Copyright, Randall D. Payne
Grand Teton National Park

National Park Service History Electronic Library

The NPS History Electronic Library is a portal to thousands of electronic publications and videos, covering the history of the National Park Service and the cultural and natural history of the national parks, monuments, and historic sites of the U.S. National Park System.

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NPS Centennial logo

While not affiliated with the National Park Service, our aim is to build on the legacy of the old NPS History e-Library. The information contained in this Website is historic in scope and is not meant as an aid for travel planning; please refer to the official National Park Service Website for current information.

Throughout 2016, we will be presenting a series of monthly features which will explore various aspects of the history and evolution of the National Park Service. We hope that this information will strengthen the preservation and conservation of our historic and natural resources and will enlighten the American people to the importance of the heritage represented by the National Park System, as well as the agency that has been entrusted for the past 100 years to safeguard these national treasures.

NPS Centennial

The National Parks: Shaping the System
Monthly Feature
Shaping the System
Featured Articles
Shoshone Cavern NP
Notable Person
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Special Studies
The National Parks: Index 2012-2016

National Park System Plan — Part One: History, Part Two: Natural History (1972)

Highways in Harmony

Historic Roads in the National Park System (Laura E. Soullière, 1995)

System Timeline
Historical Photographs
Ash Mountain Entrance Sign, Sequoia National Park
The more you come to know the national parks, the more the hidden assets begin to appear. You never come to the end of them. They are seldom the things the eye first sees; they are nearly never the things avowedly sought.

So we see that national parks are really national museums. Their purpose is to preserve, in a condition as unaltered as is humanly possible, the wilderness that greeted the eyes of the first white men who challenged and conquered it. It is to insure that the processes of nature can work, without artifice, upon all the living things, as well as the earth forms, within their boundaries. It is to keep intact in the wilderness areas all the historic and prehistoric evidences of occupation by our predecessors.

Freeman Tilden
(From Quotes, 1966)

(From Miniature Portraits — Wildlife of our National Parks, c1940s)

(United States Railroad Administration, 1919)

New eLibrary Additions

We Engineer America's Scenic Highways (Federal Highway Administration, undated)

The Flight of the Nez Perce ...through the Bitterroot Valley — 1877 Auto Tour (U.S. Forest Service)

The Flight of the Nez Perce ...through the Big Hole, Horse Prairie and Lehmi Valleys — 1877 Auto Tour (U.S. Forest Service)

The Works of Volcanism: Sites Recommended as Potential Natural Landmarks (Robert H. Rose, January 1970)

Mesozoic Vertebrate Paleontological Sites for Possible Inclusion in the Registry of Natural Landmarks (John H. Ostrom, July 1970)

A Guide to the Selection of Limestone Caverns and Springs in the United States as National Landmarks (Richard L. Powell, 1970)

Bibliography of Scientific Research for National Park Service Coastal and Marine Units Volume I Technical Report NPS/NAR/OSS/NRTR-92/09 (Patricia G. Claxon, July 1992)

Bibliography of Scientific Research for National Park Service Coastal and Marine Units Volume II Technical Report NPS/NAR/OSS/NRTR-92/09 (Hilary Lambert Renwick, July 1992)

An Ecological Survey of the Riparian Zone of the Colorado River Between Lees Ferry and Grand Wash Cliffs Grand Canyon National Park Technical Report No. 10 (Steven W. Carothers, et al., June 1976)

The Bighorn of Death Valley (PDF) (HTML edition) Fauna of the National Parks No. 6 (Ralph E. Welles and Florence B. Welles, 1961)

The Wolves of Isle Royale (PDF) (HTML edition) Fauna of the National Parks No. 7 (L. David Mech, 1966)

Report: Lowell National Historical Park and Preservation District Cultural Resources Inventory (1980)

Shipwreck Survey of a Portion of Ocean Beach, San Francisco, to Locate the Remains of the United States Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence Golden Gate National Recreation Area Maritime Archeological Publication Series No. 2 (James P. Delgado, Larry Murphy and Roger E. Kelly, February 1984)

A Cooperative Archaeological Excavation Project at the John Young Homestead, Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Kawaihae 2, South Kohala, Island of Hawaii Publications in Anthroplogy 1, Pacific Island Cluster (Mara Durst, 2001)

The National Register of Historic Places and the Grants-in-Aid Program (Mark R. Barnes, excerpt from Pennsylvania Archaeologist, Vol. 47, 1977)

Procedures of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Charles Spilker, excerpt from Pennsylvania Archaeologist, Vol. 47, 1977)

The Archeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974: A Panacea? (Roy W. Reaves, III, excerpt from Pennsylvania Archaeologist, Vol. 47, 1977)

The Moravians in the Southeast, North Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands: Preseration Issues (2002)

Traditional Cultural Properties: Questions & Answers (NPS-USFS, date unknown)

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Please visit our companion Website
Parks Canada History

Please note: is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by, the National Park Service (NPS). Due diligence has been employed in scanning these documents in an attempt to ensure the accuracy of the materials presented. A huge debt of gratitude is extended to all NPS employees (current and former) and other park supporters who have graciously contributed their personal collections, thus enabling us to present these rather scarce documents for free public use.