The Cultural Resources Stewardship, Partnerships, and Science Programs of the National Park Service provide leadership for the protection and interpretation of the nation's heritage, guide a national historic preservation program that embraces national parks and heritage resources, engage all American peoples with the places and stories that make up their national identity, and serve as models for the stewardship of cultural resources throughout the world. The magnitude of NPS stewardship responsibilities for the nation's heritage resources is inspiring. The cultural resources programs and responsibilities of the NPS reach into every park and virtually every community in the nation. Explore additional resources about all Americans' stories through our history portal and through the links below.
Historic Preservation: Historic preservation is a conversation with our past about our future. It provides us with opportunities to ask, "What is important in our history?" and "What parts of our past can we preserve for the future?" Through historic preservation, we look at history in different ways, ask different questions of the past, and learn new things about our history and ourselves. Historic preservation is an important way for us to transmit our understanding of the past to future generations.
Historic Documentation Programs (HABS, HAER, HALS) The permanent collection of architectural, engineering and landscape documentation at the Library of Congress consists of measured and interpretive drawings, large-format black and white and color photographs, written historical and descriptive data, and original field notes. The collection captures the American experience through approximately 40,000 recorded historic structures and sites, from American Indian cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde to space-age technology at Cape Canaveral.
National Heritage Areas (NHA) are a grassroots, community-driven approach to heritage conservation and economic development. Through public-private partnerships, NHA entities support historic preservation, natural resource conservation, recreation, heritage tourism, and educational projects. NHAs are not national park units. Rather, the National Park Service partners with, provides technical assistance, and distributes matching federal funds from Congress to NHA entities. NPS does not assume ownership of land inside heritage areas or impose land use controls.