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County Survey Program

County Survey Program

The Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory (IHSSI) of historic/architectural resources has been a continuing program of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA) since the mid-1970s. It is the responsibility of the DHPA’s Survey and Registration Section to administer and maintain the survey data that have been collected on all above-ground resources identified since the program began.


The County Survey began work in Morgan County in 2023. The entire county should be completed by Spring 2024.

Once Morgan County is finished, surveyors will move on to Johnson County. Completion of the Morgan, Johnson, and the southern tier of Marion County townships is a contractual obligation resulting from the I-69 project.

The Marion County survey will begin in Spring 2024, starting with Center Township.

If you live in either Morgan, Johnson, or Marion counties, there may be surveyors in your neighborhood. If you have any questions, please contact our survey coordinator Amy Ward ( at 317-232-1647.


Due to the nature of our survey program, our database, and the Federal and state mandates, our office alone guides and sponsors the completion of the county survey. Therefore, while some communities opt to hire private consulting firms to conduct surveys, at this time we cannot accept them into our system. We hope to partner with CLGs in the future to complete more surveys in a timely manner.

County Survey History

Since the 1970s, the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory (IHSSI) of historic/architectural resources has been a program of the DHPA, whose responsibility it is to administer and maintain the survey data that is collected on all aboveground resources identified.

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 declared the policy of the federal government to foster the preservation of our cultural resources in partnership with the states, local governments, and the private sector and created the National Register of Historic Places, which comprises buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. The act also created a partnership between the federal government and the states, establishing a state historic preservation program approved by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Each state has a governor-appointed State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and a state historic preservation review board. The DHPA serves as the office for the State Historic Preservation Office in Indiana.

Two of the responsibilities of the SHPO include conducting a comprehensive statewide survey of historic properties and maintaining inventories of such properties for the purpose of locating, identifying, and evaluating cultural resources, as well as protecting such resources by ensuring that historic properties are considered in planning and development through the environmental review process.

In 1971, the Indiana State Legislature authorized the creation of a state preservation program within the DNR, and the DNR director was designated as the SHPO. The first full-time staff was hired in 1973, and the comprehensive survey program began in 1975. In 1978, an initial five-county survey project was completed by the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana (now Indiana Landmarks) using federal grants-in-aid administered by the DHPA. Until 2008, the DHPA awarded federal grant money to local governments and nonprofit organizations to undertake all city or county surveys of historic resources that occurred.

In 2008, the survey program underwent two major changes. The DHPA started overseeing the survey program instead of relying on outside entities to plan, undertake, review, and complete these surveys. This led to the creation of a DHPA staff position to manage this program. Also, surveys moved to an electronic system with financial assistance from the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. Surveys are now conducted using tablets that can transmit records into DHPA’s online database (SHAARD).

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