The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts worthy of preservation for their significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture. The National Register was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that as a matter of public policy, properties significant in national, state, and local history are considered in the planning of federal undertakings, and to encourage preservation initiatives by state and local governments and the private sector.
The OSA maintains records of significant archaeological sites – like Native American villages, shipwrecks, and colonial plantations – that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Sites under consideration for the NRHP but not listed are reviewed and inventoried by the OSA for purposes of resource protection and scientific research.