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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Statewide Survey of Historic Properties

The records of the South Carolina Statewide Survey of Historic Properties include information on over 77,000 historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and landscapes. The records include documentation on properties in every county within the state. Relatively few properties have been recorded in some counties, while thousands have been recorded in others. Most survey records are available for public use, for further information see the Consultant's Guide to Survey and National Register Files (PDF). The location of sensitive or endangered sites, however, may be restricted. 

A historic resources survey is the process of systematically identifying historic properties within the boundaries of a specific geographical area, documenting their location and physical characteristics, and evaluating their significance within an appropriate historical context.  

In some cases, survey documentation may be the only record of buildings and structures that have been destroyed since they were surveyed. As such, it provides an important glimpse into the lives of past generations.

The Survey Process: A Continuing Need

The Statewide Survey is an ongoing process. Many architecturally and historically significant resources have yet to be documented, and comprehensive surveys have not been conducted in many parts of the state. Also as time passes, some properties achieve significance and others are altered or destroyed. These changes must be recorded so that the survey records are  accurate and up-to-date.

Survey Guidance (PDFs)

Survey Manual: Statewide Survey of Historic Properties
(Note: the Survey Manual is currently being revised; publication is expected in 2018)

Request a blank copy of SHPO's Master Survey Database (New version, released November 2017)

SHPO Survey Form (New version, released November 2017)

Electronic Submission Requirements for Planning Surveys and Review & Compliance Surveys (New, released November 2017)

GIS Data Submission Requirements

Survey Finding Aid

A finding aid index to the survey records with brief information about each survey is listed below by county. Survey records are available by request through the Research Room at the SC Archives and History Center. The SC Historic Properties Record (SCHPR) is our searchable database that contains an increasing number of digitized survey records. See also Historic Contexts/Survey Reports for select countywide, municipal, and thematic survey reports.

NOTE: The records of the statewide archaeological survey are maintained by the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA). The inventory includes data on more than 33,000 archaeological sites. Information about using the archaeological site files is available on the SCIAA website.

Select a County to view the finding aid index (PDFs):

Abbeville Barnwell Cherokee Darlington Florence Horry Lee Newberry Saluda York
Aiken Beaufort Chester Dillon Georgetown Jasper Lexington Oconee Spartanburg  
Allendale Berkeley Chesterfield Dorchester Greenville Kershaw Marion Orangeburg Sumter  
Anderson Calhoun Clarendon Edgefield Greenwood Lancaster Marlboro Pickens Union  
Bamberg Charleston Colleton Fairfield Hampton Laurens McCormick Richland Williamsburg  

Two additional category finding aid indexes are available: Regional Surveys and Thematic Surveys.

HABS/HAER (Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record) and Other Intensive Property Documentation finding aid index is also available online.