Harpers Ferry Center publishes official National Park Service handbooks that provide more comprehensive information about a park and expanded discussion of concepts and issues. The authoritative texts, written for a popular audience, are based on the latest scientific and historical research. Photographs, historical pictures and documents, maps, and original art complement the texts.
As with the official park brochures, the designs of all new handbooks produced by Harpers Ferry Center are based on the "unigrid" format, created by designer Massimo Vignelli in collaboration with HFC's design staff. The defining elements of the format are a modular grid system for layout of text and graphics and black bands at the top and bottom of the handbook cover and at the top of the feature spreads. Two standard typefaces are used for titles and text. Standard map formats complete the presentation, helping to establish a uniform identity for National Park Service handbooks. Approximately two-thirds of the handbooks in print are in the unigrid format. Earlier titles are in several different formats.
In addition to (Historical) Handbooks, the National Park Service has produced a number of "series" of titles that cover a range of subjects. The links below reflect some of the more popular series of publications (the contents of many are available online for your reading pleasure).
Handbooks & Series