About Us

The Northwest Information Center (NWIC) of the California Historical Resources Information System is one of nine information centers affiliated with the State of California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) in Sacramento.

Our office is located at 150 Professional Center Drive, Suite E, Rohnert Park, CA 94928.

We are open for in-house research, by appointment only, Mondays through Fridays, from 9:00-4:00.

Contact information for all Information Centers may be found here.

These Information Centers are non-profit organizations located at various universities, museums, and tribal organizations throughout the state of California. Each center serves a specific geographic area within the state. The NWIC service area includes 18 coastal, Bay Area, and inland counties, from the California-Oregon border in the north to Monterey in the south. This area comprises over 15% of the State of California.

The purpose of the center is...

  • to manage cultural resources records, reports, and maps.
  • to supply cultural resources information to the private and public sector (some restrictions do apply.)
  • to provide educational support and information about cultural resources in California to the general public.

Services Offered

NWIC staff regularly assist Cultural Resources Consultants undertaking research in history and archaeology as well as providing information to landowners, scholars, and the general public about archaeology, history, architecture, and cultural resources legislation.

Research and information is provided to more than 100 federal, state, or local government agencies, as well as over one thousand private cultural resource consultants, environmental, planning, engineering, and development firms. Approximately 2000 requests for information are fulfilled each year.

Inventory access, products and services are provided on a fee-for-service basis.

Fees for Inventory Access may be accessed here.

See the Rules of Operation Manual for additional information about CHRIS policies and services


NWIC In-Person Access is Back

Hi friends, it happened! After over a year of not being able to see those of you that prefer in-house appointments, we are back…but a lot has changed.

• In-person appointments are now conducted on SSU campus, not at 150 Professional Center Drive. Parking permits can be purchased ahead of time, online here.

• You must send in your map needs and/or GIS data 24 hours in advance of your appointment.

• Call the NWIC at 707-664-3523 when you arrive at the Pre-Collegiate Programs building for your appointment.

Your safety and the safety of everyone at the NWIC and on our campus is our highest priority. We appreciate your cooperation with requirements we will be outlining separately and with the format of these visits.

We offer three (3) appointment slots on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. We will have a morning slot, from 9:00-11:00, a midday slot, from 12:00-2:00, and an afternoon slot, from 3:00-5:00. These times are not flexible. Clients can reserve more than one slot per day, but do need to leave during the one-hour rest period.

We will process the appointment requests via email and respond in timely matter with confirmation.

Again, a lot has changed, so please read this document to review everything that is new for 2021. Please send us an email at nwic@sonoma.edu if you have any questions after reading through the welcome back document.

New CHRIS Data Request Form

The new CHRIS Data Request Form is available! For more information, see our Record Searches page.

The Built Environment Resources Directory Update

At the end of 2019, the OHP released an update to the April 2012 Historic Properties Directory. This December 2019 update was provided by the OHP as a spreadsheet, not as a printed output, and given a new name. Moving forward, the directory that is provided by the OHP is to be referred to as the Built Environment Resources Directory. For more details on the BERD, including the new status codes contained within the new directory, feel free to download a copy of the User’s Guide here.

…and the plan is to post it online! Check out the OHP Directories page for more info.

NWIC on Google Drive

The NWIC uses Google Drive to send your record search results and receive inventory materials. All new accounts are set up in Google Drive.

For information on establishing a Google Drive folder with the NWIC, please read our welcome document with further details. If you are having trouble downloading or uploading data from the Google Drive folder, please read our download and upload tutorial.

CHRIS Access Policy

As of March 1, 2013, all CHRIS Information Centers require that you complete the new CHRIS Information Access and Use Agreement and any additional applicable forms (i.e., CHRIS Data Authorized User Form, etc.) if you are requesting confidential record searches.

To obtain a copy of the forms, use the links below or go to the Office of Historic Preservation’s (OHP) web site.

CHRIS Access and Use Agreement

CHRIS Authorized User Form

CHRIS Conditional Use Agreement

CHRIS Access Agreement Short Form

In order for you to be added as an Authorized User under an existing CHRIS Access and Use number, you will need to sign and send to an Information Center (other than the NWIC):

(1) a completed CHRIS Authorized User Form,

(2) a completed Statements of Qualifications, and

(3) a copy of your resume/CV.

Please feel free to contact this office with any questions or go to the OHP web site for additional information about this process.