NPS Cultural Resources Programs

In preparation for the National Park Service’s approaching 100th anniversary in 2016, NPS has issued A Call to Action: Preparing for a Second Century of Stewardship and Engagement (PDF, 5.8MB) to help chart a path for our second hundred years. Working through the parks and our partners, the NPS Cultural Resources Programs seek to provide leadership to a national historic preservation program, engage all Americans with the places and stories that make up our national identity, and serve as a model for the stewardship of historic resources throughout the world.

As part of “A Call to Action” (C2A), we will be working with our partners in several areas, including the stewardship of cultural resources, technical guidance, science and scholarship, and the national preservation program. Action 25 of the plan also specifically calls for NPS to “modernize historic preservation methods and technologies, show how historic structures can be made sustainable, and support efforts to rebuild the economic vitality of rural and urban communities by updating the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties in consultation with historic preservation partners.”

NPS hopes to strategically focus its efforts and align its existing resources on actions that best advance these goals. As we look to establish priorities and focus our efforts on areas likely to have the most impact, we invite your suggestions and comments on our specific major initiatives, Action 25, or other components of the plan pertaining to the National Park Service’s Cultural Resources Programs.

This website is intended to be a central clearinghouse and comment board for the seven main initiatives we will be undertaking as part of the plan (identified in the upper left-hand menu by sub-category), as well as a way to keep our preservation partners updated on other Cultural Resources-related activities in support of the plan and that may be of interest. Please see the posts below for additional information as well as opportunities to be part of “A Call to Action” as we work through this process with our partners.

  • All Articles


  • NameDate
    NPS Cultural Resource Spatial Data
    National Register historic district
     

    Call to Action Item #17, Go Digital, along with several other Call to Action Items, focuses on updating, transforming and integrating digital experiences within the NPS to enhance public understanding as well as internal NPS resource management. In February 2010 the NPS approved cultural resource spatial data transfer standards to help document the lineage of ...

    02/01/2014
    Civil War to Civil Rights
    Lincoln Memorial
     

    The National Park Service developed vision, goals and a strategy for more efficient and innovative opportunities to collaboratively commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and anniversaries of the civil rights movement. We promote these anniversaries in ways to create awareness about our American history as part of a continuum and interpret stories from multiple ...

    01/01/2014
    Historic Tax Credits Help Preserve Buildings that Tell of America’s Diverse Identity
    Boyle Hotel
     

    The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and reuse of historic buildings. It is one of the nation’s most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs, and the largest such program specifically supporting historic preservation. Administered by the National Park Service’s Technical Preservation Services (TPS) office and the Internal ...

    11/13/2013
    NCPTT Youth Programs
    photo 3
     

    In 2013, NCPTT reached over 150 K-12 students through several youth programs offered at the Center, in support of Action 3: History Lessons and Action 16: Live and Learn.  These programs were designed to promote STEM education and encourage young people to consider careers in the National Park Service’s conservation and preservation program. Classroom Programs Cemetery Headstones ...

    09/30/2013
    National Register Information System
    Legacy NRIS database server
     

    The National Park Service’s Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science Directorate continues to answer the Director’s Call to Action #17 Go Digital and #24 Invest Wisely by undertaking a system modernization effort with the National Register Information System (NRIS). This collaborative approach involves the thorough documentation of the existing legacy system, and the development of a ...

    09/17/2013
    Modernizing Preservation
    Fountain Fundamentals Workshop
     

    In the past year, NCPTT has completed a number of projects and activities in support of the Action 25 Research and Technical assistance priority, which calls for NPS to modernize preservation. These include training, events, conferences, new research efforts, and technical consultation.

    08/19/2013
    Focus on National Heritage Areas
    Fort McHenry, a star-shaped coastal fort that defended Baltimore Harbor.
     

    On April 30, 2013, the fifth graders from Cloutierville Elementary school participated in the “Rollin on the River” photo scavenger hunt. This all day field trip took the students to various sites within Cane River National Heritage Area including Magnolia Plantation, Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ...

    07/16/2013
    NPS Park Cultural Landscapes Program
    nps-cultural-landscapes
     

    On October 2012, the National Park Service Park Cultural Landscapes Program launched its program website (http://www.nps.gov/cultural_landscapes/). This site is designed for broad audiences as well as preservation community members, to answer basic questions about cultural landscapes but also to serve as a gateway for more in-depth discoveries.

    05/02/2013
    Climate Change & Cultural Resources
    Workshop on Climate Change Impacts for Cultural Resources by The Denver Service Center.
     

