All Things Parks: National Parks Link Roundup

This past Saturday kicked off National Park Week, an annual event put on by the National Park Service (NPS) to celebrate the more than 400 national parks in the United States and the NPS programs and partners that work to preserve these sites of American natural and cultural heritage.

“Two Medicine Lake, Glacier National Park,” Montana. Local Identifier: 79-AAE-20 (NAID: 519874)

In March 1872, Congress passed the Yellowstone Park Act establishing the first national park in the territories of Montana and Wyoming. With the establishment of Yellowstone National Park the U.S. Government recognized the need to preserve the nation’s natural resources and laid the foundation for setting aside land “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” The establishment of the National Park Service in 1916 to oversee the management of the nation’s parks solidified the government’s interest and dedication to conserving “the scenery and the natural and historical objects and the wild life” within the designated parks for the enjoyment of the public.

Map of Yellowstone National Park. Local Identifier: CMF 294 (NAID: 221149525)

The National Archives holds thousands of cartographic, moving image, sound, and photographic records related to a variety of America’s national parks and the National Parks Service. Over the years, The Unwritten Record has highlighted many of these records. A few are featured below.

First up are the National Parks Service Master Plans from our Cartographic holdings, which provide a bird’s eye view of the development and history of America’s national parks.

The scenic views of America’s national parks have captivated the interest and attention of many professional photographers throughout history. You can take in the beauty of our national parks in these blog posts highlighting the work of photographers Ansel Adams and Henry G. Peabody from our Still Pictures holdings.

America’s national parks don’t just preserve the nation’s natural land and resources. They also preserve and celebrate our nation’s culture as seen in this blog post highlighting a film of bluegrass musicians that was intended for the display in the NPS exhibits at Blue Ridge Parkway.

It takes a village of NPS staff, volunteers, and partners to maintain and preserve the national parks for our enjoyment. In honor of those doing this important work, here is a blog post that highlights the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), who completed projects for the National Parks Service among other state and federal agencies.

The Unwritten Record has also highlighted many records related to specific national parks. I say it’s time for a road trip! Check out our Summer Road Trip 2019 series where we traveled across the country and took a few pit stops at our national parks. Some highlights include Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite National Park, Olympic National Park, and the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway.

Finally, you can revisit the discovery and preservation work undertaken to preserve and restore some of the earliest color films of Yellowstone National Park.

National parks across the United States have made it possible for Americans and visitors from around the world to get out and enjoy the beauty, history, and culture of our nation. This week, whether you are able to make it out to your local national park or not, you can join us in celebrating America’s national parks and the NPS by catching up on our old posts and exploring the National Archives catalog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *