Anyone can nominate a historic property to the National Register of Historic Places. A successful nomination process can take, on average, over a year to complete. The North Dakota State Historic Preservation Office (NDSHPO) also maintains a list of professional consultants who prepare nominations for a fee.
1. Contact us
If you are considering nominating a property for listing, please first fill out the property data sheet. This form allows SHPO staff to give you a quick assessment of your property’s potential for listing. If the property appears to be eligible, you will also receive advice on how to proceed with the nomination process. Click here for general information on eligibility.
2. Conduct research and fill out the form
A National Register nomination essentially consists of a four-page form, two essays, photographs, drawings, and maps.
The official nomination forms and instructions/bulletins can be downloaded here. You will be sent a copy with the evaluation of your property’s eligibility, but you may fill these forms out on your computer. If possible, NDSHPO will also provide you with a completed nomination for a similar property type that can serve as a model for your nomination.
The bulletin How to Complete the National Register Registration Form is your guide to completing the form.
There are many sources for historical information about your property, as well as the information needed to establish a context for its history. The bulletin Researching an Historic Property may offer some assistance. Please keep track of your sources, as a bibliography is a required part of the nomination; it provides a valuable resource to future researchers interested in your property.
3. Prepare photographs
Traditionally, black and white photographs have been required for all National Register nominations. Specific requirements are spelled out in the “How to Complete the National Register Registration Form” bulletin. Recently, the National Park Service has expanded its photo policy to include digitally-produced photographs if they meet specific standards. The expanded photo policy can be found here. ND SHPO highly recommends the use of traditional photographs, but will accept digital images that meet the National Register guidelines. Authors proposing the use of digital photographs are urged to seek pre-approval so as not to delay the final approval of their nominations.
Photographs for display at the North Dakota State Historic Preservation Review Board meeting are also required. These may take the form of color slides or of digital photographs that can be displayed through a projector.
4. Submit nomination to the North Dakota SHPO
Deadlines for the submission of nomination materials correspond to the meetings held each year by the North Dakota State Historic Preservation Review Board. Deadlines are as follows:
- November 21 for the January meeting of the next year
- February 21 for the April meeting
- June 21 for the August meeting
- August 21 for the October meeting
Nominations -- either hard copy or electronically in Word or WordPerfect – must be received by the submission deadline to be scheduled for review. Materials received by or on the deadline will be considered final draft submissions. Partially completed nominations, or nominations judged insufficient by NDSHPO staff, will not be scheduled for review.
A nomination may not be scheduled for review until it is considered complete and meets the National Register documentation standards. NDSHPO staff may request revisions to the nomination document before placing a nomination on the agenda for an upcoming meeting. Preparers are advised that the Review Board may request additional revisions after it has heard the nomination.
5. Wait to receive notification
NDSHPO is notified by the Keeper of the National Register between 45 and 60 days after the nomination is received in Washington, D.C. NDSHPO then notifies property owners, authors, and interested parties, and sends a press release to the regional and local newspapers.
612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Museum Store: 8am - 5pm M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10am - 5pm.
State Archives: 8am - 4:30pm., M-F, except state holidays, and 2nd Sat. of each month, 10am - 4:30 pm.
State Historical Society offices: 8am - 5pm M-F, except state holidays.
phone: (701) 328-2666
fax: (701) 328-3710