The Park History Program was started in 1931 and is managed by the Chief Historian of the National Park Service. It administers multiple program areas, conducts historic 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 parks and programs writing new administrative histories or updating existing administrative 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 the contributions of local towns, cities, counties and their citizens who stepped into the workforce to support America's war effort.

Cover of Ocmulgee Historical Handbook

Classic NPS Publications Series

Handbooks and proceedings intended to provide educational and interpretive information about park units, themes, and specific topics.

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

Historic Resource Studies

Reports that provide an historical overview of a park unit or region and also identify and evaluate 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 to aid in research and offer insights into the history and growth of the National Park Service.

SS Red Oak Victory

Maritime Heritage Program

Documents and protects historic maritime resources. Administers National Maritime Heritage Grants and Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.

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

Supports National Parks in the documentation and listing of park units and park resources to the National Register of Historic Places.

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

Special History Studies

Studies that focus on specific historic topics or themes. Meant to help parks with interpretation, education, and resource identification.

America 250

America 250

A multiyear effort to commemorate the semiquincentennial, or 250th anniversary, of the United States of America.

Last updated: March 3, 2023