SHSND Home > Historic Preservation > Historic Preservation Planning
The Archaeology & Historic Preservation File Room is open to cultural resource specialists (contractors) during the hours of 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday. No appointment necessary.


As the state agency most directly charged with preserving the state's history, the State Historical Society of North Dakota (SHSND) has, since 1895, been collecting information, documents, artifacts and, more recently, sites that help illustrate, interpret and explain the history and the heritage of the diverse cultures that comprise modern North Dakota. During these years, the operations, functions, and goals of the SHSND have evolved to reflect changing tenets adopted by both the preservation community and the public at large about the importance, as well as the methods, of preserving history.

In the progression of moving beyond the collection of just documents and artifacts as ways of illustrating history, one of the more profound changes occurred when people began to realize that the continued availability of actual places where historic events happened could not only help illustrate and explain history, but could forge physical and emotional links between the past and the present. That change in perception led to acceptance of site acquisition as a mechanism for preserving links with the state's past.

Another profound change occurred in 1966 when the state resolved to expand and intensify its recognition of the importance of preserving places of historical value by adopting the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act and began participating in the National Historic Preservation Program. This program encouraged recognition and preservation of a much broader range of culturally important properties than those acknowledged before, broadened the perception of historical significance and provided new sources of information, expertise and funding to implement these broader perceptions.


  1. During the SHSND's one hundred plus years of preserving history and, more particularly, after several decades of specific concentration on identifying, recording, evaluating and preserving major physical remnants of the state's heritage, it has proven useful to periodically reflect on what has been done in the past and to determine appropriate directions for the future. That, basically, is the purpose of the Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan. As a part of this reflection, long range planning for both the State Historical Society of North Dakota and for the Historic Preservation Division have been completed.
  2. Another reason for preparing a plan, is that the National Park Service requires each of its partners in preservation to periodically undertake a review of its efforts, its needs and appropriate directions for the future. This plan fulfils that need as well as North Dakota's commitment to continuing participation in the National Historic Preservation Program established by the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) 

Download the Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan.


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Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
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