Listing Properties on the National Register
The SHPO is the principal entity charged with the responsibility of nominating properties for listing on the National Register. Other public entities, however, can play a role in the listing process. Under the National Historic Preservation Act, federal agencies must establish a preservation program, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, which identifies and nominates properties for listing on the National Register. Local governments that have been "certified" by a SHPO may prepare a report on a property's eligibility for listing and recommend against such listing in individual cases. Finally, officially-recognized tribes that have been designated by the National Park Service as Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs) may assume the duties of a SHPO, including National Register nominations. Other tribes may work with a SHPO on matters occurring on or affecting historic properties on their land.
Private individuals also play a key role in the listing process. Many properties are included in the National Register as a result of the efforts of individuals seeking official recognition. Individuals seeking National Register status must file an application with the SHPO, which includes documentation supporting the property's eligibility. The process takes a minimum of 90 days and can take longer. Applications for National Register listing may be obtained from the SHPO or online through the National Park Service.
The NPS has developed a series of publications to assist private individuals in the completion of National Register applications. These include: "How to Apply the National Register Bulletin," National Register Bulletin (NPS. 1990, rev. 2002); "How to Complete the National Register Form," National Register Bulletin (NPS 1997); "How to Complete the National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form," National Register Bulletin (NPS 1991, rev. 1999); and "Researching a Historic Property," National Register Bulletin (NPS 1991, rev. 1998). These publications and others are posted on the National Park Service's website
. Many SHPOs provide lists of consultants who specialize in the preparation of National Register nominations. The Maryland Historical Trust, for example, posts a list of consultants on its website