One of the duties of the Historical Commission is preservation of the historical assets of the town. This includes the historic areas, structures and buildings of our town. A key element of historic preservation is an inventory of the town's historic assets. Until now, the only inventories have been conducted primarily in the historic downtown area. No inventories have been conducted in most of the remainder of the town, although many of these other neighborhoods contain historically important areas and buildings.
The Historical Commission has created a Master Plan for Historical Preservation Surveys of the entire town. This was funded by the Commission, along with a matching grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission. The plan lays out a phased and prioritized plan to inventory the entire town for historical resources.
The responsibility of the Commission includes researching all places in town of historic value and to maintain an inventory of all historical markers. From time to time the Commission may place historical markers or signs at locations of historical significance
The Historical Commission has limited oversight over an area of Marblehead designated by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Department of the Interior as being on the National Register of Historic Districts. The National Register Historic District is one of the largest contiguous colonial districts to be placed on National Register, the nation’s official list of important sites and structures that preserves local, state, and national heritage. It was established under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to provide eligible property owners with some federal tax benefits and federal grants for approved historic preservation. The Old & Historic Districts Commission has direct oversight of the Old and Historic District of Marblehead, distinct from the National Register Historic District.