About the Division
The Division of Historical Resources within the Florida Department of State is comprised of the following program areas:
- Director's Office
- Bureau of Historic Preservation
- Bureau of Archaeological Research
The Director's Office is responsible for planning, organizing, developing, directing, coordinating, and evaluating the statewide program of historical resource preservation. In addition, the Director's Office includes three sections; Division Operations, the Public Lands Liaison Office, and The Grove, an 1825 historic house in Tallahassee presently undergoing restoration for eventual use as a public museum. For more information on The Grove, please visit http://www.flheritage.com/grove/index.cfm. Finally, the Director serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer providing a liaison with the national historic preservation program conducted by the National Park Service.
The Bureau of Historic Preservation conducts historic preservation and folklife programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, preserving and interpreting the historic and folklife resources of the state. The Bureau manages one of the largest state supported grants-in-aid programs in the country, providing funds to help preserve and maintain the state's historic buildings and archaeological sites. Under federal and state laws, the Bureau oversees the National Register of Historic Places program for Florida, maintains an inventory of the state's historical resources in the Florida Master Site File, assists applicants in federal tax benefit and local government ad valorem tax relief programs for historic buildings, and reviews the impact that development projects may have on significant historic resources. Finally, the Bureau also administers the Florida Folklife program to increase awareness of the state's traditional cultures, and coordinates all historical and folklife award programs including the State Historic Markers program.
The Bureau of Archaeological Research is responsible for the state's archaeology program. The bureau's archaeologists carry out archaeological surveys and excavations throughout the state, mostly on state-owned lands. They maintain records on historical resources that have been recorded, and assist consultants and planners in protecting sites. The state's underwater archaeology program includes not only historic shipwreck sites but also pre-Columbian sites in underwater contexts. Some of these are among the oldest human sites in the New World. Underwater archaeologists in the bureau have worked with local divers to develop Underwater Archaeological Preserves around the state to protect and interpret shipwreck sites to the public. The Bureau also manages Mission San Luis in Tallahassee, which was the 17th century capital of Spanish Florida. The Mission is a 60-acre world-class archaeological site and the only reconstructed mission in the Southeast. The site is open daily (except Mondays) and features a fulltime research program and a living history museum.