Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Special Announcement: Help us build a digital library!

Historic preservation consultants, archaeology consultants, local preservation and/or archaeology organizations, local & county planners, and historical societies, the PA SHPO needs your help! 


You settle in at the computer and begin the long process of clicking through CRGIS, writing down lots of file numbers, and scheduling an appointment at the PA SHPO research room in Harrisburg.  When appointment day arrives, you – and perhaps a colleague you bring along for company – drive to Harrisburg (which for some of you is several hours!), pay for parking in the Capitol area, and spend all day flipping through reports and forms from the SHPO archive before making the trek back home.

Wouldn’t you rather be able to do this from home or the office?

Rows and rows of files just like this in the PA SHPO library will eventually be available online!

The future…

Guess what? That day is coming!  While we can’t guarantee that you’ll never have to make the trip out to see us again to use the file room and library resources, we can tell you that, within the next year, we hope to scan our vast library of archaeology reports, historic reports, PASS forms, and historic resource survey forms to make more material accessible through CRGIS.

That’s why the SHPO is asking for your assistance – creating electronic copies of all of our archival materials is a huge undertaking, and we need your help.

While we’re working feverishly on our files, the process will go even faster with your contributions. If you have digital copies of reports, survey forms, and PASS forms, we would love to have them so we can begin uploading them to CRGIS.  You can expect the amount of data available in CRGIS to grow overnight!

What We’re Looking For…

Before you get too excited and start preparing your hard drive for downloading, check out the list of the kinds of electronic files we’re looking for.

Principally, we are interested in the follow:

  • historic resource and archaeological survey reports prepared for Section 106, PA State History Code, and other types of project review
  • historic resource and archaeological survey reports for survey projects funded by Keystone Historic Preservation and Certified Local Government grants;
  • historic resource survey forms for individual properties or historic districts created for survey projects or Determinations of Eligibility;
  • PASS (Pennsylvania Archaeology Site Survey) forms

If you think you have some other files or report materials that may be useful to others, please feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll let you know if that is something we can add to our digital library holdings.

How to get it to us…If possible, we would like to hear from all willing participants and have files shared no later than June 2, 2017.  If you can’t quite make that deadline, please still let us know and we’ll work with you as much as we can.

Any well-planned project depends on organization and coordination, and PA SHPO staffer Alison Oskam is the brave and incredibly organized person leading this effort.  Please contact Alison at (717) 783-0395 or to discuss what types of materials we are looking for, the file format, and how to transfer the files to us.  In most cases, sending them to us can be as easy as uploading PDF documents to Microsoft OneDrive for SHPO staff to download them.  If you have years and years of material you’re willing to share, we will work with you to make the transfer as easy and convenient as possible.

Thank you from the PA SHPO!

From all of us in the SHPO, we want to thank you for your help, time, and generosity in making our library of historic and archaeological resources easily accessible for everyone.



  1. Kerry O'Malley

    “Principally, we are interested in the follow:
    historic resource and archaeological survey reports prepared for Section 106, PA State History Code, and other types of project review”

    Are you collecting the public objections to the Section 106 “No Adverse Affect” rulings?

    The public process has NOT been satisfied at Kirks Mill while we suffer through a P3 Bridge proposal. The public, who has spent decades preserving PA history, is under threat by professionals who have no stake in the outcome. Accept, going along with a P3 900 Million dollar history bulldozer of a project.

    PennDOT Project Lancaster – SR2002

  2. Janet Marie Grosso

    Would like to volunteer

    • Shelby Weaver Splain

      Thank you for your comment on our digital library blog post. This post isn’t geared toward recruiting volunteers to assist us in processing information. We are asking for consultants and researchers who have prepared report and Historic Resource Survey Forms in the past to provide us with digital copies for our online database. I apologize for any confusion! Thank you for reading our blog and for your interest in preservation in Pennsylvania

  3. Sally Branca Shabaker

    I am a newly appointed member of East Goshen Township’s Historic Preservation Commission in Chester County. We have a list of properties in the township that are mostly grade 2 buildings. Research has been completed on the buildings, but the information has not yet been submitted to the SHPO. If we can submit abbreviated Historic Resource Survey forms for the structures digitally, are you interested in receiving the completed forms? I have studied historic preservation at HACC and would like to build a relationship with the SHPO. Although the East Goshen Preservation Commission has not worked with the state in the past, I am very anxious to encourage them to do so.

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