National Register Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a series of questions that we often receive about the National Register of Historic Places and the application process. The National Park Service processes all National Register nominations for the nation. As an applicant, please keep in mind that any one of these issues could cause rejection of your application.
- I have never applied to the National Register and am unsure how to complete the application. What should I do?
The purpose of the online packet is to direct you through the application and answer questions that may arise. Please follow the instructions in the National Register Bulletin, How to Complete the National Register Registration Form carefully. If you have additional questions you may contact the DHPA.
I have a digital camera. Can I submit digital photography for the required photos?
Yes. Make sure your camera is capable of taking images that are 2000 x 3000 dpi. You will need to submit .tif (tagged image file) image files on a nonrewriteable archival gold CD. To insure archival quality, DHPA prints all digital images at a cost of $4 per image. Please see our photography guidelines sheet.
I have a 35 mm film camera. Can I submit traditional black and white prints?
Please contact DHPA if you want to submit film-processed traditional black and white prints. Not all types are acceptable and very few photo shops produce the proper kind of prints. Also, you can refer to the photography guidelines sheet.
Do I need to submit a floor plan of the building that I am nominating?
A sketch plan, labeled with photo numbers and directions of photos, is an excellent aid to your nomination. It does not have to be drawn by a professional or by a person with computer drafting skills. Please be sure to note any changes that have occurred over time (additions, changes in floor plan, etc.). If changes have been made, it may be beneficial to submit two sets of plans; one depicting the original footprint and floor plans and a second depicting the current footprint and floor plans. Please see the sample nominations (at the bottom of the National and State Registers Application Process page) for examples of floor plans.
I don’t know what to call some of the features on my building or what style it is. What sources can I use?
Your local library may have some reference books that might help. Virginia and Lee McAlester’s A Field Guide to American Houses has good visual tables that identify building features. Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture, by Cyril Harris, is another good source. For vernacular houses, Common Houses in America’s Small Towns by John Jackle and Robert Bastain is a study that used Indiana in part as a subject. Be sure to use styles recommended in How to Complete the National Register Registration Form. Also, you can refer to DHPA’s Architectural Styles and Types guide (at the bottom of the National and State Registers Application Process page).
Can I submit a digital or color copy of a USGS map?
No. You are required to include an original USGS Quad map with your nomination package. Recent technology allows computer desktop generation of portions of these maps. However, the National Park Service requires a full, pre-printed Quad map, both to be consistent with existing nominations in their keep, and for archival purposes. The property or district boundary should be indicated in pencil. The name, county, and state should be included in the margin of the map, also in pencil. Maps labeled in ink will not be accepted.