New features in MACRIS

The conversion of MHC's Inventory of Historic Assets of the Commonwealth to digital format is making possible the display of new types of information in MACRIS. Users will notice new features on the opening Location Section Page, the Query Results Page, and on the Record Details Page. (Separate help screens are also available on each of those pages.)

Location Selection Page

Results Page

Record Details Page

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Frequently Asked Questions - Scanned Material

  1. Why are there no pictures or PDF files for some towns?

    Inventory files are being systematically scanned, in reverse alphabetical order by town. If there are no images or PDF files for a specific town, it is likely that your town has not yet been scanned. In addition to the systematic scanning of town Inventory forms, most Inventory forms and images provided to us in electronic form since 2006 are being added as soon as they have been entered into the MACRIS database. As a result, some towns may be partially represented by recent Inventory forms and (usually) color images.

  2. My town's historic center was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979; why can I not find the nomination in MACRIS?

    Nominations have been converted from MS Word files to PDF format (supplemented by scanned photographs and maps) beginning with the most recently listed sites and working backward through the year 2000, when most files no longer survive in electronic format. Further scanning of older paper nomination files will continue and is expected to be completed about the same time as the scanning of the Inventory.

  3. How does the nomination available in MACRIS differ from that sent to the Washington, D.C. office of the National Register of Historic Places?

    The online version of a National Register nomination in MACRIS is a reproduction of the nomination submitted to the National Park Service office in Washington, including all of the photographs and maps still retained in paper form in MHC official paper files. In most cases, it does not include the signature of the Keeper of the National Register. Any subsequent modifications made as a result of the National Register review process have also been included. Some nominations have also been redacted to protect sensitive archeological information. Any section that has been redacted carries the legend "Portions redacted."

  4. Why are there pictures for some properties in a town, but not for others?

    Not all properties included in MACRIS are represented by individual Inventory forms. Many are included only in property lists within areas. However, in cases where a photograph exists for this property, it may have been scanned for inclusion in MACRIS, even if no form exists to be scanned. Furthermore, images from properties and districts recently added to the National Register of Historic Places are also included in MACRIS, even if the town's Inventory files have not yet been scanned.

  5. Why is the information provided by the Record Details Page sometimes different than the information on the scanned Inventory form?

    Information on the Record Details page is the most current information available to MHC. The form itself may not be annotated with the updated information. This new information could include demolition of the property, an updated street address, revised property name(s), or newly determined date(s) of construction -- information determined after receipt of the original inventory form by MHC.

  6. How can I correct inaccurate or out-of-date information?

    MHC depends on the work of the local historical commission in each town to submit Inventory forms or new photographs. Please submit new and updated information to both the town's historical commission (c/o Town Hall) as well as to MHC. So that the town and MHC can properly record this information, please send this information on the appropriate MHC Inventory form (available here). For further information, please write to and include 'MACRIS-Correction' in the subject line.

  7. When will the project be completed?

    The conversion of MHC's Inventory of Historic Assets of the Commonwealth to digital format is a multi-year project, begun in 2008 as a result of a grant from Preserve America, a Federal program to foster a greater shared knowledge about the nation's past (for more information about Preserve America, see It is anticipated that scanning will be complete for towns from Haverhill to Yarmouth during 2012.