U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
The purpose of this bulletin is to introduce the beginner to some basic sources and techniques for the collection of data for nominating a historic property to the National Register of Historic Places. This guide is to be used with National Register Bulletin: How to Complete the National Register Registration Form , which explains terminology, and how the information gathered through research is incorporated in a National Register nomination. While the National Register lists buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects, this bulletin focuses on individual buildings. It may be applicable to other resource types--especially structures--and districts composed mainly of buildings.
Before you begin your research, contact the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) of the State in which the property is located. The State will provide you with the appropriate forms, instructions, and guidance about the State's procedures for nominating properties to the National Register. The SHPO will also provide a copy of the State's inventory documentation if the property has already been surveyed. The SHPO is an important source of information about significant historic contexts and documentation that may be useful to you for researching your historic property. Finally, that office will be able to tell you if your community has a preservation official or office that you should contact.
Additional information may be available from local landmarks and historic district commissions, particularly if the community in which your property is located is a Certified Local Government (CLG). Local governments frequently collect information about landmark properties, historic districts, and archeological sites. If the property being researched is owned by the U.S. Government, the Federal Preservation Officer (FPO) should be contacted for information as well. The SHPO can refer you to the relevant FPO for the agency involved.
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