State Historic Preservation Office

Cultural Resources Survey

Industrial structures such as this coaling tower for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad at Marceline in Linn County, are significant parts of Missouri's transportation heritage. Survey – the process of locating and collecting information on cultural resources - is the foundation for historic preservation efforts. The Department of Natural Resources’ State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) coordinates surveys in Missouri to identify the historic and archaeological resources that represent the state’s diverse heritage. Information gathered through surveys forms the basis for evaluating the significance of the resources, nominating them to the National Register of Historic Places and planning for their protection.

The SHPO supports survey throughout the state through funding and staff assistance. Many Missouri surveys have been performed by consultants funded through matching Historic Preservation Fund Grants to certified local governments. Each year the SHPO develops funding priorities for these federal grants, based on public input and an internal assessment of issues and needs. Survey scope can range from the survey of a neighborhood to countywide survey to statewide survey of specific property types or themes.

Valuable survey information is also gathered by other agencies. In compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, federal agencies must identify and evaluate cultural resources when planning federal projects. The SHPO reviews this information under Section 106.

Note icon. The department has changed all fill-in forms to PDF fill-in. You will be able to save and reuse these PDF forms. However, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 or higher to save the PDF fill-in form. Also, at this time the department does not accept digital signatures. If your Acrobat Reader prompts you to use one, we ask that you don't.

An important part of Missouri's historic preservation effort is the recordation of archaeological sites. Missouri Guidelines for Phase I Archaeological Surveys and Reports are now available online. Those wishing to document and report archaeological sites for inclusion in the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office Site File are encouraged to download and use the SHPO's archaeological site form, available in three formats:

Although the Adobe Acrobat version must be printed out, filled in, and mailed with the appropriate maps to the address on the form, both the MS Word and Email Form (online) versions can be filled out on your computer and emailed or electronically submitted. Regardless of the form you choose, maps (items 40-41) are required; these may be submitted via mail or email to the address provided on the form you have selected.

Upon receipt of a completed form, a SHPO staff member will register the site, issue a site number and enter it into the SHPO's statewide GIS (geographic information systems) database in order to electronically document and help protect Missouri's valuable archaeological resources.

In addition, Archaeology Editor, a password-protected service for those doing archaeological projects in Missouri, allows professionals in the field to input their own site and survey data into the SHPO archaeology database via any high-speed web connection.

Archaeology Viewer is a second password-protected tool. It allows those doing preliminary archaeological background research to view site and survey data in the SHPO GIS database. Be advised that the data displayed in the Viewer application is constantly updated and cannot be regarded as wholly complete.

Pursuant to federal regulations, archaeological GIS data is restricted to professional archaeologists, those working/studying under the direct supervision of a professional archaeologist, or entities or personnel that have a legitimate "need to know" as determined by the SHPO. To subscribe to either the Archaeology Editor or Archaeology Viewer service, contact the Cultural Resources Inventory Coordinator at (573) 751-7861 or via email.

Overall, the Missouri SHPO has collected data on more than 104,000 significant cultural resources: 63,000 historic buildings, 24,000 historic bridges and 17,500 archaeological sites. Information gathered on these resources is housed in the SHPO's Missouri Cultural Resource Inventory.

This Inventory is open to the public and serves both as a comprehensive database for cultural resource management and a valuable research archive. Our hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM - 11:45 AM and 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM, but please call 573-751-7861 for an appointment so we can make certain the materials you need will be available to you.

Missouri Minimum Survey Guidelines