Copyright, Randall D. Payne

National Park Service History Electronic Library

The NPS History Electronic Library is a portal to electronic publications 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. The information contained in this Website is historical in scope and is not meant as an aid for travel planning; please refer to the official National Park Service Website for current information. While we are not affiliated with the National Park Service, we gratefully acknowledge the contributions by park employees and advocates, which has enabled us to create this free digital repository.

New eLibrary Additions

Great Explorers of the West Theme XV #151; Westward Expansion and Extension of the National Boundaries, 1830-1898 (Robert M. Utley, Charles Snell and Mary B. Huey, 1960)

Finding a Path Forward: Asian American Pacific Islander National Historic Landmark Theme Study (Franklin Odo, ed., 2017)

Design Study: The Chicago Portage and Laughton Trading Post Area — "The Waterway West" (Wm. E. Rose and Associates, Inc., June 1975)

Master Plan, Chicago Portage National Historic Site (Design Workshop, December 2018)

Historic Structure Report: The Shelton House at Rural Plains, Richmond National Battlefield Park, Mechanicsville, Virginia (Barbara A. Yocum, August 2012)

Historic Structure Report: Old State House, Boston National Historical Park, Boston, Massachusetts (The Society of the Preservation of New England Antiquities, 1977)

The Cross Canyon Corridor Historic District in Grand Canyon National Park: A Model for Historic Preservation (©Teri A. Cleeland, Master's Thesis Northern Arizona University, August 1986)

History of the Trans-Canyon Telephone Line, Grand Canyon National Park (Teri A. Cleeland, April 1986)

Historic Structure Report: Quarters 208 (Panamerican Consultants, Inc. and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., May 2020)

Cultural Landscape Report: Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments (WLA Studio, February 2020)

United States Forest Service et al. v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association et al. (Supreme Court of the United States No. 18-1584, argued: February 24, 2020; decided: June 15, 2020)

National Parks Tour: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1918)

Information and Maps Excerpted from Comprehensive Plan for Management and Use, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (January 1982)

Gateway to the West (Date Unknown)

The Statue of Liberty Exhibit (1988)

A Concept Plan: Illinois and Michigan Canal Corridor, Illinois (John D. Peine and Debora A. Neurohr, November 1981)

The Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees of Washington, D.C.: A Living Symbol of Friendship National Arboretum Contribution No. 4 (Roland M. Jefferson and Alan E. Fusonie, December 1977)

Oral History Interview with Robert G. Stanton (Janet A. McDonnell, 2006)

Human-caused climate change in the United States national parks and solutions for the future (Patrick Gonzalez, extract from Park Stewardship Forum, Vol. 36 No. 2, 2020)

Former NPS Alaska Managers Submit Letter to DOI Opposing NPS Final Rule on Hunting and Trapping in Alaska (Coalition to Protect America's National Parks, June 19, 2020)

The Oasis of Mara Visitor Information and Cultural Center: A Partnership Venture by the City of Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree National Park (c2002)

The National Parks: Index 1987 (1987)

The National Parks: Index 1989 (1989)

The National Parks: Index 1993 (1993)

The National Parks: Index 1995 (1995)

The National Parks: Index 1997-1999 (1997)

Circular of General Information Regarding Glacier National Park, Montana (1930)

Glacier National Park, Montana (1934)

Rules and Regulations, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona (1925)

Circular of General Information Regarding Mount McKinley National Park, Alaska (1931)

The Official National Park Service (Arrowhead) Emblem (undated)

Greater Yellowstone Public Lands: A Century of Discovery, Hard Lessons, and Bright Prospects 8th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Alice Wondrak Biel, ed., 2006)

Discovery of two new super-eruption from the Yellowstone hotspot track (USA): Is the Yellowstone hotspot waning? (©Thomas R. Knott, Michael J. Branney, Marc K. Reichow, David R. Finn, Simon Tapster and Robert S. Coe, extract from Geology, April 16, 2020)

A Review of Best Practices and Principles for Bison Disease Issues: Greater Yellowstone and Wood Buffalo Areas ABS Working Paper No. 3 (John S. Nishi, January 2010)

