File Access

Please Note: The Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation is changing its fee structure on July 1, 2018.  For more information on what this means for file searches and other services please Click Here.

How to access the Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation (OAHP) cultural resource files

Cultural resource files at the Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation can include site/property forms, documents, maps, and images of any kind. Unfortunately not all of the Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation records are available to everyone. Please refer to our policies and procedures (PDF) for more information.

How to Request a File Search

A file search is a way to obtain information about specific sites in a defined area, or which meet a specified criteria by querying Colorado's Cultural Resources Database. The database contains information on over 220,000 archaeological, historical and paleontological sites. Sites that meet the defined query are passed on to the requestor.

Step 1: What information is needed to make the request?

Please complete a File Access Request Form. Include:

  • the requested project and contact information;
  • a legal location of Township, Range and Section, for the area of undertaking;
  • if you are in an urban area, a street address, or listing of all of the streets, along with their address ranges;
  • a GIS shape file or KML file of the project area you want searched, if available.

Read and sign the User Agreement in the form.

Step 2: Submit the form to the Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation (OAHP)

You can do this by,

  • e-mailing it to hc_filesearch@state.co.us
  • or mailing it to
    History Colorado,
    Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation,
    1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

How much does a search cost?

There is a fee of $8.00 for each section and $20.00 for custom searches. These fees do not apply to research. The File Access Request Form lists more information about pricing. Please call our office for further information at 303-866-5216.

In what format will I receive the information?

File search results will be emailed to you. You will receive a PDF copy of your results letter, a spreadsheet with database information, and GIS files if they have been requested. If you are interested in receiving alternative file types, please contact us to discuss available options.

How long does it take to run a request?

We ask that you allow us 3-5 business days to complete a search. If your request is a complex one it may take longer and we will contact you to discuss a timeline. If you need your results sooner than the usual 3-5 day period we can expedite your search for an additional rush fee. Please contact us for more details.

Please Note

Because of their sensitive nature, many of the files housed in OAHP are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Colorado Open Records Act. In some cases we cannot provide the exact location of a site. If it is critical that you obtain the location, please contact our office and provisions may be made.

Have Questions?

Call 303-866-5216 or e-mail us at hc_filesearch@state.co.us.

Want to run your own search?

Compass is a way for qualified individuals to search for site information based on location, cultural site attributes or cultural resource management criteria. Learn More …

Request copies of our files

Step 1: Complete a File Access Request Form

Please include:

  • the requested project and contact information;
  • the site number(s) or document number(s) (Record ID), if known;
  • whether you are planning to view the documents at our offices or if you want a digital or hard copy. By default the records will be sent to you digitally as a PDF to your email address, if you would like to view the records in house please ask to make an appointment in the body of your email. If you are planning to visit OAHP to do research we strongly encourage you to complete the File Access Request form [link] and send it to us prior to your visit. This will allow the staff, when possible, to have the requested materials ready for you when you arrive.
  • read and sign the User Agreement

Step 2: Submit the form to the Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation (OAHP)

You can do this by,

  • e-mailing it to hc_filesearch@state.co.us
  • or mailing it to:
    History Colorado,
    Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation,
    1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

You can also complete the form while at the office.

How much does it cost?

Viewing the documents in house is free. Digital reproductions or hard copy black-and-white reproductions are $0.20 per page. Please see the File Access Request form [link] for further pricing information.

How long does it take to run a request?

We ask that you allow us 3-5 business days to complete a search. If your request is a complex one it may take longer and we will contact you to discuss a timeline. If you need your results sooner than the usual 3-5 day period we can expedite your search for an additional rush fee. Please contact us for more details.

Please Note

OAHP staff will always require a File Access Request Form to be filled out before pulling the appropriate materials for the public, as the files are not accessible to anyone who is not a staff member. The visitor maybe required to provide proof of qualifications if the materials they are requesting are of a sensitive nature [link], and it is highly recommended to provide qualifications for review prior to visiting the office.

Because of their sensitive nature, many of the files housed in OAHP are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Colorado Open Records Act. If your request encompasses some of these sites, all information on the site, except the exact location will be released to you. If it is critical that you obtain the locational data, please contact our office and provisions may be made.