Historical Resources

Historical resources is a term which encompasses prehistoric / historic archaeological sitesand/or the built environment which includes historic sites, buildings, structures, objects, districts, and landscapes.

Since its inception in the early 1970s, the NCIC has been a fundamental source of archaeological information. In 1993, the NCIC acquired built environmental information, which was previously maintained only by OHP. The NCIC now maintains the most extensive historical resources information base available for North Central California.

 Definitions of Terms

Site: Location of a significant event, a prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or a building or structure, whether standing, ruined, or vanished, where the location itself possesses historic, cultural, or archaeological value regardless of the value of any existing structure.
Building: Those constructions created principally to shelter any form of human activity, or a historically and functionally related unit.
Structure: Those functional constructions made usually for purposes other than creating human shelter.
Object: Those constructions that are primarily artistic in nature or are relatively small in scale and simply constructed. Although it may be, by nature or design, movable, an object is associated with a specific setting or environment.
District: A significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical environment.
Landscape: A geographical area that historically has been used by people, or shaped or modified by human activity, occupancy, significant concentration, linkage, or intervention, and that possesses a continuity of areas of land use, vegetation, buildings and structures, roads, and waterways, and natural features. National Register Bulletin 30 (,p.1-2).


  • Reference library
  • Over 10,000 records of prehistoric and historic archaeological sites
  • More than 10,000 historic resource studies
  • Computerized archaeological study report bibliography and site database
  • Hundreds of USGS topographic maps, plotted with archaeological site and study locations

Built Environment

  • Reference library
  • More than 10,000 historic resources inventory records
  • National Register Nomination records
  • California Registered State Historical Landmarks records
  • Points of Historic Interest records
  • California Inventory of Historic State and Local bridges
  • Historic maps
  • General Land Office survey plats
  • Bureau of Land Management mineral and mining survey plats

Definition of terms (except landscape) excerpted from 
Instructions for Recording Historical Resources Office of Historic Preservation, January 1995.