Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Author: Noël Strattan (Page 1 of 2)

An archaeologist by training, Noël Strattan is currently the Coordinator for the Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.

The 2020 PASS Report

For the past several years, PA SHPO archaeologists have issued an annual report – known as the PASS Report – detailing the ongoing efforts to record Pennsylvania’s archaeological sites. 

Despite 2020’s many challenges, over 280 new archaeological sites were recorded thanks to cultural resource management (CRM) projects and continued contributions from independent research projects, members of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (SPA), and long-time avocational archaeologists.

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Special Announcement! New in CRGIS…

Special Announcement logo

We had a new release in CRGIS this week. Most of the changes were things that will just make it move more smoothly for you, but there are two things that we wanted to point out:

You can now see attachments to individual inventory items within districts.

In the past, all attachments were only visible on the main record for the district and it was impossible to tell which building they referenced. New attachments are now added at the inventory level. We have not (yet) gone back and moved older attachments, but those from our scanning efforts and all future ones will be linked at this level.

Attachment names must be unique!

Although our guidance asks you to name all attachments with a name that will be unique, we found that generic names are being used and files are being lost though overwriting. The system now checks for duplicate names and adds a (2) behind the name if it already exists in the file. Please do not change the attachment name in the table after you have uploaded it. The record in the database is a link to your file on the server. If you change the name, the link is broken. So… if you see that the system has added the (2), please do not change it. Following our naming protocols found in the Data Entry Manual will go a long way towards eliminating this issue and safeguarding your work.

Happy Birthday to ReGIS

REGISBirthdayReGIS is 10!

In Spring 2005 we launched the public version of the Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (CRGIS) website. The database search was named AskReGIS and this little guy was born (thank you Kathy Alsvary!). Since then hundreds of people have consulted him every day to find out what he knows about historic places in Pennsylvania. He has had a few face lifts over the years, and will continue to have work done, as he struggles to keep up with the times, but he remains on duty, helping us share the information we collect about our past. He is a little shy these days. Have you seen him peeking through his window? Continue reading

Traces in the Woods

Have you ever been walking through the woods and wondered who walked here before you? Setting aside the 16,000 years of prehistory in Pennsylvania, it is amazing to me how much our use of the land has changed during the last 350 years. Much of Penn’s Woods has gone from woods to farms to industrial tracts and back to woods. But all those activities have left traces on the land – some blatant, some subtle. Being an archaeologist by training, I look for those traces when I walk in the woods. Continue reading

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