Every new year is filled with excitement and anticipation of change. Once the page turns (or we click) to the new month, our minds begin a mental list of resolutions, personal goals, and reflections on what we would like to do better, or avoid, from the past year.

2020 was a test for all of us, forcing our worlds to change on the fly. The silver-lining of this pandemic however created an opportunity for the PA SHPO to flex its solutions-oriented muscles.

Staff in all three office locations (Hope Lodge, Harrisburg, and Fort Pitt) were able to quickly transition to telework and to virtually engage with our partners and communities throughout Pennsylvania. Within a week from March office closures, staff developed a process for accepting electronic environmental review submissions.

This smooth transition was due in part to the rather coincidental, and simultaneous completion of a three-year digitization project.

Other than travel to Pennsylvania’s older and historic places being very limited for our staff, the work of the PA State Historic Preservation Office continued with minimal change or interruption.

Program numbers remained consistent from last year – federal and state tax credit applications, National Register nominations, and environmental reviews did not slow during the pandemic. And while performing a full plate of routine work, PA SHPO staff were also immersed in the development and testing of PA-SHARE.

While we were well on our way to a digital transformation and adapting to cloud strategies to manage our processes and records prior to this pandemic, PA-SHARE will enable the PA SHPO to fully embrace remote and hybrid working practices.

A Digital Bridge

In 2021, we’ll continue to build the bridge from existing practices to PA-SHARE. An overview of PA-SHARE has been summarized in a series of blog posts and there’s much more we will be unveiling over the next several months.

Black and white line drawing of large bridge with a series of arches over rocks and water.
Sketch of the Tunkhannock Viaduct, Nicholson, Wyoming County. From PA SHPO files.

Like the Tunkhannock Viaduct and all of Pennsylvania’s historic bridges, PA-SHARE will serve a functional purpose, is comprised of many structural parts, and is intended to solve problems by bridging gaps.

And, as anything newly introduced to the landscape, PA-SHARE will look and feel different than what you’re used to with CRGIS.

Changes with PA-SHARE

We’ve already been talking about two of the biggest advantages that PA-SHARE will offer: convenience and efficiency. Here are a few examples of what types of things will change with PA-SHARE:

What it offers: PA-SHARE is much more than just a map-based inventory of historic and archaeological sites and surveys. PA-SHARE is a sophisticated system hosting all PA SHPO program areas and is a primary tool for the public, agencies, and our partners to make informed decisions, efficiently move through processes, and more easily collect historic and archaeological resource information.

Where it is hosted: ReGIS will be retiring. CRGIS, Pennsylvania’s Cultural Resources Geographic Information System, has been hosted by PennDOT for over 20 years. PA-SHARE, which replaces CRGIS, is cooperatively managed by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and the Commonwealth’s Office of Administration.

How data is identified: Identification of projects, resources, and surveys will have a new number sequence.

Key numbers and Environmental Review numbers will not continue, but legacy numbers (the name assigned to all of the former PA SHPO numbering systems) will be searchable in PA-SHARE. PASS numbers (Smithsonian Trinomials) will continue to be issued for archaeological sites.

Going forward, PA-SHARE numbering will start with the four-digit year of when the project started, or when the resource was recorded. A two-letter sequence will follow indicating if it represents a Project, Resource, Survey, Historical Marker, Report, Agreement, or PA SHPO Engagement.

The new number sequence will end with a five-digit sequence. For example, a PA-SHARE project number will look like this: 2021PR12345.

These changes will take some getting used to. There will be more information in the upcoming weeks and months about how to navigate through PA-SHARE and training to use this new system.

Key Dates for CRGIS and PA-SHARE

As PA-SHARE comes online in the next two months, CRGIS will sunset. Here are the key dates you need to know:

  • January 11: On January 11, 2021, CRGIS will be moved to “Read-Only” status and will no longer be updated with new historic resources, archaeological sites, surveys, or reports.
  • Between 1/11/21 and 2/22/21: Data will be migrated from CRGIS and the SHPO’s other independent databases to PA-SHARE. SHPO staff will also begin using PA-SHARE and becoming more familiar with its functionality prior to the public launch.
  • NEW Release Date – February 22, 2021: The launch date for PA-SHARE has been moved to February 22. Until PA-SHARE is launched, project submissions across all program areas will remain status quo. Instructions for submitting projects to the PA SHPO post launch are forthcoming.
  • March 31, 2021: CRGIS will be retired, taken offline, and users will be redirected to PA-SHARE. To learn more about PA-SHARE, visit https://www.phmc.pa.gov/PA-SHARE/Pages/default.aspx.
What you can do now

Here are a few things you can do between now and February 22, 2021 to get ready for the launch of PA-SHARE:

Register for an account with PA Keystone Login. PA Keystone Login will serve as the authentication platform for PA-SHARE. An account will be required for submitting projects and resources to the PA SHPO. You can register and find more information at https://keystonelogin.pa.gov/.

If you have Commonwealth of Pennsylvania credentials, meaning a @pa.gov email, you do not need to register for a Keystone login. You will be able to log in to PA-SHARE with your commonwealth email and password.

Find Your Plan: Determine which PA-SHARE subscription tier will suit your needs for interactions with the PA SHPO. Visit the PA-SHARE webpage to review the four levels of access to PA-SHARE and the benefits of the Pro and Business subscriptions.

Be on the Lookout: Look for more information in emails, on social media and from PA SHPO staff about upcoming training opportunities. The best way to learn about new training materials and opportunities is to sign up for the PA-SHARE newsletter.

To acquaint our varied users and partners to PA-SHARE, we plan to rollout several training opportunities. Initial training will be web-based videos that will guide users through registering for an account, completing basic resource searches, instructions submit projects, and how to purchase a subscription, if desired. Live demonstration trainings will also be offered and tailored to program areas and user groups. PA-SHARE also includes a full range of Help Text Prompts that will integrated into PA-SHARE screens to provide instant direction as well as a robust Help Section for more in-depth guidance.

Make it your New Year’s Resolution to follow the PA-SHPO blog for more information on PA-SHARE and preservation in Pennsylvania.