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History of the National Park Service: HIST 2214

A library research guide designed to help students complete assignments 1, 2, and 3

Assignment 2 - Administrative History

History of the National Park Service - Temple University

Assignment II: Administrative History

The NPS has evolved significantly since 1916 in scope, diversity, and management structure. Although most visitors are not aware of the NPS’s internal bureaucratic structures, this facet of the Agency’s function exercises considerable influence on what we see and learn at individual units. Your purpose in this assignment is to learn how your unit has been administered since its creation. Specifically, you are tasked with:

  • Compiling a list of your unit’s superintendents with years of service, and;
  • Determining how or whether your unit’s regional affiliation (e.g. Alaska, Intermountain, Midwest, National Capital, Northeast, Pacific West, and Southeast) has changed over time.

This assignment is intended to guide you in learning about the administration of a particular park, but it is also designed to evaluate the availability of information about the NPS. Be warned that there is no central clearing house of data regarding NPS superintendents and regional affiliation. Rather, it is up to you to be a diligent researcher. Useful sources will likely include the NPS history website and staff at individual units who you may call or email.

No matter where you find your information, and whether or not you’re successful, be sure to describe all sources consulted.