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NPS History Collection Inventories
Illustration of a bighorn sheep in acrylic by John Dawson. The image appears in the Sequoia & Kings Canyon handbook and Yosemite handbook.
The following links provide a sampling of some of the record groups in the NPS History Collection (NPSHC) at Harpers Ferry Center. If you have questions or would like more information, please call(304) 535-6139.
The Ronald F. Lee Papers, 1947-1972 (RG 1) – The office papers, home files, and personal memorabilia of Ronald Freeman Lee, who held the positions of Chief Historian, Assistant Director, Regional Director in the National Park Service from 1933 to 1966, was a founder of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and served as a consultant to the National Park Service until his death in 1972.
The Harold L. Peterson Papers, 1963-1977 (RG 2) – The home and office files of Harold L. Peterson, Chief Curator of the National Park Service and world-renown authority on arms and armor, and military art and science until his death January 1, 1978.
The Harold P. Fabian Advisory Board Collection (1961-1973) (RG 3) – Materials collected by Harold P. Fabian during the course of his work on the Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings and Monuments throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
Civilian Conservation Corps (RG 4) – This record group inventory gathers together all books, manuscripts, museum objects, etc. in the HFC Library and NPSHC related to the history of the CCC, 1933-1941.
Jesse L. Nusbaum Papers, 1921-1958 (RG 5) – Papers and correspondence of Jesse Nusbaum, NPS archeologist. It is largely due to Nusbaum's efforts that the NPS is so closely tied to Southwest archeology.
World Conferences Collection (RG 7) – This material was produced and collected by National Park Service personnel for the various international parks conferences in which the Service participated, from the First World Conference (1962) to the First World Conference on Cultural Parks (1984).
National Park Conferences (RG 8) – This record group inventory describes the holdings in the collection that relate to National Park conferences from 1911 to the present.
The National Parks Centennial (RG 13) – The papers and files of several NPS individuals involved with the NPS Centennial celebration in 1972. Includes copies of the meeting proceedings and reports of the National Parks Centennial Office, generated and collected during the course of its mission focusing on the Centennial Year 1972. Also includes copies of periodical articles from various publications concerning the NPS Centennial.
NPS Museum Function (RG 14) – This record group inventory gathers together all materials in the NPSHC that relate to the museum and curatorial functions within NPS from the beginnings of the Service to the present.
Materials on Yellowstone National Park (RG 17) – This finding aid gathers together in one document a listing of materials on Yellowstone National Park that are present in the National Park Service History Collection, and the NPS Library at Harpers Ferry Center.
The Bicentennial Celebration (RG 18) – This record group inventory gathers together all materials in the NPSHC that relate to the various activities involving the preparations for and the programs of the American Revolution Bicentennial, 1972-1976, in the NPS.
Interpretation in the National Park Service (RG 19) – This record group inventory gathers together material in NPSHC relating to the history and practice of interpretation in the Service from the very beginnings to the present.
National Park Women (RG 21) – This record group inventory describes the holdings in the collection that relate to the history of the National Park Women organization.
National Park Service Administrative Manuals (RG 22) – This record group inventory describes the holdings in the collection of administrative and policy manuals issued predominantly by NPS from the 1930s to the Director's Orders of the present. Also included is a collection of ranger manuals from various parks.
Mission 66, 1955-1966 (RG 23) – This record group inventory includes documents and information about the Mission 66 program, which was a milestone in National Park Service history. The program aimed at bringing the whole infrastructure of the system - housing, visitor centers, interpretation, etc. up-to-date by 1966. It was launched in 1956 and was closed out in 1964 after over $900,000,000 had been spent and much good work accomplished.
Hartzog Directorate Collection (RG 30) – Files and Notebooks dealing with Programs and Proposals during the middle period of the Hartzog Directorate. Made up mostly of Hartzog's office files and Theodore Swem's files.
Alaska Research Materials in the NPSHC (RG 36) – This record group consists of general NPSHC materials on Alaska, as well as several collections that were formed on Alaska areas.
National Park Service History (RG 37) – A collection of items, published and unpublished, that were written as interpretation or explanation of some aspect of National Park Service administrative or operational history.
Ranger Activities (RG 39) – Miscellaneous material on ranger activities from the beginnings of the NPS to 1986. Includes a listing of some of the ranger manuals used in parks in the 1920s - 1950s. Also includes U.S. Forest Service materials which were used by NPS rangers in the field before NPS produced its own materials.
Proposed Areas Collection (RG 51) – Material dealing with policy about the selection of proposed areas and the areas themselves ranging from 1924 to 1988, but mostly from 1955-1970.
Camping History in the NPSHC (RG 52) – This collection contains published and unpublished material on the administration of camping in national and state parks and the management of campgrounds.
The Ernest A. Connally Collection (RG 53) – A container listing of the office collection of Ernest A. Connally who was director of the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation of the NPS.
Abolished Areas (RG 55) – This record group inventory describes the holdings in the collection that relate to former NPS areas.
Washington Memoranda to All, 1935-1940 (RG 56) – A collection of memoranda issued by the Washington Office to all field offices for the period 1935 through 1940. This finding aid is a copy of the indexes for each year 1935 to 1940.
Pitcaithley Reconstruction Files (RG 63) – Research files compiled by Dwight Pitcaithley on the subject of historical reconstruction.
Abner Doubleday Collection – This is a collection of military records and journals of Civil War General Abner Doubleday (1819-1893).
Artillery for the Land Service of the United States – by Alfred Mordecai. A Comparison of the Plates from Two NPS Copies (located at Harpers Ferry Center Library and Springfield Armory National Historic Site. The HFC copy includes plates beyond the original 1848-49 edition, up to about 1861. The Springfield Armory copy includes plates added until approximately 1873.) and the National Archives microfilm copy. Also listed is: Drawings and Tables of Dimensions of the Ordnance for the Land Service of the United States (1841).
Chronology of NPS Regional Structure – This document shows the changes in NPS regional structure that have taken place since the first regionalization of the Service in 1937.
National Park Service News – Stephen T. Mather's NPS newsletter, 1919-1920. They give a good picture of the Service and the parks of the time.
Publishing History of the Courier – The Courier was the news magazine of the National Park Service from 1956-1999.
Relative Sizes of NPS Areas and U.S. States – This document compares the gross acreage of U.S. states to that of NPS areas which are at least 700,000 acres in size.
The NPS Arrowhead : A History – An excerpt from Badges and Insignia, 1894-1991 by R. Bryce Workman, published in 1991 by the National Park Service History Collection at Harpers Ferry Center.