Christine, Sounds like an interesting project. When I read the beginning of your message I assumed you were talking about architectural records, a topic I know a little bit about. Based on having now read your full post it sounds like the collection you are dealing with has a lot more to do with building materials. Art and history museums that have collections of architectural fragments may be one place to look. Be aware, however, that their approach will likely reflect to culture of museums, i.e. privileging the artifact as an object with significant intrinsic value. Curatorial, registrar’s, and conservation staff will all have something to say. The collections you are exploring may be more archival in nature. The other realm that is likely to have dealt with the kinds of materials you are is the historic preservation community. Two avenues that come to mind are state preservation and archaeological agencies and places like Colonial Williamsburg that both preserve and present historic architecture and have or have had active research programs. Finally, it’s probably worth talking to some of the graduate programs in historic preservation that have strong technical curricula. Good luck.