    Climate change (Call to Action #21, “Revisiting Leopold”) and NPS workforce collaboration and training (Call to Action #31, “Destination Innovation”) were fused in February 2013 with a workshop on cultural resources, climate change, and planning coordinated by the National Park Service’s Denver Service Center, its central planning, design and construction management project office.

    04/01/2013
    New Guidance for Installing Solar Panels on Historic Properties
    solar-panel-screen-capture
     

    TPS published new online guidance for Solar Panels on Historic Properties to showcase successful projects that have added solar energy systems to historic buildings, districts, and landscapes. The guidance will be updated with additional examples over time.

    02/15/2013
    Web Catalog Increases Access to NPS Museum Collections
    Web catalog image
     

    The National Park Service (NPS) Museum Management Program has re-launched its Web Catalog museum collections website. This project is an ongoing initiative that supports the Director’s Call to Action #17, “Go Digital” by providing online access to thousands of images and records from the NPS museum collections.

    01/16/2013
    14th Successful Year for the Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program
    2012 CRDIP Group Photo
     

    Founded in 1999, the Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP) offers unique career exploration opportunities in historic preservation and cultural resource management for undergraduate and graduate students of diverse backgrounds.  The WASO Cultural Resources Associateship partners with the Student Conservation Association in administering this program.  This partnership fulfils the Call to action item #2, “Step ...

    12/14/2012
    National Register Program Requests Comments on Identifying, Evaluating, and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties and Native American Landscapes
    NPS Arrowhead Logo
     

    DEADLINE EXTENSION-April 2, 2013 The deadline for comments on identifying, evaluating, and documenting Traditional Cultural Properties and Native American Landscape has been extended to April 2, 2013. Numerous requests from Tribes, Federal Agencies, State Historic Preservation offices and other parties requested extensions of the National Park Service (NPS). Originally, written comments and recommendations were requested by ...

    12/04/2012
    Discovering and Documenting Properties Associated with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage
    The Kam Wah Chung Company Building was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2005. It is the best known example of a nineteenth-century Chinese mercantile and herb store in the United States
     

    In 2012, Secretary of the Interior, Kenneth Salazar called for an Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Initiative.  This initiative seeks to ensure that the rich heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is documented and told through the National Historic Landmarks (NHL) Program. It reflects the call to “actively engage diverse communities and strengthen partnerships to ...

    12/03/2012
    Online American Latino Heritage Travel Itinerary Launched by the National Park Service
    Santa Monica National Recreation Area and Spanish Franciscan Fathers, Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante.
     

    “As a storyteller of our nation’s past, the National Park Service is committed to connecting people with the places and stories of the diverse peoples who have come together to create the heritage of the United States,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Our American Latino Heritage comes alive in this itinerary, the ...

    12/02/2012
    Online Communities for NPS Employees
    NPS video under production at Cane River Creole National Historical Park.
     

    The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training supports the development of NPS Career Academies as part of the NPS Director’s Call to Action #30, Tools of the Trade. NCPTT is working across disciplines and drawing from its in-house expertise in educational technology, software development, and preservation technology to advance the career academies. NCPTT staff members ...

    11/02/2012
    Civil War Sesquicentennial: Creating Legacy through Technology
    Civil War Sesquicentennial: Creating Legacy through Technology
     

    Throughout the Civil War sesquicentennial, the National Park Service is “Going Digital” (Call to Action #17) to offer unmatched visitor experiences and provide opportunities to touch millions of Americans and help them find meaning. Parks and partners have collaboratively embraced a strategy for commemorating historical events within an environment that is inclusive and contemplative.

    10/29/2012
    Cultural Resources migrates to the Cloud
    Cloud Computing
     

    The National Park Service’s Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science Directorate has answered the Director’s Call to Action #17 Go Digital and #24 Invest Wisely by moving our old physical servers into “the Cloud.” Through a partnership with the Office of Information Resources’ National Technology Information Center, we migrated all of our Windows application, web, and ...

    10/01/2012
    Explore America’s National Heritage Areas
    A Motor Cities CCS student sculpts
     

    From “History Lesson” to “Crystal Clear” Call to Action activities are underway in our National Heritage Areas.  Enjoy this sampling of current activities and visit a heritage area near you. Motor Cities NHA launched the “Making Tracks”, a web site featuring the accomplishments of African-Americans in the automotive Industry. Through this website visitors and members of ...

    09/21/2012
    Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator Established at NPS
    Deteriorating wall at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park, which raises questions of how to balance repair costs with projected sea level rise and fewer but more intense hurricanes and tropical storms.
     

