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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Historic Preservation & Archaeology > County Survey Program County Survey Program

S. Mears House
S. Mears House
Deer Creek Valley Rural Historical District
Delphi, IN

Survey Quick Links

The Survey and Registration Section administers and maintains the survey data that has been collected on all above ground resources identified since 1975 in the Indiana Inventory of Historic Sites and Structures. To date, over 90% of Indiana’s 92 counties have been surveyed for the identification of architectural and historical resources. All survey records are filed at the DHPA for public access. Thus far there are approximately 200,000 records for above ground resources. The archaeological counterpart of the inventory is maintained separately by the Division’s archaeology section. Other surveys that are maintained by the DHPA include the Cemetery Registry, the Historic Theater Initiative, Jewish Heritage Initiative, and the Underground Railroad Initiative. Most of the architectural and historical survey work is carried out by private, not-for-profit organizations or municipal government agencies using federal HPF matching grant assistance from the Division.

In addition to the ongoing effort to survey all of Indiana’s counties, the inventory also includes specialized surveys on resources such as round and polygonal barns, New Deal resources located on state properties, historic buildings on state college and university campuses, historic bridges, train depots, and state-owned historic sites and structures.

The Survey Process & Methodology

The survey program is a result of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. One of several points established to help promote the preservation of the nation’s cultural resources on the federal, state, and local levels, was the creation at the state level of the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). Two of the responsibilities of the SHPO are directly related to the survey program. One is the establishment of the state-wide survey in an effort to locate and inventory the resources that require protection. Secondly, in an effort to protect such resources, the SHPO reviews state and federally funded projects to determine what kind of impact there may be on historic properties. The survey allows for more thorough investigations of the historic resources within the proposed project areas.

The Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology also uses the survey in the nomination process for the National Register of Historic Places. The survey form indicates which properties are likely to be eligible for the National Register and provides information that can be used in preparing nominations. When National Register applications are prepared by owners or other interested citizens, the Division uses the survey data to evaluate the property’s significance relative to others that have also been recorded in the inventory and to check the completeness of the information provided.

Surveyed Counties & Interim Reports

All 92 Indiana counties have now been surveyed and the majority of those have published reports, known as Interim Reports. However there are a few that do not have a published report and there are others that simply are out of print. The DHPA does have a complete set of printed Interim Reports accessible to the public. Other repositories include the State Library, federal and state agencies, regional planning agencies, city governments, and libraries throughout the state. If the county you live in has a published Interim Report, check your local library. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of a particular county interim report, please contact the Indiana Landmarks at 317-639-4534.

All of our county survey information is being entered into our SHAARD database. While not complete, new data is entered into the database every day, so check back often for updates.

SHAARD also includes data from the Indiana Cemetery and Burial Registry, on historic bridges, from properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and on historic theaters in Indiana.