Management and Preservation of Data


The National Park Service Paleontology Program maintains an extensive collection of digital and hard copy documents, publications, photographs and other archives associated with the paleontological resources documented in the parks. The organization and preservation of the NPS paleontology archives has been the focus of intensive data management activities. A paleontological resource data management strategy was conceptualized in 2012 in order to integrate the extensive hard copy NPS Paleontology Archives with the growing digital records for NPS paleontology.

The first phase of the data management, referred to as the NPS Paleontology Synthesis Project, compiled servicewide paleontological resource data pertaining to geologic time, taxonomy, museum repositories, holotype fossil specimens, and numerous other topics (Santucci, V.L., J.S. Tweet, and T. Connors. 2018).

In 2015, the second phase of data management was implemented with the creation and organization of a multi-faceted digital data system known as the NPS Paleontology Archives and NPS Paleontology Library.

  • The NPS Paleontology Archives were designed for the preservation of both park specific and servicewide paleontological resource archives and data.

  • The NPS Paleontology Library, is a repository for electronic copies of geology and paleontology publications, reports, and other media.

The NPS Paleontology Archives and Library has been an important investment supporting the following types of paleontological resource management activities:

  • data discovery,

  • current resource management,

  • protection of fossils,

  • scientific research,

  • curation, and

  • education.

These systems have helped to integrate NPS paleontology data pertaining to:

  • geologic time,

  • taxonomy,

  • holotype specimens,

  • museum repositories, and

  • historic and cultural context.

The NPS Paleontological Resource Archives include several other categories of information and data which either have begun to be compiled or are planned for the future. These categories may be important sources of information for individual parks and/or collectively in agency wide evaluations. Below are a few paleontological resource categories which will be the focus of development and data mining in the future:

  • Stratrigraphy

  • Paleontological Research

  • E&R Reports

  • Theft and Vandalism

  • Planning documents

  • Photoarchives and Photogrammetry

For more information, please see the reference document listed below.


  • Santucci, V.L., J.S. Tweet, and T. Connors. 2018. The Paleontology Synthesis Project and Establishing a Framework for Managing National Park Service Paleontological Resource Archives and Data. in Lucas, S.G. and Sullivan, R.M., (eds.), Fossil Record 6. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 79: 589-601.—Download at [IRMA Portal]

Last updated: April 4, 2023


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