    In the summer of 2011, NPS initiated a focused program on cultural resources and climate change by establishing the position of Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for Cultural Resources. This position serves as a link between the NPS Climate Change Response Program and the Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science Program.

    09/07/2012
    NPS Archeology Program Urban Archeology Corps
    Urban Archeology Corps participants work at Fort Mahan
     

    In the pilot year of summer 2012, the NPS Archeology Program partnered with Groundwork Anacostia River DC to carry out the Urban Archeology Corps at Fort Mahan, one of the Fort Circle Parks and part of the Civil War Defenses of Washington. The work experience aimed to broaden urban youths’ knowledge about the communities east ...

    08/22/2012
    Tribal Heritage Grants
    Tribal Heritage Grants
     

    In July the National Park Service awarded 20 grants totaling $748,000 to Federally recognized Indian Tribes, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiian Organizations to assist with the preservation, protection, and promotion of their unique cultural heritage.

    08/15/2012
    Historic Tax Credits Spur Sustainable Rehabilitation
    McCormick Goodhart Mansion Staircase (After)
     

    The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and reuse of historic buildings, and is one of the nation’s most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs, the largest such program specifically supporting historic preservation.  Administered by the National Park Service’s Technical Preservation Services (TPS) office and the Internal Revenue ...

    08/01/2012
    Documentation of the Civil War Defenses of Washington, DC
    Fort DeRussy and Vicinity Rock Creek Park. Preliminary map of surveyed resources.
     

    Call to Action Items #1 (“Fill in the Blanks”), #4 (“In My Back Yard”) and #5 (“Parks for People”), focus on documenting important local and urban resources, and making communities more aware of the important history that surrounds them even in our dense and diverse neighborhoods. The National Park Service’s Cultural Resource GIS Facility (CRGIS) helps ...

    07/09/2012
    Implementation of the NPS Cultural Resource Spatial Data Transfer Standards
    NPS Arrowhead Logo
     

    In February 2010 the NPS approved cultural resource spatial data transfer standards to help document our cultural resource spatial data, used in geographic information system (GIS) applications throughout the NPS and for the public. Spatial data, used to describe the geographic locations of natural or constructed features, is used in creating maps, websites and other ...

    07/02/2012
    Grants Support Land Acquisition to Preserve Civil War Battlefields
    Massenutten Mountain part of the viewshed landscape at Cross Keys and Tom's Brook Battlefields in Virginia.
     

    As part of the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, more than $3.8 million in grants were awarded in June to help with land acquisition at six Civil War battlefields. Grant projects include easement purchases at Cross Keys, Virginia ($181,125); Tom’s Brook, Virginia ($25,000); Buckland Mills, Virginia ($3,350,060); and fee simple acquisition at Mill ...

    06/28/2012
    Guidance on Meeting the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Architectural, Engineering, and Landscape Documentation (HABS/HAER/HALS Standards)
    Orbiter Vehicle 103 - Discovery (Space Shuttle Discovery)
     

    On May 15, Heritage Documentation Programs conducted an overview of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS), and the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at the Library of Congress, with Federal Preservation Officers (FPOs) from over thirty agencies.

    05/31/2012
    Updating National Register Guidelines for Identifying, Evaluating, and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties and Native American Landscapes
    Medicine Wheel/Medecine Mountain National Historic Landmark (Traditional Cultural Property) Bighorn National Forest, Lovell, Wyoming
     

    Introduction The National Register of Historic Places (NR) documents the appearance and importance of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in our Nation’s prehistory and history. To guide the selection of properties included in the NR, the National Park Service (NPS) has developed NR Criteria for Evaluation. These criteria are standards by which every property ...

    05/04/2012
    NPS Requests Government-to-Government Consultation with Federally Recognized Tribes on Traditional Cultural Properties and Native American Landscapes
    NPS Arrowhead Logo
     

    The National Register of Historic Places/National Historic Landmarks Program of the National Park Service invites Tribal Officials and/or their tribe’s authorized representative(s) to attend one or both of two government-to-government telephonic consultation meetings that will be held to obtain initial planning-stage recommendations from Indian tribes.

    03/13/2012
    Call to Action – NPS Cultural Resources Programs
    c2a_rotator_image
     

    In preparation for its approaching 100th anniversary in 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) has published A Call to Action: Preparing for a Second Century of Stewardship and Engagement to help chart a path for our second hundred years. As we look to establish priorities and focus our efforts on areas likely to have the most ...

    01/20/2012