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County Survey Methodology

County Survey Methodology

The County Survey program is conducted on a county-by-county basis. County selection is based on the county’s location relative to gaps in survey information, known developmental pressures that might affect historic resources, and anticipated results based on staff knowledge of the state’s development, among other factors.

DHPA staff complete initial planning for each county survey, including the evaluation of previously identified historic districts and identification of new historic districts. Preliminary research into a county’s history initially guides the field surveyors to understanding a county’s particular development. The county is then surveyed township-by-township in the field. Every building, cemetery, and bridge, or other above-ground resource that is at least 40 years old is surveyed. Surveyors complete a survey form that includes geographic, architectural, or updated visual information, take photographs, and record a geographic point. Surveyors do not conduct research into the individual history of a property.

DHPA staff review the records for accuracy and once a township is complete, they are added to our State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD). The process may vary in time to complete depending on the size of the township. The County Survey assists DHPA staff in determining whether a property is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and for reviewing the impacts of state and federally funded projects on historic resources.

Accessing County Survey Information

All of our county survey information is entered into SHAARD. SHAARD also includes data from the Indiana Cemetery and Burial Registry, on historic bridges, properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, historic theaters, and themed surveys like round and polygonal barns, buildings on state college and university campuses, and statuary from the Save Outdoor Structures survey.

Updates or Changes to the County Survey

The DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA) understands that over time buildings change. If a building that is included in the Historic Sites and Structures Inventory has been damaged or demolished, please contact the DHPA so we can update our database.

Send an email to with the 11-digit survey number and the current status of the building. Links or attachments such as newspaper articles, photos, etc. to explain current situation are appreciated.

We do not remove properties from the Indiana Historic Sites & Structures Inventory.

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