The National Park Service's History Program was started in 1931 and is managed by the Chief Historian of the National Park Service. It administers multiple program areas, conducts historical research, and supports National Park Service staff in all matters relating to the Service's history and mission. 

1937 CCC camp at base of mesa in Big Bend National Park, Texas. Photo from Portal to Texas History
Administrative History Program

Provides guidance to NPS parks, programs, and regions writing new administrative and legislative histories or updating existing histories.

The Oklahoma Tower of Reconciliation in Tulsa Oklahoma
African American Civil Rights Network

Commemorates, honors, and interprets the history of the African American Civil Rights movement.

Women at the Douglas Aircraft Company working inside the tail fuselage of a B-17F Bomber.
American World War II Heritage City

Honors communities and their citizens who supported America's war effort on the home front.

Cover of Ocmulgee Historical Handbook
Classic NPS Publications Series

Handbooks and proceedings created for park staff, researchers, professionals, students, and the public.

A Historic Resource Study of National Park Service Golf Courses in the District of Columbia
Historic Resource Studies

Provides an historical overview of a park or region and inventories and evaluates their historic resources.

Four men on motorcycles in front of buildings. Motorcycle patrol at Yellowstone National Park. 1919
History of the National Park Service

A collection of digital resources that offer insights into the history and growth of the National Park Service.

SS Red Oak Victory
Maritime Heritage Program

Administers the National Maritime Heritage Grants and also helps to document and protect historic maritime resources.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse No. 5, Charlie Day, Flickr
National Historic Lighthouse Program

Allows historic light stations to be transferred at no cost to federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofits, and others.

oral history interview with Russell Roy, former Chief, NPS Investigative Branch
Oral History Program

Uses in-depth interviews to document the history of the National Park Service. Provides guidance and help to park units and programs.

Logan Pass Visitor Center, Glacier National Park
Park National Register Documentation

Works with NPS staff to list national park units and their historic resources in the National Register of Historic Places or as NHLs.

Tolson’s Chapel and School, Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland
Special History Studies

Studies that focus on the history of specific topics, themes, resources, or time periods.

America 250
America 250

Opportunities to celebrate, commemorate, and contemplate the upcoming 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Last updated: May 7, 2024