SWAC Mission 66 Collection (July 22, 2005)

Building Construction Handbook: 1958 Edition (1958)

Occupational Safety and Health Field Manual (2014)

Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation: National Park Service Team Leader Field Reference Book (1995 )

Advanced Facility Management Practices: Mentor Manual 2016-2017 (October 2016)

Sign System Specifications (February 1975)

Sign System Specifications (November 1978)

Supervisor's Desk Reference (Date Unknown)

Worklife Issues (December 1995)

Ethics: An Employee Guide (Fall 1993)

Part 370 Departmental Manual 735 Regulations Governing Responsibilities and Conduct of Employees (March, 9, 1970)

Training and Development Servicewide Events Catalog: October 2001 through September 2002 (May 31, 2001)

Training and Development Servicewide Events Catalog Supplement: October 2001 through September 2002 (December 20, 2001)

Directory of Cultural Resource Education Programs (Emogene A. Bevitt and Heather L. Minor, comp., 1994-95)

The National Park Service Goes to the Beach (Jackie M. Gonzales, excerpt from Forest History Today, Spring 2017)

People, Land & Water: A Special Issue Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (Vol. 6 No 2, March/April 1999)

Employee's Handbook: National Park Service (1983)

Historic Resource Study: Yorktown's Main Street, Colonial National Historical Park (Charles E. Hatch, Jr., March 1974)

Acoustic Monitoring Report, Walnut Canyon National Monument NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/NSNSD/NRR-2020/2135 (Jacob R. Job, June 2020

Acoustic Monitoring Report, Valles Caldera National Preserve NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/NSNSD/NRR-2020/2137 (Jacob R. Job, June 2020

The National Park Wilderness (Howard R. Stagner, 1957)

Our Fourth Shore: Great Lakes Shoreline (1959)

Archeological Investigation at Fort Griffin Archeological Completion Report Series No. 3 (Catherine Yates and Susan C. Olsen, 1975)

Mojave Desert Discovery: An Educator's Guide to the Cultural and Natural History of Death Valley National Monument, East Mojave National Scenic Area, Joshua Tree National Monument, Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (1994)

Exploring a Common Past: Interpreting Women's History in the National Park Service (1996)

Springs Vegetation Monitoring for Yucca House National Monument: 2019 Data Report NPS Natural Resource Data Series NPS/SCPN/NRDS-2020/1280 (Megan C. Swan, June 2020)

Bears in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve: Sightings, Human Interactions, and Research 2010-2017 NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/GLBA/NRR-2020/2134 (Tania M. Lewis, Ashley E. Stanek and Kiana B. Young, June 2020)

Status of Climate and Water Resources at Guadalupe Mountains National Park: Water Year 2018 NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/CHDN/NRR-2020/2132 (Kara Raymond, Laura Palacios and Cheryl McIntyre,, May 2020)

Paleontological Resource Inventory (Public Version), Carlsbad Caverns National Park NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/CAVE/NRR-2020/2148 (Scott Kottkamp, Vincent L. Santucci, Justin S. Tweet, Rodney D. Horrocks, Erin Lynch and Gary S. Morgan, June 2020)

Status and Trends in Upland Vegetation and Soils at Capitol Reef National Park, 2009-2018 NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/NCPN/NRR-2020/2139 (Dana L. Witwicki, June 2020)

Listening with the Trees: The Subterranean Bioacoustics of Old Growth Forest Groves in the Hoh River Valley (©Tuck Yates Tyrrell, Masters thesis, 2019)

Identification of chondritic krypton and xenon in Yellowstone gases and the timing of terrestrial volatile accretion (Michael W. Broadley, Peter H. Barry, David V. Bekaert, David J. Bryne, Antonio Caracausi, Christopher J. Ballentine and Bernard Marty, extract from PNAS, Vol. 117 No. 25, June 23, 2020)

Carrizo Plan National Monument Vegetation Classification and Mapping Project (Jennifer Buck-Diaz and Julie Evens, 2011)

Desert Conservation: A Management Showcase (BLM, 1991)

Maps and Information: California BLM Wilderness Areas, National Parks and Preserve (BLM, October 1994)

