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Using SHPO Files

All Standing Structures and Archaeology Inventories are housed at the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in the Administration Building in St. Paul. SHPO files are open to the public. NOTE: The Minnesota Department of Administration (Admin) will be implementing major security upgrades throughout the Administration building. To increase safety within the building for team members and guests, new physical barriers, key card access points and security operating procedures will go-live on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

Note: Access to some information about archaeological sites is restricted by state and federal law.

How to Arrange A Visit

With the new security system, we ask that you schedule your research times with us ahead of time. This will put you on the calendar at the front desk, and the guard can give you a visitor badge to access the SHPO office. You can schedule by emailing, or calling us at 651.201.3299. Research hours are Tuesday - Friday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

How to Request a File Search

Various types of cultural resource searches can be requested by e-mail. Follow SHPO's recommended guidelines and contact us with requests or questions.

How to Copy SHPO Materials

For office visits, you must make arrangements to do your own research and copying. We do not provide copying services and we recommend bringing your own USB flash drive to digitally scan the information you need. SHPO will fulfill small research requests for those who are not in the area for items we can scan and email.

Request a Database Search

Please note: research requests are answered in the order received and could take up to 30 days to complete. Please make sure you consider this as part of your project timeline. You are always welcome to search the inventory maps and records in person. SHPO is open Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 - 4 p.m.

Various types of cultural resource searches can be requested by e-mail. Results are generally e-mailed to the requestor in the form of Microsoft Word documents. Email with requests or questions.

Do you need information on a specific property

When inquiring about a specific property, include:

  • County
  • City
  • Address (street number and street name). For rural properties, include township name and section number or township/range/section numbers.
  • Type of property (residence, commercial building, bank, etc.)

Note: SHPO property records contain varying amounts of detail.

Are you a researcher looking for a customized search?

You may also be able to conduct your own property search using SHPO's National Register database.

You may request customized searches by fields such as property type, architect or style. For additional fields see the database metadata for standing structures or archaeology. If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us.

Are you an agency or preservation consultant doing work in Minnesota?

SHPO staff can perform inventory database searches at the township/range/section level. At this time we do not have the ability to automatically buffer search requests. If you require buffers for your search area, include all contiguous areas that you wish to have searched. Please format large search requests in Excel spreadsheets.

You may also request a search of the databases for some 4,000 archaeological reports and 1,000 standing structures reports. To help you determine what kind of search to request, see the appropriate reports metadata to learn what types of data are collected.

Note: Access to some information about archaeological sites is restricted by state and federal law.

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