The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 provided for a network of historic preservation offices in every state to spearhead state preservation initiatives and help carry out the nation's historic preservation program. Minnesota's SHPO was created by state statute in 1969 to provide statewide leadership. The director of the Minnesota Historical Society serves as State Historic Preservation Officer.
Located in the Society's Historic Preservation, Field Services and Grants Department, the SHPO fulfills its mission to preserve and promote Minnesota history by working to:
- Identify, evaluate, register and protect Minnesota's historic and archaeological properties,
- Encourage the development of local history organizations and activities, and
- Assist government agencies in carrying out their historic preservation responsibilities.