79-AA: Ansel Adams Photographs of National Parks and Monuments, 1941 – 1942

In the mid-1930's, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes conceived the idea of commissioning painted murals for the department's headquarters building in Washington, DC. However, impressed by Ansel Adams' work, Ickes later broadened the scope of the project to include mural-size photographs and recommended Adams. According to Ansel Adams autobiography, he was "appointed at the … Continue reading 79-AA: Ansel Adams Photographs of National Parks and Monuments, 1941 – 1942

Just a Walk in the Park in Washington, D.C.

Ah!  Spring is in the air and what better time is there for a walk in the park? From the huge expanse of Rock Creek Park to the much smaller green spaces like Reservation No. 22, Washington D.C. is home to an abundance of parks and green spaces of all sizes and shapes.  Likewise, the … Continue reading Just a Walk in the Park in Washington, D.C.

Highlights from the Henry Peabody Collection

As many parts of the United States dig in for the winter months, it seemed like a good time to highlight images of unique geological formations, and botanical specimens, undisturbed by a blanket of snow.  The series 79-HPS: Henry Peabody Collection, 1959 – 1960 is a collection donated to the National Parks Service in 1959, … Continue reading Highlights from the Henry Peabody Collection

Capturing the Beauty of America’s National Parks: National Park Service Master Plan Covers

August 25th marks the birthday of the National Park Service, which was established on that date in 1916. Over the course of the last 100 plus years, the National Park Service has grown, and now includes over 400 parks, representing America's vast array of natural wonders and significant historic sites. The Cartographic Branch holds a … Continue reading Capturing the Beauty of America’s National Parks: National Park Service Master Plan Covers

Cartographic’s Favorites of 2017

Co-written with Amy Edwards The Cartographic Branch holds a wide variety of materials. While working with these documents for reference requests, projects, or research room requests, our staff comes across some very cool and significant documents. Today, we are featuring a few of our favorite records that we've come across this year. We hope that … Continue reading Cartographic’s Favorites of 2017

Plan for the South Rim Village area of Grand Canyon National Park, including an employee housing area and services such as a hospital and post office. Visitor facilities are also shown, including a campground and other lodging choices.

Planning America’s Best Idea: Master Plans for National Parks

On August 25, 1916, Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Organics Act, creating the National Park Service (NPS), a new federal bureau responsible for protecting the existing 35 national parks and monuments. In 1933, the National Park Service greatly expanded when all parks, monuments, and historical areas overseen by the government were transferred to the … Continue reading Planning America’s Best Idea: Master Plans for National Parks

SPOTLIGHT: THE BLUE RIDGE MUSIC CENTER

One thing that does not come immediately to mind when I think of the National Park Service (NPS) is the performing arts.  I have been attending concerts at the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts for decades.  It is my favorite outdoor concert venue in the Washington, DC area.  However, I am always a … Continue reading SPOTLIGHT: THE BLUE RIDGE MUSIC CENTER

Happy 145th Birthday, Yellowstone National Park!

This blog post was co-authored by Aaron Arthur.  On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law. This legislation, officially named "An Act to Set Apart a Certain Tract of Land Lying Near the Head-Waters of the Yellowstone River as a Public Park," described 3,472 square miles of wilderness in … Continue reading Happy 145th Birthday, Yellowstone National Park!

Home Movie Day 2016: Preserving the Films of Albert M. Breen

In honor of Home Movie Day, we’re featuring a collection of home movies recently preserved by the Motion Picture Preservation Lab and providing some tips for how to care for your home movies. Home Movie Day is an annual event to raise awareness of the importance of home movies and encourage their preservation. This year’s Home … Continue reading Home Movie Day 2016: Preserving the Films of Albert M. Breen

The Civil War Ends at Appomattox Court House

This post was written by Mark Meader. Mark is an Archives Specialist with the Motion Picture, Sound and Video branch. He participated in historical reenactments for over forty years, including over twenty years as a Union private in Civil War reenactments. People often think of history as just names, dates, places where “something” happened a long time … Continue reading The Civil War Ends at Appomattox Court House