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Building Materials and Property Types

Much of the available historic preservation information pertains to the treatment, conservation, analysis, and maintenance of specific building materials and historic property types.

The National Park Service's Preservation Briefs are one such set of documents that have proven to be an invaluable resource since their introduction in 1975. There are currently 44 documents in the series, addressing a wide variety of topics, all of which are available electronically from the National Park Service website.

The HPO also offers a series of FYI Publications related to specific building elements, available in PDF format.

Research and Documentation

The HPO has also prepared information relating to researching and documenting historic resources. This guidance is offered to improve the quality and effectiveness of preservation activities by professionals and advocates alike. The following are available for download from this website or hard-copies may be obtained by contacting the HPO.  (see Forms and Publications below.)

  • How to Research the History of a House
  • Historic Structure Reports and Preservation Plans
  • New Jersey's Building Contracts and Mechanics Liens
  • Maps and Map Repositories
  • New Jersey's Archaeological Resources from the Paleo-Indian Period to the Present: A Review of Research Problems and Survey Priorities

Independent file review and research may be conducted at the Historic Preservation Office (HPO) on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. in half-day or whole-day increments. Our collection includes USGS quads with notations associated with the State and National Register of Historic Places, SR/NR nomination and opinions of eligibility files, cultural resource surveys, inventories and reports, as well as a small reference library. The HPO recommends that research be conducted by qualified archaeologists, architectural historians, landscape architects, or other historic preservation professionals who have experience with the specialized, technical nature of the HPO reference materials, though anyone is welcome once they have attended the required training. Space is limited, so please plan ahead.

Once scheduled, if visitors are running late, they are asked to call within an hour of scheduled arrival time to hold their place. Those who are two hours late, without calling in, will loose their reservation. In order to make room for other consultants coming from across the state, the HPO now requires twenty-four (24) hours notice of cancelled reservations. Failure to cooperate will result in loss of scheduling more than one appointment at a time.

HPO visitors are asked to bring a photo ID so that building security officers may issue a visitor ID for the 4th floor. For those planning to use our self serve copy machine, visitors are encouraged to bring a check for payment made out to "Treasurer, State of New Jersey." Without payment at the time of the visit, copies will be held until a check is received.

To schedule a reservation for the introductory training session,
and to schedule a file review appointment, please call:


One-hour free introductory training sessions are provided by the HPO on the first Thursday of each month (see dates at left). Sessions commence at 10:00 a.m. in our large conference room and include handouts and a brief tour of the resources available. Following training, visitors are welcome to continue research that day until 4:00 p.m. Space is limited to ten participants.

Data Use and Distribution Agreement

“Reports pre-dating 1985 are being scanned as part of the HPO’s initial efforts to digitize the growing collection of cultural resource surveys. These pre-1985 documents are being sent to storage after scanning and are not generally accessible to researchers, therefore the HPO now offers access to digital versions of these reports. In order to access these reports, we require that researchers sign a data use and distribution agreement. Any researcher who also anticipates accessing reports that include archaeological site locations require the additional signature of a principal investigator. This form should be signed in blue ink and brought to the HPO the day of the appointment. Researchers may bring their own blank CD or DVD discs, or may purchase discs from the HPO. USB flash drives are not allowed.”

NOTE:  The HPO is not the official repository for NJ archaeological sites or the official repository for projects occurring within the boundaries of the Pinelands National Reserve. Please note the following contact information for coordinating review of such resources:

Gregory Lattanzi
Bureau of Archaeology and Ethnology New Jersey State Museum
205 West State Street  Trenton, NJ  08625-0530
(Tuesdays only)

The Pinelands Commission P.O. Box 359  New Lisbon, NJ  08064
(609) 894-7300


HPO Research Reservations

2019 Training

January 3
February 7
March 7
April 4
May 2
June 6
July 11
August 1
September 5
October 3
November 7
December 5

Research Hours*

Quick Check**

8 AM - 9 AM
**not to be combined with later hours

9 AM - 12:30 PM

12:30 PM - 4 PM

All Day
9 AM - 4 PM

*24 hours notice
of cancelled

Researcher's Guidelines
(PDF Format)


Forms and Publications:

  1. NPS Preservation Briefs (NPS Website)
  2. HPO FYI Publications: (All PDF Format)
  3. Research and Documentation Publications: (All PDF Format)
  4. HPO Speaker Series: (All PDF Format)
  5. General Information: (All PDF Format)

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2016
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: February 28, 2019