Survey and Documentation

The National Barn Alliance encourages and supports statewide and local barn preservation organizations and programs by encouraging the documentation of historic barns and other rural structures through survey and photography.   Documenting our historic barns is the most important thing we can do to help future generations understand our agricultural history and the rural landscape that it created!

The NBA is also concerned with the long-term preservation of historic barns and other rural buildings.  Assistance and information regarding  barn survey and preservation, agricultural architecture and history,  and as rural heritage conservation is available in our State-by-State Barn Survey & Agricultural Study Guide.

A barn and farmstead maybe open to receiving tax credits if it has been documented and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To check if your barn or farm property has been previously surveyed, please contact your SHPO. If you know your property is on the Register, or if you are looking to gather information on NRHP-listed barns and farms in your state, you may search the National Park Service’s growing database of nomination forms and photographs – just click here!

Many SHPOs don’t have specific survey forms for historic barns. To aid in the effort to document the particular features of historic barns and farm buildings, we have worked with barn enthusiasts over the years to create our own survey form. This form may be used as a precursor to official SHPO surveys, but does not replace them. Each SHPO maintains an inventory of historic  buildings, structures, and sites located within their respective states.  Once a building is recorded at the SHPO, that information becomes part of the state’s permanent public record.

Barn and Farmstead Survey Instructions

Barn and Farmstead Survey Form 

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