Forest Trail Handbook (revised July 1935, w/Supplement Instruction for Treatment of Recreation Trails by Frederic A. Baker, 1936)

Public Camp Manual (1935)

Cradle of Forestry Trail Guide (2010)

Let's Know Some Trees: Brief Descriptions of the Principal California Trees Miscellaneous Circular No. 31 (Charles H. Shinn, January 1925, revised December 1931)

The Work of the U.S. Forest Service Miscellaneous Publication No. 290 (January 1938, revised January 1945)

From Dust Bowl to Public Prairie: The National Grasslands Story (Tom Domek, c2005)

Sculptures in Granite (Jim Baichtal and Greg Streveler, May 2019)

Wildland Fire Fatalities in the United States: 1990 to 1998 (March 1999)

Alaskan National Park Glaciers — Status and Trends

Alaskan National Park Glaciers — Status and Trends: First Progress Report NPS Natural Resource Data Series NPS/AKR/NRDS-2012/403 (Anthony Arendt, Chris Larsen, Michael Loso, Nate Murphy and Justin Rich, October 2012)

Alaskan National Park Glaciers — Status and Trends: Second Progress Report NPS Natural Resource Data Series NPS/AKR/NRDS-2012/404 (Anthony Arendt, Chris Larsen, Michael Loso, Nate Murphy and Justin Rich, October 2012)

Alaskan National Park Glaciers — Status and Trends: Third Progress Report NPS Natural Resource Data Series NPS/AKRO/NRDS-2013/439 (Anthony Arendt, Chris Larsen, Michael Loso, Nate Murphy and Justin Rich, January 2013)

Alaskan National Park Glaciers — Status and Trends: Fourth Progress Report NPS Natural Resource Data Series NPS/AKRO/NRDS-2014/607 (Anthony Arendt, Chris Larsen, Michael Loso, Nate Murphy and Justin Rich, January 2014)

Alaskan National Park Glaciers — Status and Trends: Final Report NPS Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/AKRO/NRTR-2014/922 (Michael Loso, Anthony Arendt, Chris Larsen, Justin Rich and Nate Murphy, November 2014)

Alaskan National Park Glaciers — Status and Trends: Addendum to the 2014 Final Report, Missing Figures (Michael G. Loso, June 2020)

Social Distancing

       Denali National Park and Preserve

Annual Reports: 200420052006

Climbing History Timeline (undated)

Mountaineering in Denali National Park and Preserve (2005)

Mount McKinley South Peak (20,320 feet) Attempts and Summits (1903-2007)

Climbing History Timeline (undated)

A Survey of Overnight Backcountry Visitors to Denali National Park and Preserve NPS Technical Report NPS/CCSOUW/NRTR-2002-04 (Jane E. Swanson, Mark E. Vande Kamp, Darryll R. Johnson, Robert E. Manning and Steven R. Lawson, April 2002)

History Time Line for Denali National Park & Preserve (undated)

History of Planning in South Denali (undated)

Annual Wolf Report: 2019 (2020)

Denali National Park and Preserve Mountaineering Summaries (Annual): 19791980198119821983198419851986198719881989199019911992199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019

       Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Geology of the Harpers Ferry Quadrangle, Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 2123 (Scott Southworth and David K. Brezinski, 1996)

Condition Assessment Report and Preservation Repairs: John Brown's Fort (Building 63), Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (February 1998)

Cultural Landscapes Inventory: Allstadt Farm, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (2005)

Cultural Landscapes Inventory: Chambers-Murphy Farm, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (2014)

Cultural Landscape Report: Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia Parts 1 and 2 (Heritage Landscapes, June 2009)

Cultural Landscape Report: Chambers-Murphy Farm, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia Parts I and II (AECOM, 2016)

Cultural Landscape Report: Lockwood House, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia Parts 1 and 2 (Heritage Landscapes, June 2006)

The First Railroad Bridge at Harpers Ferry (D.E. Stinson, 1970)

Historic Structure Record of Treatment: Stabilize the Historic Allstadt/Moler House Ruins and Emergency Stabilization of the Historic Allstadt/Moler House Ruins (Historic Preservation Center, May 2011)

