Keeper of the Register


The Keeper of the Register (more formally known as the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places) is a National Park Service (NPS) official, responsible for deciding on the eligibility of historic properties for inclusion on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).[1][2]

The Keeper of the Register role was created following the 1966 enactment of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The NHPA declared a national policy focus on preserving significant historic sites, and it has been amended several times since it was first enacted. The NHPA authorized the Secretary of the Interior to maintain a National Register of Historic Places, which has been delegated to the Keeper by the Director of the National Park Service.[3]

The first person to hold the office was William J. Murtagh, whose term ran from 1967 through 1979. The Keeper's authority may be delegated as they see fit.[2] The State Historic Preservation Officer for each state submits nominations to the Keeper. Upon receipt, the Keeper has 45 days to decide whether to add the property to the NRHP.[2][4][5]

The Keeper of the Register role is supported by several regional reviewers, who review submissions for inclusion on the NHRP.[6] This team also is supported by several archaeologists, archivists, and historians.[6]

List of KeepersEdit

  • William J. Murtagh – 1967[7]-1979[8][self-published source]
  • Jerry L. Rogers – approximately 1981-1994
  • Carol D. Shull – Acting Keeper 1979–1980, Keeper 1994–2005, Interim Keeper 2009 to January 3, 2015
  • Jan Snyder Matthews – 2005–2009
  • Stephanie Toothman – Keeper January 4, 2015 – June 2, 2017
  • J. Paul Loether - Keeper June 3, 2017 – June 25, 2018
  • Joy Beasley (NPS Associate Director, Cultural Resources Partnerships and Science) - Keeper July 2018 – current


  1. ^ Historic Preservation in Juneau - Community Development Department, City and Borough of Juneau
  2. ^ a b c "Code of Federal Regulations: 36 CFR Part 60 National Register of Historic Places". Archived from the original on 2007-02-10. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
  3. ^ "Federal Register :: Request Access".
  4. ^ 36 CFR 63 - Eligibility for Inclusion in the National Register
  5. ^ "SHPO Fact Sheet #1: National Register of Historic Places - January 1996, Oklahoma's State Historic Preservation Office". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
  6. ^ a b "Contact Us - National Register of Historic Places (U.S. National Park Service)". Retrieved 2021-03-22.
  7. ^ "William J. Murtagh papers > ArchivesUM". 1923-05-02. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  8. ^ personal correspondence from Keeper Shull