• Part of a roofline shows from one building. Trees with fall color leaves on them fill most of the photo. A lamp-post is near center of the photo.

    Harpers Ferry Center

Plan and Research

Do you have an exhibit or furnishings project that is stalled because park staff are just too busy to do the research? Harpers Ferry Center can help. HFC curators have researched projects from forts to stores to saloons at parks from Alaska to the Virgin Islands. We have experience in all periods of American history, from the first settlements through the twentieth century. Most of our curators have advanced degrees in history, art or museum studies, so we are well equipped to research the most academic (or the most mundane) subject. We are located near Washington, D.C., so we have easy access to the Library of Congress and the National Archives. HFC researchers are skilled at mining the records at these federal repositories.

Why do research?

Why is it important to be accurate? Will visitors really know the difference between a well-researched exhibit and one without documentation? Do they care? An eight year old may not know the answer to seven times six or how to spell “history”, but the schoolchild (and parent) trusts the teacher to convey the correct information. As employees at National Park Service sites, we have the same obligation to provide accurate information. We hold a public trust; our covenant as public servants is to provide information to the American people that is as honest and accurate as possible. We have an obligation to do the best job that we can, especially if our visitors are not knowledgeable enough to know the difference, because our public trusts us to be accurate.

We are in a unique position in the Park Service. We have "the real stuff" at our parks. Our job is to enhance our irreplaceable resources with media based on accurate research. If we do not, we will lose our credibility as the guardians of American history.

Contact Us

Go to our Contact Us page to request information on our object acquisition services, to get answers to technical questions, or to obtain cost estimates.

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