Digitizing the CHRIS

In 2012-2013 the CHRIS developed a Modernization and Sustainability Plan that addresses the need to digitize the CHRIS Inventory. The shared vision articulated in that plan is:

To enhance historic preservation efforts throughout California, the CHRIS will maintain a single comprehensive statewide electronic inventory of historical resources and provide information to clients and the public rapidly, consistently, and cost-effectively. This integrated database will also enable the CHRIS to enhance its education and outreach efforts.

As the plan specifies, this vision is not entirely new. The State Historical Resources Commission, Office of Historic Preservation, and the Information Centers, with some support from public and private CHRIS users, have been working to develop a statewide electronic inventory for years. However with little additional funding for this purpose, the CHRIS has been using its limited resources to both continue its ongoing services while also undertaking a major statewide effort to digitize the historical resources inventory. The following provides an indication of the scale of effort in these two areas:

The CHRIS continues to collect historical resources information and serve its clients by:
• Adding an average of 20,000 new resource records and research reports to the inventory each year.
• Producing an average of 6,100 records searches each year for a broad range of clients.
• Providing information to professionals, academics, students, and the general public.

In digitizing the historical resources inventory, the CHRIS is:
• Converting nearly 650,000 resource records, research reports, and other data from paper to digital format (which includes Geographic Information System [GIS] data, non-GIS data, and Portable Document Format [PDF] documents).
• Checking and correcting the data so that the digital inventory will be highly accurate and reliable.

A new Maintenance and Operations Action Plan for the CHRIS Modernization and Sustainability Plan has been finalized. This Action Plan covers the period from November 1, 2015, through April 30, 2017. The focus of the CHRIS’ efforts during this time period will be on continuing CHRIS Inventory data conversion as part of maintenance and operations activities, thereby achieving a digitized statewide inventory by completing Phases 1 and 2 as identified in the CHRIS Modernization and Sustainability Plan, and developing a Transition Study that builds on the recommendations made in the CHRIS Service Delivery Model Analysis and Recommendations Report.

In April 2015, the Office of HIstoric Preservation produced the CHRIS Service Delivery Model Analysis and Recommendations Report. This project involved analyzing a variety of models for how the CHRIS might be structured in order to best meet its mission in light of a digitized inventory.

Questions about either the Action Plan or the Modernization and Sustainability Plan can be addressed to Anmarie Medin, Supervisor, Cultural Resources Management, at anmaire.medin@parks.ca.gov

Digital Data Availability

As the CHRIS is in the process of digitizing its inventory, we will use this site to provide information about what types of GIS data, non-GIS data, and electronic documents are available for CHRIS users. This will be updated any time more data are newly available for one or more counties . Where digital data are available, paper-based/hard copy information may still be available as well – check with the appropriate Information Center. Where digital data are not available, hard copy information is. To view counties where digital information is currently available, and to see which types of data are available electronically in each county, see our Digital Data Availability page.