How to Complete the Ohio Historic Inventory

The Ohio Historic Inventory form exists in two formats: the internet based application known as I-Form and paper forms. Use of I-Form is preferred by the State Historic Preservation Office since its use allows property data to be incorporated into its master database without having to re-enter data. Use of I-Form is expected from Historic Preservation professionals and for large scale survey efforts undertaken by other groups and agencies.

Click here for information about I-Form.

Regardless of whether I-Form or a paper form is used, the following instructions will help you complete an inventory form.

The following numbers correspond to the categories on the Ohio Historic Inventory form. Please note that several of the categories indicated on the form are not presented below. These questions are not mandatory.

1. OHI Number
A numerical identification system is used by the State Historic Preservation Office. These numbers will be assigned to the property by the State Historic Preservation Office.

2. County
Enter the name of the county here and in the space along the right hand margin.

3. Location of Negatives
Where will the photographic negatives be kept? They should be able to be located quickly in the event prints are needed. If negatives are to be sent to the State Historic Preservation Office when the survey is completed, put OHPO in the space. Please be sure to indicate the roll and frame numbers of the contact photographs.

4. & 5. Present and Historic Names
Present Name(s) are those by which the property is most commonly known, such as Jones House or William Smith Residence. Historic Name(s) would indicate former residents or uses of the property, or the original name, such as Amasa Blaylock House or King's Arms Tavern.

6. Specific Address or Location
These are very important since the forms will be computerized and filed according to the address. For rural properties without streets and numbers, give distance in convenient units (feet, yards, fractions of miles) from a recognizable thoroughfare, such as on private road 500 yards north off Township Road 326. Please provide as precise a location as possible for each property inventoried.

6a. Lot, Section or VMD Number
Please enter the historic lot number and name of the subdivision, if known. If the property is located in an unincorporated area enter the section number or Virginia Military District (VMD) number.

7. City or Village or Township
Use a city's name only if the property is actually located within the towns corporation limits. If a property is outside a towns corporation limits, use vicinity, such as Marietta vicinity. Also be sure to include the township in which the property is located.

8. Site Plan
This does not have to be a scale drawing, just a sketch of the site, showing the property in relation to major features around it, such as roads, railroads, rivers, etc. Be sure to include an arrow showing North toward the top of the form. It is important to show enough details so the property can be easily located on any larger map. If, for example, the property is located in an urban setting, a nearby street intersection should be shown with an illustration that the inventoried property is the 3rd or 4th or 5th etc. from this intersection. For rural properties, show the relationship of the structure to a crossroads, stream, railroad, etc.

9. U.T.M. Reference
Geographic coordinates will be provided by the preservation office staff. This will be easier if you provide a copy of a detailed map with the location of the property marked or circled.

10. Site, Building, Structure, Object
Check one. A site is the location of an important event, or a historic archaeological site. A building is a manmade construction primarily intended to provide shelter, such as a house or barn. A structure is a work constructed by man, such as a bridge, a canal lock, an oil well. An object is a material thing of functional, aesthetic, cultural, historical, or scientific value, which is, by nature or design, movable, such as a ship or locomotive. 15. Historic District
Is the property part of a historic district which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a local district? If so, give the name of the district. If not, do you feel the property and those surrounding it would qualify as a potential district?

16. Thematic Association(s) The State Historic Preservation Office has established a list of themes or categories under which historic properties may be classified. These themes are intended to represent the historical development and associations of the property. The list of themes includes agriculture, arts/recreation, commerce, education, ethnic/immigration, manufacturing/industry, military, politics/social/welfare, religion and transportation-communication.

17. Date(s) or Period
The completion date of a building is usually the date most commonly associated with it. Sometimes both starting date and completion dates are known. If so, include both, such as "1856-61." Beware of dates on cornerstones, as these usually indicate when the cornerstone was laid which is usually done long before completion of a building. Dates located high on a facade, such as in the cornice or over a window, are usually closer to the completion date. If the date is uncertain, give an approximation, if it is accurate, such as "circa 1870." Leave blank if you cannot make an accurate estimate.

17b. Alteration Date(s)
If the original structure has been altered or modified, enter the date(s) when the change was made. This category also includes additions and removals.

18,18a Style or Design
Enter the appropriate response only if you are familiar with American architectural styles and architectural terminology.

19. Architect or Engineer Enter the full name of the architect or engineer and the firm name if a specific individual is not responsible for the design of the structure. Also include the name of the city where the architect/engineer maintained a home office.

20. Contractor or Builder
Enter the full name of the individual or company of the contractor or builder. Do not enter the name of the first owner unless there is documentation that confirms he or she was also the builder.

21. Building Type or Plan
Enter the appropriate response only if you are familiar with historic building types and building plans.

22. Original Use
Many old buildings have undergone a change in use since the structure was originally built. In order to determine the historic use one should check old maps, photographs, talk with local historians, and look for telltale signs on the structure itself.

23. Ownership Public ownership is ownership by a public agency or unit of government, such as township, city, or village ownership, or ownership by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, or Ohio Department of Transportation. Examples of private ownership are church groups or other religious organizations, private businesses, clubs, or individuals.

24. Owners Name and Address (if known)
Indicate the name of the current owner(s) and the proper mailing address, if known.

25. Property Acreage
This is the size of the tract of land on which the structure(s) stands. Estimates of acreage can be provided.

26. Other Surveys
Earlier surveys of varying extent and quality have been conducted to inventory historic properties in many parts of the state. If you know for sure that the property you are working on has been listed in another survey, give the name of the survey, the date it was done, and a name and address where the State Historic Preservation Office can gain access to the survey files.

27. Number of Stories
Count carefully. Do not mistake half stories for full stories.

28. Basement
Check yes only for a full basement.

29. Foundation Material
Indicate type of material that is observed (rubble stone, brick, tile, or concrete).

30. Wall Construction
This refers to the material which forms the bearing walls or structural framing of the building.

31. Roof Type and Material
What is the shape of the roof? Use accepted terms such as gambrel, gable, mansard, and so on. Of what material is the roof constructed? Examples are wooden shakes, rolled roofing, standing seam metal, asphalt shingles.

32. Exterior Material(s)
This refers to the treatment and finish applied to the exterior of the structure. If the historic treatment has been removed or altered indicate this in #36 and describe them in #42.

33. Plan Shape
What would the building look like when viewed from the air? T? L? Cross? Rectangle? Square? Other?

34. Changes
Almost every old building has been changed in some way. Look carefully. Additions are things such as wings, lean-tos, porches, chimneys, full stories. Alterations include new windows, blocking up windows or doors, opening up new windows or doors, removing chimneys, roof changes, and other basic structural changes. If a building is known to have been moved from its original site this is very important.

35. Window Type(s)
Check the appropriate box for the window light pattern(s) of the building.

36. Building Dimensions
Please provide precise or approximate figures of the building's length and width.

37. Endangered? By What
It is important that the State Historic Preservation Office be alerted to any immediate or proposed endangerment of a historic property, such as impending demolition, abandonment, or neglect.

38. Distance and Frontage
Use convenient units, such as feet or yards. If a property is on a private lane, make reference to the nearest public road.

42. Further Description
This area is provided for additional details and important features not adequately covered in #28 - #41. Generally, this consists of a few sentences that describe the windows, facade symmetry, front door placement, chimney location, porches, and other decorative architectural features.

43. History and Significance
A brief statement should outline why the property was inventoried, whether for architectural or historical reasons. Do not feel that every important fact should be included, but rather a succinct detailing of the areas of significance. If you are familiar with applying the criteria for evaluating properties nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, please cite the specific criteria and explain your evaluation. It is important that you explain why a property is or is not significant.

44. Description of Environment
If a farm property, include information on other farm-related outbuildings and the setting of the structure. If urban, the structure may have a related carriage house or garage. The environment may also have some bearing on the significance of the property, as, for example, with a home situated on a tree-lined brick street with cast iron fences.

45. Sources of Information
This entry is very important, because of the need to refer to these sources for more information. Include here all sources of information, including personal interviews with property owners, tenants, or other interested persons, deed books, and tax records, etc.

46.- 48. Prepared By, Organizations, Date Recorded
Enter the name of the person(s) who prepared the form, the sponsoring organization, if any, and the date the property was surveyed in the field.

51. Condition of Property
Excellent, good, fair, deteriorated, and ruin are accepted terms. If the structure has been demolished or burned, indicate the date, if known. Give interior condition only if it has been observed.

52. Historic Outbuildings and Dependencies
Historic building complexes typically consist of several interrelated buildings and structures, and it is important that they be adequately recorded.

54. Farmstead Plan
This space is provided for the field surveyor to draw a more detailed sketch plan of the farm complex. Please be sure to draw a north arrow and label the buildings clearly. It is helpful if all buildings are drawn in the same scale so their sizes are relative to one another.

Spaces are reserved on the Ohio Historic Inventory form for affixing photographs of each inventoried property. They should be 35mm., black and white CONTACT PRINTS (do not enlarge) of important views showing usually the facade and one side, or three-fourths angle views, of the structure. Use of Kodak Plus X Pan black and white film (ASA 125) or T Max (ASA 100) is recommended. Often, if the property/building is particularly large or complex, additional photographs of outbuildings, details, materials, or additional elevations are necessary. An effort should be made to photographically document the features discussed in #42. Additional contact prints may be affixed to the top or back side of the inventory form.