Prehistoric and historic objects and places are preserved for the education, inspiration, and enjoyment of all. They forge connections between the present and past. The National Park Service cares for some of the largest and most diverse natural and cultural history collections in the world. It also keeps records and lists of our most treasured historic places.
Denali's Collections include more than 370,000 items:
Denali's Museum Collection consists of nearly 26,000 cultural resources objects, just over 10,000 natural history specimens, and approximately 218 linear feet of archives—from an impressive herbarium collection to the many journals, letters, and personal objects associated with eminent people who have lived and worked at the park, including Harry Karstens, Charles Sheldon, Adolf Murie, and Bradford Washburn.
The park’s curator cares for over 2,000 historic photographs and slides, a rich collection of oral history interviews, fossils, archives, preserved small mammals, archeological artifacts collected during park surveys, and other items reflecting the cultural and natural history of this unique place.
These park resources have been collected, preserved, and protected over the lifetime of the park by the efforts of park staff, researchers, park partners, and a variety of individuals and institutions. Many items are fragile and require special conservation. The museum curator at Denali ensures that these irreplaceable pieces of the past will be available to future generations.
Did You Know?
Recent climate warming has affected Denali in ways that are readily apparent, such as reduced spring snowfall, earlier snowmelt, earlier green-up and thawing of permanent snowfields. Subarctic ecosystems, like Denali, are extremely sensitive to climate variability and change.