Montana Historical Society

Big Sky ~ Big History

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Montana's Cultural Records

The Montana Cultural Resource Database contains cultural resource information on over 65,000 known historic and archaeological sites, 38,000 previously conducted cultural resource inventories, grey literature, National Register site status, and cultural resource management project information. The database is updated and maintained by the Montana State Historic Preservation Office in Helena. The SHPO requires Smithsonian numbers in order to process all consultation, including resolving APE, Eligibility, Effect etc., as it is the sole means of tracking properties. To obtain a Smithsonian number see below.

To view a public version of our Cultural Resource Database please click here. This will allow you to see if sites are present/absent in a particular location. Using this online database does not constitute formal consultation with SHPO regarding cultural resources. For formal consultation and more detailed information on cultural resources within an area please fill out our file search request form.

Smithsonian Number Requests:

To request a Smithsonian number please see our Instructions.  Site forms must be submitted electronically as a PDF, or Word Document.  Instructions for site form submittal. Please send the final form and GIS shapefile to the Cultural Records Assistant to receive your number. 

File Search Requests:

To request a file search please fill out the File Search Request form and email it in to  The results of the file search will be sent within a few days of receiving the request. File Search Request Form
File Search Eligibility Definitions

Digital Data Use Agreement:

Please complete this Digital Data and Information Use Agreement for each individual within an organization, institution, or agency that is requesting digital data from the Montana SHPO. Site, Inventory, and GIS files will not be given out until this has been received.
Digital Data Use Agreement

Data Request:

To request a copy of a previous cultural resource inventories, or site forms you must first read and fill out our Digital Data Use Agreement. To request data please fill out our Data Request form and email it to the Cultural Records Assistant. 
**Please note that this form is to be used only after a File Search Request has been performed.**
Data Request

Montana SHPO Fee Schedule

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

A file search is when our office searches the State Antiquities Database to see whether or not archaeological or historic sites have been recorded in a particular location. The file search also includes a search of any previous inventories that may have been conducted in a particular location.

To request a file search please email a completed File Search Request form to Damon Murdo ( along with a copy of a map showing the project location.

Please contact the SHPO Site Records Office at (406) 444-4724.  You will need to complete the required information portion of the Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS) form and attach a copy of a 7.5' Quad map showing the site location to receive a number.

To request copies of previously conducted cultural resource inventories, you can fill out a Inventory Report request and send to Damon Murdo,

Because of their size inventory reports will need to be uploaded to the State File Transfer Service for retrieval.  Inventory reports will cost $1/MB of data.

To request copies of site forms, please fill out a Data Request Form and email it in. The site forms will be sent to you as pdf’s via email, or the State File Transfer Service. Each request will cost $5/Site Form.

The MT SHPO maintains a list of consultants who meet the Secretary of Interiors standards for Archaeology and Historic Preservation. To view the list click here.

If you would like to be added to our list of consultants please send your address, the services you provide (see consultants list), and a resume to

SHPO Story Map Gallery 


Damon Murdo (
Cultural Records Manager
(406) 444-7767

Cultural Records Assistant (GIS, Smithsonian Numbers, Site Data Requests)
(406) 444-4724