The materials linked to this page provide guidance on how to carry out and report on architectural and archaeological surveys in Delaware.
What is a survey?
Survey is the physical search for and recording of historic buildings, structures, archaeological sites, and other types of cultural resources. Survey includes background research, fieldwork, and writing reports. Fieldwork covers resources that are visible above the ground or may be present below the ground surface or underwater.
Why are surveys performed?
Surveys provide information about where resources are located, what they are, and how important they may be to our knowledge and understanding of the past. Such information is crucial to planning for specific projects, and assists in managing and protecting cultural resources.
What is the purpose of the state's survey guidance?
The Delaware State Historic Preservation Office (DE SHPO) provides guidance to help surveyors meet currently accepted professional standards for research, fieldwork, and reporting. The DE SHPO also supplies forms so survey data are recorded in a standard format. The forms become part of the state’s cultural resource inventory, which makes the results of surveys available for other researchers. The DE SHPO staff use this guidance when reviewing survey products.
This guidance sets the standards for all types of surveys in the state of Delaware, including those:
Definitions of different levels of survey and treatment activities
Recommended survey methods
Links to relevant federal standards and guidelines
Follow the report guidelines in these manuals when preparing reports on all architectural surveys and on archaeological surveys that identify sites.
Use this link to access the Archaeological Survey Report Form and its associated Guidelines and Instructions. This form is to be used only when archaeological surveys do not identify any archaeological sites. The Archaeological Survey Report Form is a downloadable, locked Word document. Please contact our office at (302) 736-7400 if you are unable to access the document in this format.
Archaeological surveys and excavations undertaken for state and federal project purposes create artifact collections, field notes, maps, and photographs that become part of the Delaware State Archaeological Collections. Other archaeological collections may also be donated to the state and become part of the permanent collection if the guidelines are met or at the decision of the Curator of Archaeology. Access Guidelines and Standards for the Delaware Archaeology Curation Guidelines
This section includes Cultural Resource Survey (CRS) forms and instructions on how to record information in Delaware’s inventory (data coordination).
A compilation of all the forms can be downloaded here as a zip file
If you are having difficulty opening the files, right click the link and choose save link as. A window will open asking where you would like to save the file, choose a location and click save.
Cultural Resource Consulting Firms
Cultural resource surveys are often performed by private consulting firms. If you are looking for a firm to hire, the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office maintains a list of Cultural Resource Consulting Firms who have staff that are qualified under the National Park Service’s Professional Qualification Standards (36 CFR Part 61) in the fields of:
Archaeology (historic period and pre-contact Native American period)
In addition, some firms list a specialization in related fields which do not have specific federal qualification standards, such as:
Historic landscape architecture
Faunal analysis and ethnobotany
DISCLAIMER: This list does not constitute a recommendation or a guarantee of performance from the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office.