National Park Records Release
by Chris Kolakowski
Emerging Civil War
The National Park Service this week released decades of park records for public search and use. Their press release reads as follows:
The National Park Service (NPS) today unveils a newly launched public website: pubs.etic.nps.gov that is making more than 32,000 NPS records available to the public. Academic researchers, students, history enthusiasts, educators, and the like will discover a multitude of collections. For example, the collection contains such important documents as the original drawings of the main immigration building at Ellis Island National Monument, a concessionaire shop in 1933 at Muir Woods National Monument, and historical documents of Alcatraz Island.
NPS created the site to accommodate the public’s need to access NPS drawings and documents in a convenient, user-friendly, digital way. Users looking to draft historical studies, project planning, or studying natural and cultural resources will now find a plethora of robust resources at their fingertips. “Our collections represent the National Park Service’s commitment to the preservation of unique places and resources held for future generations by documenting our past, present, and anticipated endeavors,” said Ray Todd, Denver Service Center Director. “The public can now easily discover a treasure trove of American history with just a few clicks on their computer keyboard or mobile device.”
The Technical Information Center (TIC) at the NPS Denver Service Center (DSC) is the oldest and largest information system in the National Park Service. TIC is the central repository for proper retention, access, and disposition of NPS records that include drawings, specifications, scientific, and technical reports. The Denver Service Center works closely with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to deposit required NPS records for preservation.
For more details, visit the public eTIC website at pubs.etic.nps.gov.
I spent some time this weekend going through the site, and the search function is easy to use. A lot of old park plans are there, including several 1940 plans for the battlefields which were overtaken by the Second World War.
Over two-thirds of the national parks are historic in nature, covering the colonial period into the 21st Century. This database is an important resource and will no doubt be of much use.