State-by-State Barn Survey & Agricultural Study Guide

Documenting a barn in accordance with state and federal preservation standards is the highest compliment you can give to it!

Always a work in progress, the National Barn Alliance has been compiling a list of resources pertaining to the documentation and study of our nation’s historic barns and agricultural architecture.  This list is organized by state and highlights those resources available to assist in barn survey, identification, and research.

Helpful links from federal agencies and academic institutions regarding topics such as barn repair and grant programs, rural heritage conservation, and agricultural history are also provided (see Other Amazing Resources at bottom of page).  We have limited the choices below to SHPOs and other non-profit or educational resources that include information on historic barns and agriculture in America. The NBA also has a bibliography of barn books for those looking to take a deeper dive.

Please help us to keep this list accurate and functional. If you discover that a particular link is broken, notice a glaring mistake, or would like to suggest an additional resource, please contact us at info@barnalliance.org.

A

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)? BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

 

Alabama Alabama Historical Commission     NO Yes! Statewide Historic Context  
Alaska Alaska State Historic Preservation Office     YES, Upon Request   Survey database requires permission for access.
Arizona Arizona State Historic Preservation Office                                            NO    
Arkansas Arkansas Historic Preservation Program     YES, Upon Request    

C

California California State Parks’ Office of Historic Preservation (SHPO)     NO YES Historic Contexts are available for specific locations. Grants are available for surveys.
California-Nevada Barn Alliance SELECT TYPES        
Colorado History Colorado/Colorado Historical Society YES   NO    
Connecticut Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Barns Program YES   YES YES Select grants available for barn preservation.

D

Delaware Delaware State Historic Preservation Office      YES YES The survey manual requests that one use the “secondary building form” to detail barns and other farm buildings when a house (primary resource) is present. Several historic contexts available for agriculture in the state.
University of Delaware, Center for Historic Architecture and Design (CHAD) Digital Library  YES     YES Studies of Agricultural PropertyTypes and documentation of notable farmstead & barns.

F

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)?

BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

 

Florida Florida Division of Historic Resources     NO    

G

Georgia Georgia Department of Natural Resources,    Historic Preservation Division (SHPO)  SELECT TYPES   NO YES  

H

Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division (SHPO)      NO    

I

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)?

BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

 

Idaho Idaho Historical Society (SHPO)  SOME   NO YES Several agricultural contexts to support County-specific rural and agricultural resources listed in a catalog of NRHP resources 
Preservation Idaho’s Idaho Heritage Barns SOME     YES  YES Record & register your historic barn here!!! Also, “Barns of Southeast Idaho Driving Tour” brochure can be downloaded (has some info on barn types in the area)
Illinois Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (SHPO)

 

 

IL Rural Survey 1986 – general information

    NO   GIS database is searchable and updates may be sent to the SHPO by public users
Landmarks Illinois (County-specific info in 2005 study “Barn Preservation: A Survey of IL Activity”)        YES A report details barn surveys, adaptive re-use, and barn tours  in the state (last updated in 2005)
Rural Resources Survey: Will County, IL Survey Report YES     YES  
Illinois Barn Alliance & Barn Keepers     YES    
Indiana Department of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (SHPO) YES   NO    
Indiana Landmarks & Indiana Barn Foundation         Links available to rural preservation resources
Iowa State Historical Society of Iowa (SHPO)Iowa Preservation     NO    
Iowa Barn Foundation         A number of barn tours are available throughout the state, but no survey data

K

Kansas Kansas Barn Alliance   YES      
Kansas Historical Society (SHPO) YES   NO  YES! see also: Shortridge article on Kansas barns
Kentucky Kentucky Heritage Council (SHPO)  SOME   YES (upon request) YES Historic contexts: RHDI Survey of Marion and WashingtonCounties, Agricultural andDomestic Outbuildings in

 

 

Central and Western KY

Preservation Kentucky/Rural Heritage Development Initiative         Information on rural heritage development, barn tours, and preservation workshops. Links to SHPO contexts and forms

L

Louisiana Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation (SHPO)      NO   There is a “Landscape Addendum” which appears to be intended for farmsteads

M

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)?

BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

 

Maine

Maine Historical Commission (SHPO)

Maine Preservation (non-profit)

    YES    
Maryland Maryland Trust (SHPO)     NO    
Preservation Maryland (non-profit)   SOME     YES Tobacco Barn preservation page (see NRHP nomination for tobacco barns)
Massachusetts Massachusetts Historical Commission (SHPO) 
Preservation Massachusetts (non-profit)
    NO    Preservation Massachusetts has a program entitled “Preserve Mass Barns” that has a great FAQ list
Michigan Michigan State Historic Preservation Office     NO   Survey forms are not accesible online
Michigan Barn & Farmstead Survey Project YES YES (Sizable download) YES    
Michigan Barn Preservation Network (MBPN)         The MBPN started the Barn & Farmstead Survey andcontinues to provide aplethora of resources for barn preservation
Minnesota Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office Friends of Minnesota Barns      NO YES  
Minnesota Department of Transportation, Cultural Resources Division, Farmsteads Study (1820-1960) YES YES; see Individual Farm Elements A-Z   YES Very detailed investigation into agricultural buildings, structures, and objects
Mississippi Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Preservation Division (SHPO)     NO NO  
Missouri Missouri Department of Natural Resources, (SHPO) Yes (limited) YES YES    
Missouri Barn Alliance and Rural Network and Century Farm program       Century barn program as well as links to the SHPO’s barn survey forms & instructions.
Montana Montana Historical Society (SHPO) NO NO YES NO  
Montana Preservation Alliance NO NO NO NO They are promoting a couple historic barn projects, and have a book on the state’s barns available for purchase

N

Nebraska Nebraska State Historical Society, State   Historic Preservation Office NO NO NO YES At least one historic context available (“NortheastNebraska IntensiveLivestock Production in Dixon and Dakota Counties”), and MANY county survey reports online!
  Humanities Council, Barn History Project (See Amazing Resources below for a link to the well-researched Wessels Living History Farm!) YES NO NO NO Good historical data on a number of historic barns in the state.
Nevada Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Office NO NO NO NO They do have a Centennial Ranch and Farm Program. See also, California-Nevada Barn Alliance
New Hampshire

New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

New Hampshire Preservation Alliance – Old Barn Resources

NO NO YES YES

So many great links on these pages… State also offers specific grants for barn preservation & has a great  planning guide to preserving rural character!

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Historic Preservation Office     NO    
New Mexico New Mexico Historic Preservation Division     NO    
New York

Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (SHPO) 

Preservation League of New York (non-profit)

    NO    
New York State Barn Coalition(See Other Amazing Resources below for link to Dutch Barn Preservation Society, also headquartered in New York!) SOME   NO ONE Great list of technical bulletins on barn preservation. Links to a few county-level barn surveys!
North Carolina North Carolina Historic Preservation Office SOME NO NO YES Very informative site on state’s tobacco barns!
North Dakota State Historical Society of North Dakota, Historic Preservation Office  YES   NO  YES!!  

O

Ohio Ohio History Connection (non-profit)     NO    
Ohio Academy of Science YES        Based on the work of Cultural Geographer and author Allen G. Noble.
Friends of Ohio Barns     Yes, upon request   Issues of “The Old Barn Post” newsletters have some information on barn types and historical data
Oklahoma Oklahoma Historic Society (SHPO) SOME     YES  
Oregon Oregon State Historic Preservation Office     NO   State inventory is searchable and available to the public

P

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)?

BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (SHPO) YES; see Agricultural Field Guide YES; see Field Guide’s Agricultural Building Features NO YES One of the best resources in the country for historic agricultural properties!
Historic Barn & Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania     YES    

R

Rhode Island

Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission (SHPO)

Preserve Rhode Island (non-profit)

    NO YES Barn & farming resources available on website,Their historic context on landscapes addresses historic farms.

S

South Carolina South Carolina State Preservation Office (SHPO)     NO   A thematic study on tobacco barns is on file at the SHPO.
South Dakota South Dakota State Historic Preservation YES   NO YES Homesteading & Agricultural Development context /6000+ farmstead records!!!

T

Tennessee Tennessee Historical Commission (SHPO)         Minimal information available from SHPO website.
Texas Texas Historical Commission (SHPO) NO NO NO YES – Agricultural Theme Study for Central TX Regional “Heritage Tours” also highlight the agricultural history of specific areas.

U

Utah Utah State Historic Preservation Office NO NO NO NO Their building survey form:

V

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)?

BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

Vermont Vermont Division for Historic Preservation (SHPO)The Preservation Trust of Vermont “For Barn Owners”     YES YES The state’s barn census is operated by the University, and collects basic information on historic barns. A historic context for Agriculture in the state from 1760 to 1940 is available at the SHPO
Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program YES YES YES YES Maintains the Barn Census database & provides clear instructions for surveying.
Virginia Department of Historic Resources (SHPO)& Preservation Virginia’s Tobacco Barns Project      NO   The state’s more than 80 Rural Historic Districts contain a number of historic farm properties and contextual data.

W

Washington Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (SHPO) & Heritage Barn Program YES YES YES YES Heritage Barn program provides a number of educational resources online.  Competitive grants also available.
West Virginia West Virginia Division of Culture & History (SHPO)     NO    
Wisconsin Wisconsin Historical Society (SHPO)     NO   Searchable inventory of historic buildings. Existing resources may be expanded.
University of Wisconsin Barn Preservation Program         A Partnership between theSHPO and Univ. of Wisconsin Extension program.
Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office     NO YES Operate a Centennial Farm program; Historic context “Ranching, Farming, Homesteading (1860-1960).”

Other AMAZING educational resources:

Other Resources Dutch Barn Preservation Society and
Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture
Dutch Barn only NO YES NO  
USDA Agriculture in the Classroom, Timeline         Great historical data on the nation’s agricultural past!
USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Historical Census Publications         Historic Census data available providing details on state- and county- level agricultural production. Includes general farming assessments, some maps of production and distribution, and some history on certain production patterns
Links to Agricultural Resources on the Web (PA SHPO)         Links to historic farmingresources as well as current resources forfarm & barn preservation
National Agricultural Library of the USDA         Variety of resources regarding agriculture in America
Core Historical Literature of Agriculture         Variety of historical primarysources on agriculture in America
Timber Framers Guild (TGF) glossary         Glossary on historic timber-framing techniques and materials
Google Books search for “Farm Buildings”         Excellent free books include:Farm Buildings by the Breeder’sGazette (1916), by Foster andCarter (1922), by John Wooley (1946) and several historic USDA bulletins
National Trust for Historic Preservation, Barn Again!         Rural Heritage Issues & Rural Conservation Toolkit
National Trust for Historic Preservation, Barn Again! Barn repair bulletins         Barn repair bulletins galore!
USDA Rural Information Center         The USDA Rural InformationCenter, Rural PreservationResources website provides links to more than fifty full-text “how to” information guides and manuals on general and technical aspects of historic preservation, including specialty resources on historic barns, farms, bridges, schools, battlefields, landscapes, lighthouses, interiors, exteriors, preservation techniques, and other facts of historic preservation.
Other Amazing Resources (cont’d) Wessels Living History Farm in York Nebraska – Online Exhibit (1920s to 1970s)         Presents historical data on topics like money, crops, water,family life, machinery, pests, etc.Includes video interviews with local farmers!
The Barn Pages – a networking site that facilitates the sale and reclamation of barns          
           

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