Please note: On or before July 1, 2013 the current Data Sharing System (DSS) will be completely
replaced with a brand new web-based system, named the Virginia Cultural Resource Information System (V-CRIS). See a
preview of V-CRIS
The Historic Resources Data Sharing System (DSS) is the result of a joint venture between the Department of Historic Resources and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The two agencies collaborated in order to provide a platform for dissemination of, and enhancements to survey records in the DHR inventory. This online system merges a database of historic and prehistoric sites throughout Virginia with a geographic information system (GIS) to allow for more efficient querying.
There are over 125,000 historic (archaeological and architectural) resources individually recorded in the DSS. The locations of these resources are also mapped and can be viewed in the GIS portion of DSS. This number includes historic resources listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register, the National Register of Historic Places, and resources that have been evaluated for potential listing in the registers. Thousands of additional records of contributing and non-contributing properties within historic districts are also entered into the database.
Each resource is identified in the DSS by a unique DHR file number that
is assigned after a property has been surveyed by professionals working
in the field. Once the resource has been surveyed and documented by traditional methods
(hardcopy of maps, survey information and photographs) and the survey
data has been entered into
the DSS, the submitted information data will be reviewed by the appropriate
architectural or archaeological inventory manager.
Obtaining a DSS License:
To access DSS, an individual or company must obtain a license from the Department of Historic Resources.
Licenses are available to:
a) cultural resource professionals using DSS to facilitate federal Section 106 review or a National Register nomination project;
b) government officials at the local, state, or federal level who require information on historic properties within their respective jurisdictions;
c) scholars at schools and universities who need answers to research questions;
d) preservation professionals in non-profit organizations interested in preserving Virginia’s diverse history, and
e) members of the Archeological Society of Virginia who are participants in the ASV Certification Program.
All information gathered from cultural resource surveys—for instance those conducted through the department's Cost Share program or through completion of a National Register nomination—must be entered into the DSS to be considered part of the DHR historic resources inventory.
Although DSS provides a convenient Internet-based service to access a portion of DHR's files, it does not contain all information that is available in the DHR Archives. Resources initially recorded at DHR prior to 2002 may not have detailed information in the DSS. Also, images of the resources are currently unavailable through the DSS. To review the complete hardcopy record maintained by the DHR Archives, researchers may visit the Richmond Office Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding state holidays.
To request access to DSS:
(1) Download the DSS Account Application.
(2) Fill out the form and return it to DHR via fax (804) 367-2391 to the attention of DSS Account Manager, Jolene Smith. DHR requires a federal identification number or social security number to invoice for access licenses.
(3) License requests will generally be reviewed within two business days after receipt. You will be notified of the status of the request by telephone or e-mail.
(4) Approved access licenses will have a DSS account created. Fees for licenses are listed below. Account details and invoices will be prepared and sent by e-mail to the contact listed on the DSS Application Request Agreement. Payment is by check or money order payable to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Send payment within 30 days of receipt of invoice to:
DHR - Administrative Services
10 Courthouse Avenue
Petersburg, VA 23803
(5) For accounts that will be entering data into the DSS, a training session will need to be scheduled with the architectural data inventory manager and/or archaeological data inventory manager.
(6) Access licenses are renewed annually based on the original date of the license.
At least one month before the license lapses, the contact listed will receive
Fees for DSS Accounts:
Full Access Subscription: DSS will be retired on 1 July, 2013 with the launch of V-CRIS (Virginia Cultural Resource Information System), a completely new application. In the transition period, DHR will no longer be renewing or creating new DSS accounts for 3 or 12 month periods. DSS subscription periods will be available only for the remaining months of service ($41.67/month).
Limited Access is Free. Limited Access is Free. This limited access allows the user to contribute new survey information to, meeting Environmental Review and Cost Share survey requirements, as well as update information for existing records. Reports may be requested for data specific to the account only. Geospatial data services are not included.
DSS Contact Information:
For more information about