SHPO Historic Context Studies

Historic contexts provide information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the prehistory or history of a community, State, or the nation during a particular period of time. 

Historic contexts link historic properties and/or cultural resources to important historic trends to provide a framework for determining the significance of a property or site and its eligibility for National Register listing. A knowledge of historic contexts allows applicants to understand a historic property / cultural resource as a product of its time and as an illustration of aspects of heritage that may be unique, representative, or pivotal. 

Themes often relate to the historic development of a community, such as commercial or industrial activities. They may relate to the occupation of a prehistoric group, the rise of an architectural movement, the work of a master architect, specific events or activities, or a pattern of physical development that influenced the character of a place at a particular time in history. It is within the larger picture of a community's history that local significance becomes apparent. Similarly State and national significance become clear only when the property is seen in relationship to trends and patterns of prehistory or history statewide or nationally.  

 (adapted from Guidelines for Completing the National Register of Historic Places Forms, NPS)

Scanned copies of SHPO-sponsored historic context studies and multiple property documentation forms are provided below as a professional courtesy. Please be sure to accurately reference the document as you would any citation.

Context Studies are property of Arizona State Parks & Trails and are offered here as reference materials and should not be sold or distributed without prior permission from Arizona State Parks & Trails.

1.  Basques in Arizona  (1.6 MB PDF)

2.  Cattle Ranching in Arizona 1540-1950  (13.4 MB PDF)

3. Arizona Cattle Ranching in the Modern Era, 1945-1970  (27.3 MB PDF)

4. Commerce in Phoenix 1870-1942  (30.3 MB PDF)

5. Gold & Silver Mining in Arizona 1848-1945  (72.3 MB PDF)

6. Historic Trails in Arizona from Coronado to 1940  (45.2 MB PDF)

7. Homesteading in Arizona 1870-1942  (24 MB PDF)

8. Making and Using Stone Artifacts/ Evaluating Lithic Sites, 1 of 2  (8.9 MB PDF)

9. Making and Using Stone Artifacts/ Evaluating Lithic Sites, 2 of 2  (9.5 MB PDF)

10. Paleoindian and Archaic Sites in Arizona  (117.6 MB PDF)

11. Prehistoric Irrigation in Arizona/ A Context for Canals and Related Cultural Resources  (4.5 MB PDF)

12. Prehistoric Non-Irrigated Agriculture in Arizona  (5.2 MB PDF)

13. Prehistoric Water Utilization and Technology in Arizona  (127.7 MB PDF)

14. Rock Art in Arizona  (111.7 MB PDF)

15. SHPO Down in Dumps - Rev JUNE 2021  (8.5 MB PDF)

16. SHPO Manual for Ground Stone Analysis  (4.5 MB PDF)

17. The Chinese in Arizona 1870-1950  (41 MB PDF)

18. The Prehistoric to Historic Transition Period in Arizona, Circa A.D. 1519 to 1692  (110.8 MB PDF)

19. The United States Military in Arizona 1846-1945  (55.9 MB PDF)

20. Transcontinental Railroading in Arizona 1878-1940  (37.3 MB PDF)

21. Water Utilization and Technology in Arizona's Historic Era, 1540-1960 / Lifeline of the Desert  (18.6 MP PDF)

22. The Emerging Metropolis: Phoenix, 1944-1973 (74.9 MP PDF)

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