       Harpers Ferry Center

A History of Harpers Ferry Center (Robert Grogg and David Nathanson, July 7, 2006)

Color Management for Harpers Ferry Center Designers and Cartographers (Version 05.05a, Date Unknown)

Digital Image Guide for Media Production (March 2010)

Finding Aid: Assembled Historic Records of the National Park Service, 1856-2007 (Colleen Benoit, Megan Bridge, Emily Richardson, Deidre Robertson, Nancy Russell and Lloyd Williams, October 2, 2017)

Finding Aid: Dorothy Boyle Huyck Papers, c1964-1978 (Nancy Russell, December 21, 2017)

Finding Aid: General Milton Davis Collection, 1890s-1938 (Nancy Russell, May 22, 2018)

Finding Aid: Henry G. Peabody Collection, c1900-1930s, 2018 (Nancy Russell, May 7, 2018)

Finding Aid: Robert Cahn Papers, 1910-1987 (Emily L. Richardson, July 21, 2017)

Finding Aid: Stephen Tyng Mather Collection, 1920-1929 (Nancy Russell, November 14, 2014)

Harpers Ferry Center for Media Serviced (2020)

Harpers Ferry Center History (Date Unknown)

Harpers Ferry Center: shaping the visitor experience (Clare Ralston, excerpt from Courier: The National Park Service Newsletter, Vol. 3 No. 10, September 1980)

HFC Idea: Here's My Idea (Vincent Gleason, April 20, 1964)

HFC onMedia (2004-2009)

History Collection in Jeopardy at Harpers Ferry Center Report No. Y-EV-NPS-0004-2008 (July 2008)

Mammal Hall Study Report: Evaluation by National Park Service Media Specialists of New Exhibits at the National Museum of Natural History (March 2004)

Map: Harpers Ferry Campus (March 2005)

Tactile Wayside Map Guidelines (June 2008)

The Origins of the Interpretive Design Center, With Comments On The Progress of Interpretation, 1964-1970 (William C. Everhart, c1976)

Why Provide Assistive Listening? (April 18, 2013)

Left to right: Congressman Harley O. Staggers (West Virginia), Senator Jennings Randolph (West Virginia), William C. Everhart (first Manager of Harpers Ferry Center), Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, and Senator Robert C. Byrd (West Virginia) pose around a model of the Interpretive Design Center on September 21, 1967. Construction on the new facility began in April 1968. (NPS photo)
           by Robert Grogg and David Nathanson

         A History of Harpers Ferry Center

The idea for Harpers Ferry Center dates back to the early years of George Hartzog's tenure as director of the National Park Service. Hartzog became director in January 1964 and one month later named Bill Everhart chief of a new Division of Interpretation and Visitor Services. The new division's job was to bring together the various interpretive functions - audiovisual, publications, museums - and coordinate their activities. Everhart immediately realized that he faced a number of problems. On paper he had all media-related offices in the National Park Service under his control. But in reality, they were dispersed across the country. The Museum Branch, which enjoyed a long and distinguished history, was led by Ralph Lewis, a respected museum professional. The branch was split between the Eastern Museum Laboratory in an old temporary building on the Mall in Washington, D.C., and the Western Museum Laboratory in the Old Mint Building in San Francisco.

Everhart decided to separate the design and production aspects from the preservation and curatorial side of the museum activity. Lewis retained the curatorial end and Russ Hendrickson, at the time the chief of Exhibit Production for the Department of Agriculture was given the task of upgrading exhibit design. A small publications office had space in the Interior Building in Washington, but regional publications officers prepared material in the field and sent the work into Washington for production. The audiovisual staff was in its infancy, consisting of sometimes two, sometimes three, staff members. Curatorial and research functions were equally small.

brochure cover
Harpers Ferry Center brochure (undated)  
         Creating a Center for Interpretive Media

Everhart reasoned that if the National Park Service were going to bring its interpretive programs up to measure with all the construction work of Mission 66 that was then nearing completion, something had to change. In his own words:

"It seemed to me that the newly established Office of Interpretation had two essential objectives right from the beginning. One was to bring in some really professional talents, both to head up and to staff the branches of publications, museums, and AV; the other was to bring all of the people together under one roof."

