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Searching for National Register of Historic Places nomination materials from Michigan is a multi-step process, with records held by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the National Park Service, and the National Archives.
SHPO ostensibly holds records of each property in Michigan that has been listed in the National Register. However, these files may not always be complete. The entity which holds the digital nomination file depends on the time period in which a property is listed in the National Register:
Scanned items include National Register single-property nominations (single sites and most historic districts), multiple property nominations (typically thematic or geographic), and National Historic Landmarks. In addition to nomination forms, most digital files include one or more maps, site photos, and correspondence. Each scanned nomination is in pdf format. Please note some of these files, especially historic districts, are very large in excess of 100 MBs.
To protect their significance and cultural value, information for most archaeological sites listed on the National Register is restricted. To obtain more information about a National Register-listed archaeological site, please contact SHPO.
Interested to research properties listed in a particular place or relating to a particular theme? Historic contexts provide the framework for evaluating the significance of place, and thus determining its eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Use the blue button below to find a list of Michigan's thematic and contextual documents that address particular themes and places, with direct links to the specific documents.
The process outlined here is the most efficient way to access the digital copies held by the National Archives. Searching for Michigan National Register nominations is a multiple-step process. The most efficient way to locate a specific nomination within the National Archives is by searching for the Reference Number (also referred to as a National Archives Identifier), which is a unique 8-digit number assigned to each nomination. Finding Aids provide the Reference Number for each nomination. The Finding Aids are organized alphabetically by Michigan county and resource name. For each Finding Aid entry, information such as time period, area(s) and individual(s) of significance is also listed.
First, select your Finding Aid:
(This will open a new browser tab at archives.gov)
Locate your site by county and resource name. A table of contents is provided near the top of each finding aid to help you narrow down your search. Beneath each resource name is an 8-digit Reference Number. Copy this number, which will be the basis of your search. We recommend that you open a new browser tab at archives.gov so you can also keep the Finding Aid open for reference.
In the new tab, paste the 8-digit reference number (with no other letters, numbers, or symbols) into the search bar. This should take you directly to the individual scanned nomination file for the property in question. Nomination materials are public records and may be downloaded or printed for free from the National Archives website.