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NPS Expansion: 1930s







New Deal



NPS 1933-39




Expansion of the National Park Service in the 1930s:
Administrative History

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The following study, which examines one of the most significant decades in the development of the National Park Service, is one of the first in what will be a series of administrative histories of the National Park Service. Initiated by NPS Chief Historian Edwin C. Bearss, the administrative history program will result in studies that will not only be of importance to managers in the Service, but will be of interest to the general student as well.

Any study is the result of the combined efforts of a number of people, and this one is no exception. Edwin C. Bearss initiated the program, gave us the project, and was a source of encouragement throughout preparation of the project. Barry Mackintosh, NPS Bureau Historian, provided general administrative oversight of the project. Harry Butowsky, Historian, WASO, supplied us with his study on nomenclature and the supporting documentation for it. Ben Levy, senior historian in the Washington office, helped us to find material on the NPS Advisory Board and shared his insights into the Historic Sites Act of 1935. Gerald Patten, Assistant Manager, and Nan V. Rickey, Chief, Branch of Cultural Resources, Mid-Atlantic/North Atlantic Team, Denver Service Center, provided encouragement for the project and released us from team-related work so that we could work on it.

John Luzader took time from his own work to read drafts and offer valuable advice. Mr. Luzader also supplied us with information that he had uncovered in his own research. David Nathanson, Chief, Branch of Library and Archival Services, Harpers Ferry Center, and members of his staff, Richard Russell and Ruth Ann Herriot, provided us with useful suggestions relative to the availability of manuscript and printed materials for the study. Tom Lucke, Environmental Coordinator, Southwest Regional Office, sent us material on Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Ruth Larison, Rocky Mountain Regional Office Library was helpful in obtaining material. Shirley Luikens, Advisory Boards and Commissions, Washington office, assisted us in locating relevant material in her office. Douglas Caldwell, Anthropology Division, Washington office, provided us with a draft of William C. Tweed's "Parkitecture: Rustic Architecture In the National Parks."

One of the unexpected benefits of undertaking this study has been the opportunity to contact a number of former Park Service people who were active in the 1930s. We are indebted to all those who took the time to set down their reactions to the events. Particular thanks goes to George A. Palmer, who sent us additional information and made helpful suggestions.

Additionally, thanks go to the staffs of the various libraries we visited: Library of Congress; National Archives; Bancroft Library, Manuscripts Division, University of California, Berkeley; University Research Library, Division of Special Collections, UCLA; Department Library and Law Library, Department of Interior; and University of Colorado, Government Publications Division, Boulder, Colorado.

Finally, Helen Athearn of the Mid-Atlantic/North Atlantic Team, Denver Service Center, did the paper work associated with the project, and Evelyn Steinman typed the manuscript.

Harlan D. Unrau
G. Frank Williss
December 1982


Last Modified: Tues, Mar 14 2000 07:08:48 am PDT

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