Slowly this idea grew. Everhart was aided in pushing this concept with Director Hartzog by Vincent Gleason, then chief of the Division of Publications. Gleason, in fact, received a $500 cash award for suggesting that all media-related personnel be brought together into one office. Everhart was able to persuade Hartzog of the Center's viability and the initial funds were requested in the FY67 budget. The cost for the Center was estimated to be between $1,000,000 and $1,250,000. The first funds, $600,000, were appropriated July 1, 1966.

brochure cover
Harpers Ferry Center (NPS artist's drawing, undated)  
A Site is Chosen

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, was chosen because the Mather Training Center was just getting started as an interpretive training center. Everhart believed that "a site on this campus would provide for excellent communications between the people who were producing interpretive programs in the new design center and the interpreters for whom these programs were being produced who would be taking courses at Mather." It was hoped as well that both West Virginia senators, Jennings Randolph and Robert Byrd, would support the proposal. Randolph had been instrumental in establishing the original Harpers Ferry National Monument and in purchasing the old Storer College as the site for Mather Training Center. Byrd held an important spot on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

After interviewing a number of architectural firms, the National Park Service settled on Ulrich Franzen of New York City. Franzen talked in Washington with the people who would be working in the new building, and pulled together ideas of the personal and production needs. From traveling to Harpers Ferry he became convinced that by using brick he could tie his contemporary building to the historic structures of the town, and that by employing arches on the river front he would echo those found in the Armory and John Brown's Fort. The working drawings were sent out for bids in early 1967. They were opened later in the year, and construction began in April 1968. In December 1969 the work ended, having cost a total of $905,000, a relatively inexpensive building even for that time. On March 2, 1970, Harpers Ferry Center quietly opened its doors for business, and in June of that year, an open house was held at the Center, which served as its official launching.

Main building at Harpers Ferry Center, W. Va. (extract from Courier: The National Park Service Newsletter, Vol. 3 No. 10, September 1980)              
         HFC Grows Up

The building was originally designed to contain offices, studios, and workshops for 80 staff members. Today, more than 100 people call this building their workplace. But the Center has expanded beyond its walls, and more than 60 HFC personnel are located in several other buildings in Harpers Ferry and Charles Town, West Virginia, and Denver, Colorado.

Much has changed beyond just the numbers of people who work here. In the early years, motion pictures, sound/slide programs, audio messages, museum exhibits, folders and other publications, interpretive plans, and participation on Master Planning Teams were HFC's products. Many of these same items are still produced, but new ones have been added and all look different, for the past 30 years have seen a veritable revolution in media presentations. As if that weren't enough, constantly increasing numbers of visitors (1970: 172 million; 1993: 273 million) to the parks as well as the growth in the number of parks (1970: 284; 1998: 376) have placed tremendous demands on the staff to adequately fulfill these needs. Not the least of the forces for change in these years was the celebration of the national bicentennial.

The Center experienced a great burst of growth in its first five years in response to the rapid development of these plans. A number of visitor centers were constructed or refitted and filled with new exhibits, films, publications. Waysides pointed out the site of pivotal events, and historic furnishings research facilitated the accurate presentation of a great number of interiors. And interpretive plans suggested how the story of creating a new country be told. The workload was intense and the Center hummed with activity. By 1977 everyone was able to assess the impact and make use of the lessons learned in the future. One major change was the reluctant but necessary closure of the inhouse exhibit fabrication shop, once the number one attraction on the HFC tour. All exhibits are now constructed by outside firms.

         The Mission in the New Millennium

Throughout the years everyone has tried to hold true to the philosophy behind this Center: that by employing appropriate media, professionals can interpret the park story for the visiting public in a fashion that is immediate and understandable and a complement to the efforts in the park itself. The women and men of the Center have had some great successes since the beginnings of HFC and look forward to even more in the years to come as they and the National Park Service prepare to move into the 21st century.

Harpers Ferry Center (NPS photo)              

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