Copyright, Randall D. Payne
Yellowstone 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.

NPS centenial logo
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.

Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service — formed on August 25th 1916!

NPS Centennial

National Parks: The American Experience
Monthly Feature
National Parks: The American Experience
Featured Article
Notable Person
Isabelle Story
Special Studies
Visitor Fees in the National Park System: A Legislative and Administrative History
(Barry Mackintosh, 1983)

National Parks for the 21st Century — The Vail Agenda, Report and Recommendations to the Director, NPS (1992)

Rethinking the National Parks for the 21st Century (2001)

Public Use of the National Park System, 1872-2000 (Ronald F. Lee, 1968)

National Parks Centennial
System Timeline
Historical Photographs
Community Building, Paradise, Mount Rainier National Park
National Parks are...more than areas of importance for the aesthetic, spiritual, inspirational and educational values inherent in their physiographic and biological features. They are irreplaceable natural laboratories in which scientific studies can be carried out which would not be possible in even the most elaborate and conventional man-made laboratory. In the national parks it is possible to study the structure, interrelations and behavior of biological communities, discover how they are adapted to their environment and compare them with the artificial communities elsewhere created by the clearings, drainage, and contamination, and by the introduction of exotic animals and plants by man. They offer the opportunity to pursue long-term ecological studies difficult if not impossible to conduct elsewhere.

National Academy of Sciences Advisory Committee on Research in the National Parks
The Robbins Report (1963)
(From Quotes, 1966)

The national park idea, the best idea we ever had, was inevitable as soon as Americans learned to confront the wild continent not with fear and cupidity but with delight, wonder and awe.

Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst. Without them, millions of American lives, including mine, would have been poorer. The world would have been poorer.

Wallace Stegner
Marking the Sparrow's Fall: The Making of the American West (1983)

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

(United States Railroad Administration, 1919)

New eLibrary Additions

The State of Planning in the National Park Service: A Taskforce Report Draft (April 1991)

Joshua Tree National Park: A History of Preserving the Desert — Administrative History (Lary M. Dilsaver, March 2015)

Introduction To Middle Missouri Archeology Anthropological Papers Series No. 1 (Donald J. Lehmer, 1971)

Like-A-Fishhook Village And Fort Berthold Garrison Reservoir North Dakota Anthropological Papers Series No. 2 (Hubert G. Smith, 1972)

An Archaeological Overview of the Northern Channel Islands California including Santa Barbara Island (Michael A. Glassow, January 1977)

Historic Structure Report, Samuel Mumma House, Antietam National Battlefield (Thomas A. Vitanza, June 1999)

Centennial Junior Ranger Activity Book (2016)

Haleakala Junior Ranger Activity Booklet (2015)

An Invitation to New Play Areas Recreational Demonstration Areas (c1930s)

National Park Service Careers (undated)

Travel and the National Parks: An Economic Study (Ernest W. Swanson, 1969)

National Park Service Annual Report (1985)

Planning for the Future: A Strategic Plan for Improving the Natural Resource Program of the National Park Service (undated)

National Parks for the Future: Task Force Reports Dir. George B. Hartzog, Jr. (The Conservation Foundation, March 1972)

12-Point Plan: The Challenge Dir. William Penn Mott, Jr. (1986)

12-Point Plan: The Challenge, The Actions Dir. William Penn Mott, Jr. (1986)

Creating Our Future: A strategic plan for the National Park Service Dir. Roger G. Kennedy (1993-1994)

National Park Service Strategic Plan 1997 Dir. Robert G. Stanton (September 1997)

Park Practice Program (issues of Design, Grist, Guideline, Plowback, Trends)

National Park Service Plant Materials — FY 1995, FY 2002, FY 2003, FY 2003

Managing Non-Native Plants and Animals in the National Park System: Analysis of Public Opinion (Frederic I. Solop, Kristi K. Hagen and David Ostergren, July 2004)

Mulching Methods — Temporary Cover Plants Technical Bulletin 91-1 (July 22, 1991)

Native Seed Collection and Handling Technical Bulletin 03-1 (May 5, 2004)

Plant Salvage Technical Bulletin 03-2 (May 5, 2004)

Seed Quality and Seed Tag Information for Revegetation Projects Technical Bulletin 90-1 (Sept. 6, 1990)

Mutual Development of Plant Materials For Revegetation: NPS and National Resources Conservation Service — Memorandum of Understanding, Liaison Agreement (2005)

Park Roads and Parkways Program Handbook: Guidelines for Program Implementation (January 31, 2008)

Dinosaur National Monument: Past and Present (Wm. Lee Stoke, 1949)

Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail Auto Tour Guides
1.      Wallowa Valley, Oregon to Kooskia, Idaho
2.      Orofino, Idaho to Lolo, Montana
3.      Lolo, Montana to the Big Hole National Battlefield, Montana, through the Bitterroot Valley
4.      Big Hole, Horse Prairie and Lemhi Valleys
5.      Leadore and Island Park, Idaho, to Yellowstone National Park, Montana
6.      Through Yellowstone National Park
7.      Yellowstone National Park to Canyon Creek, Montana
8.      Canyon Creek to Bear Paw

Find Your Park
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Search Park Histories

by Park Name or Region

National Park Friends
National Parks Traveler George Wright Society Association of National Park Rangers The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees National Park Foundation National Parks Conservation Association
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Rangeroons© by Keith Hoofnagle
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.