ARCH and CRGIS Merge
ARCH, the online searchable database of Pennsylvania properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, has been combined with the CRGIS, the online map based inventory of resources recorded with the PHMC. All of the searches previously available in ARCH are available in the AskReGIS section of the CRGIS, as well as several others, including the map-based search. A tutorial to help you make the transition is located on the ARCH homepage, http://www.arch.state.pa.us.
The CRGIS is available at http://crgis.state.pa.us . Parts of the site are password protected, but you can access the above-ground resources using the Public login. Or you can apply for your own password for the public information. Having a password ensures that you will receive email announcements about any major changes to the system.
Once you have logged in, there are two ways to look for a property. You can start with a map by entering your town name or similar geographic identifier into the start page. (The first time you login, you will be prompted to download the SVG viewer. This is necessary to use the maps, but not to use AskReGIS.) As a public user, you can map above ground resources and areas that have been surveyed for archaeological resources, but not archaeological sites. When you find a property that interests you, click on it and a report will come up which includes our data about the property and links to related scanned documents and photographs. All of the documents currently available on ARCH have been uploaded. In addition, the CRGIS shows all properties in our files, not just the ones that are listed in the National Register. Historic resources are color coded on the map to indicate their eligibility. Listed properties are blue.
If you prefer to start with a database search, click on the AskReGIS logo on the start page. Here you can search by county and municipality, time period, and/or up to two other characteristics, including any part of the address, historic name, National Register status, resource category, predominant building material, other actions, historic functions, architects, style, area of significance (for listed properties), and particular use. The search results will show as a table of all resources that meet your search criteria. By clicking on the row of the resource you want to see, you can open the same details report mentioned above. You can also select resources from the list and build a map showing their locations.
This merger was prompted by the difficulties in maintaining two separate, publicly available databases for the same information and our desire to add to the mapping capability to the search. ARCH has not been updated since March 2007 will no longer be accessible in 2010. More detailed tutorials for using CRGIS are available on the website. For additional information, contact the CRGIS office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Switchback Gravity Railroad (Mauch Chunk to Summit Hill), Carbon County
Historic Railroads added to the CRGIS
We are in the process of mapping historic railroad lines in the Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (CRGIS). The railroads appear on the CRGIS maps as long, linear resources that may overlap shorter segments. In the AskReGIS database search, railroads appear as a key number with many entries in different counties and/or municipalities. When you view the details for these features, their historic name will include the words "Aggregate File." You can search for railroads by using the AskReGIS search and looking for the words "Aggregate File" in the historic name.
The Aggregate Files are intended to help file/database users better understand the history and significance of individual railroad lines. They do not represent historic resource surveys and the Bureau for Historic Preservation (BHP) office does not have paper files for these Aggregate File key numbers. They are digital files that were created as a means of relating, and displaying in the CRGIS, any previously surveyed components of a particular railroad line, noted in the details report as “Associated Resources.”
The historic paths of the lines are also mapped in the CRGIS, and a listing of each county and municipality that the rail line traveled through is provided. This will allow surveyors to quickly identify any previously surveyed resources in our files that are related to rail properties they are researching. Brief railroad histories, called "lineage files", have also been created from various sources. They will appear as Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files under the Links section of the resource report.
If you would like to view one of the railroad aggregate files, search the CRGIS for key number 155708, the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad (aggregate file).
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PHMC, PennDOT, PSU launch Pennsylvania Agricultural History Project
Farming has guided Pennsylvania’s economic growth and cultural development and has profoundly shaped the lands and people of the Commonwealth. Road improvement activities, new housing construction, and economic development projects together exert enormous pressure on agricultural land.
The primary beneficiaries of the Pennsylvania Agricultural History Project will be federal, state, local, and private agencies whose work affects the rural landscape. This comprehensive planning document, which addresses the scope and character of Pennsylvania's historic agricultural resources, is a valuable tool that can be used to protect natural and historic resources that comprise Pennsylvania's “farm country.”
UPDATE: Another phase of the statewide agricultural survey is complete. The Washington and Greene survey was supported through a grant from the federal Preserve America program and with financial and technical assistance from the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation (PHLF) and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The survey results included documenting 400 farms in County Greene County and 750 in Washington County for a total of 1150.
Please view the Historic Agricultural Survey Report (PDF 14.5 MB) for Washington and Green county.
We will consider posting announcements of preservation-related events on our Web site. Please E-mail Scott Doyle at email@example.com with event name, time, date, place, contact person, and other relevant information.