The Hanford Site contains numerous archeological and historical sites and districts, traditional cultural properties, and associated collections and artifacts dating from approximately 11,000 years ago to the present. The HMIS Cultural and Historic Resources Program coordinates, integrates, and maintains the cultural resources program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, Richland Operations Office; assures compliance with applicable cultural resource laws, regulations, and directives; documents potential impacts and addresses real impacts to sites; coordinates cultural resources reviews for all Federal undertakings on the Hanford Site; monitors site conditions; and maintains records and archaeological and historic collections. The desired outcome of this program is that archaeological and historic resources on the Hanford Site are preserved and protected to the fullest extent possible.
As required by the Hanford Site Manhattan Project and Cold War Era Historic District Treatment Plan, Site contractors are required to identify, document, and set aside artifacts for collection under historic preservation laws and regulations. Specific Hanford facilities have been identified as contributing to the Manhattan Project and Cold War Era Historic District, and require mitigation. The mitigation process includes documenting the scientific and engineering significance of the facilities, performing assessments or walkthroughs by a team of experts to tag items for pickup, and collecting descriptive materials relating to artifacts and records from this important era in our nation’s history. HMIS provides an artifact pickup service for the Hanford Site and provides Curation Services for the evaluation, tracking, cleaning, stabilizing, inventory, storage, safeguard, access, display, and reporting of Hanford Collection historic artifacts.
Historical artifacts and multimedia pertaining to the Manhattan Project and Cold War Era are housed by the Hanford History Project at Washington State University - Tri-Cities (WSU-TC). Artifact loans can be made to museums or educational institutions (not individuals), and individual access for historical research may be granted by contacting the Hanford History Project.