NPS Reports and Preservation

Behind the Scene

Landscape features can help give us a sense of the historic character of a place. They invite us to imagine what a scene used to look like and reveal how people used a historic site during a specific period of time. While some aspects that make a place significant to people are intangible, old physical features can reveal a lot about people in a place over time. For example, an aged fruit tree growing beside an old cabin in a forest suggests that the cabin was once a residence, rather than just a temporary shelter. Caring for those physical features and their relationships helps to preserve the historic character of places that are important.

Preservation is a series of research, planning, and stewardship activities that span disciplines and organizations. The National Park Service preserves historically-significant cultural resources, including historic structures and cultural landscapes. Cultural Landscape Reports (CLRs) and Historic Structure Reports (HSRs) are planning tools for NPS staff that document historic resources that are important to preserve and the steps to care for them.

We have been busy digitizing our collection of CLRs and HSRs that date back to the 1930s, in order to make them more widely available to park management staff and the public. Please join us as we dig into the collection to highlight a range of reports and their influence on structures and landscapes you can see today. The reports capture moments in the preservation history of a place and an agency. We’ll reflect on what has changed, what remains, and what it takes to care for cultural resources into the future.

Last updated: June 9, 2023