20 years that they won't be able to find anywhere else," Smart said.Smart shares his expertise in APG initiatives, most recently for APG's 100th Centennial Celebration. He has been involved in planning and providing support to the celebration.Two years ago he began writing publications scheduled to be released this year. "Century of Innovation" has been published, but "The APG Scrapbook", a photographic history of APG, has not yet been released.Smart and his team also deliver presentations on the "History of APG" and the "History of Chemical Biological Warfare," and set-up exhibits with training aides, such as protective masks from WWI, various detection alarms and decontamination devices. Smart also put together six "Historic Harford" videos currently airing on Harford Cable Network.Caitlin Merritt, a historic preservation planner from Harford County, was happy to hear Smart was being recognized for his work."He has contributed so much to documenting, promoting and preserving Harford County history. The Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to honor him for his long-time commitment, extensive efforts to advance the history of Harford County, and his significant contributions to recording and preserving military history at APG and Edgewood Arsenal."Smart believes collecting APG's history to be a team effort with many historical organizations in Harford County, the APG Public Affairs Office and the local community.---The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities for decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint Warfighter and the Nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.