SHSND Home > Historic Preservation > Country Schoolhouses: Recording Historic Buildings in North Dakota
Preservation50 1966-2016

Historic Preservation - Country Schoolhouses: Recording Historic Buildings in North Dakota

schoolhouse on prairireThe State Historical Society of North Dakota (SHSND) is seeking individuals to help record historic country schoolhouses in North Dakota.  The purpose of the project is to survey and document historic school sites across the state.  The process includes photographing, mapping, and noting buildings and structures at a site on a North Dakota Cultural Resources Survey (NDCRS) site form.  The format for documentation is the NDCRS Architectural Site Form; other forms, formats, and/or documentation will not be accepted.  We do not accept unsolicited information such as oral histories, interviews, newspaper/magazine articles, etc.

Participants in the Country Schoolhouses Survey Project are acting as their own agents, not on behalf of the State Historical Society of North Dakota and/or the North Dakota State Historic Preservation Office.

Tips for Site Recording:

  1. Consult the list of sites below to determine whether the site already has been recorded.
  2. Download a copy of the NDCRS Architectural Site Form.  Use the accompanying NDCRS Architectural Manual for instructions on how to properly complete a site form.  A link to an example of a completed Architectural site form also is available.
  3. Do not trespass.  Always ask for landowner permission before visiting a site, or view the site from a public right-of-way.
  4. Be safe.  If entering a building use caution; many historic buildings are no longer sound.  Do not enter a building if it is not safe to do so.
  5. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear, some walking required.
  6. Take a camera, notebook, and measuring tape (or pace off the dimensions of the building).
  7. Collect contact information, if available, for follow-up research and/or interviews.  (The State Historical Society of North Dakota does not accept unsolicited oral histories, interviews, etc.)
  8. Digital site forms are not accepted.  Mail completed NDCRS site form(s) to:

Archaeology & Historic Preservation Division
State Historical Society of North Dakota
612 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58505-0830

  1. Pre-fieldwork research should include locating the schoolhouse on a map and determining the legal description (Township, Range, Section and Quarter/Quarter/Quarter) and the name of the school.  Helpful resources for collecting this information include:

Country Schoolhouses Survey Project Contact Information:

Lorna Meidinger, Architectural Historian
North Dakota Heritage Center
612 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0830
701-328-2089 or

Amy Bleier, Research Archaeologist
North Dakota Heritage Center
612 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0830
701-328-3088 or

Sioux County
The project involves all counties in North Dakota except Sioux County.  Before recording buildings or sites in Sioux County please contact the Tribal Historic Preservation Office.  The contact information is:

Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
PO Box D, Fort Yates ND 58538

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe assumed State Historic Preservation Officer functions in Sioux County effective on August 14, 1996 (National Park Service letter dated September 11, 1996 to James E. Sperry of the State Historical Society of North Dakota). The functions assumed by the tribe in Sioux County include:

  1. Conduct a survey and maintain an inventory of historic properties
  2. Review Federal undertakings pursuant to Section 106
  3. Carry out comprehensive historic preservation planning
  4. Conduct educational activities
  5. Advise and assist Federal and State agencies and local governments

The State Historical Society of North Dakota has not received site forms or cultural resource reports for work conducted in Sioux County since National Park Service approval of Standing Rock as a Tribal Historic Preservation Office.

Go to recorded country schools in North Dakota.

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
We will also be closed on Christmas Eve this year.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666