Resources for Researchers

National Park Service databases, archives, curated collections, and documented management histories are available for use by all researchers. Some databases are already available on-line and other can be accessed by contact with Research Coordinators or staff at each park.

NPS On-line databases

Many datasets including species lists, map layers, visitor use statistics, and cultural landscape inventories are available on-line via the National Park Service Integrated Resource Management Applications (IRMA) portal. Reports published in the National Park Service Report series are also available through the site.


The NPS owns and manages a large and diverse set of historic, cultural, and biological collections that are of great value for researchers. Information about these collections, including policies on the management, preservation, documentation, access, and use of museum collections is consolidated on the NPS Museum Management Program website.

  • Many individual parks maintain their own collections. Park Museum Collection Profiles describes each park collection and provides links to collections information specific to that park.

  • A searchable database of some park-cataloged collections is housed on the Web Catalog.

  • Over two million historic photographs are housed in the NPS Historic Photographic Collection, of which nearly 2,000 are online.

  • Herbarium specimens from North Cascades National Park and San Juan Island National Historical Park were recently added to the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria.

Other Resources

Researchers from institutions that are members of a Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit can work with their CESU in collaboration with an RLC or park to identify opportunities for research and technical support.

Researchers studying wildlife in North Cascades National Park Service Complex may be interested in the Seattle City Light Wildlife Research Grants Program ().

Researchers should check with Park Research Permit Coordinators as to availability of camping or other overnight accommodations. Some parks can provide campsite reservations or waive camping fees. North Cascades and Mount Rainier have research stations with bunkhouse style overnight facilities for short stays at minimal costs.

Last updated: December 6, 2017