Mapping the National Register of Historic Places
By Rebecca Schmitt
Have you ever wondered where Tennessee’s historic places are located? Thanks to a recent initiative by the THC Federal Programs, you need not wonder anymore. In July 2022, a new GIS layer of National Register listed properties became available on the THC Historic Properties Online Viewer. The Viewer is an online mapping tool that THC Federal Programs staff use to make historic data available to researchers and the general public. Previously, the viewer only included data from the Historic Resource Survey program, which includes information about properties that are more than 50 years old but have not necessarily received any type of historic designation. The new National Register layer identifies the locations of properties that have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, excluding archaeological sites whose locations must be kept confidential to protect the site. This project is the culmination of a multi-year effort in collaboration with the Fullerton Laboratory for Spatial Technology at Middle Tennessee State University. The project was partially funded by a federal Historic Preservation Fund grant.
Please check out our THC Historic Properties Viewer by following this link. Data from the Historic Resources Survey program is represented by yellow circles. The National Register listings are represented by pink triangles. Some properties also include pink polygons depicting the boundaries of the listing. Approximately 30% of the listings have been mapped with exact boundaries, and staff are continuing to develop this layer with periodic updates to the viewer. Please note that a single listing of a historic district may include multiple properties: if you think a property is listed within a historic district, you may have to look in the vicinity of the property to see if there is a triangle representing the district listing. Copies of National Register nominations can be obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration.