NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT
This collection is comprised of the working papers of the National Parks Conservation Association and includes correspondence, reports, administrative records, audiovisual materials, and photographs. The dates range from 1893 to 2003, but most items date from 1920 through the 1990s. The collection remains open and materials received after November 2007 are not represented in this finding aid. Please ask a reference librarian for current inventory information.
The work of the Board of Trustees is documented in this series through their meeting minutes, reports, agendas, correspondence and special events dating from 1919 to 2001. Bound copies of meeting minutes from 1919-1995 are found in boxes 13-17, after the initial set of loose copies.
This series contains the files of the executive officers of the organizations. It includes correspondence, memos, reports, speeches, testimony and reference files. Materials date from 1931 and include a limited number of records from Robert Sterling Yard. Anthony W. Smith and Paul C. Pritchard generated many of the remaining files, which date from 1959 to 1997. The files of George H. Siehl, Assistant to President Anthony W. Smith, form a portion of this series. Several of these files were water damaged when received.
The administrative series records the organizational activities of the National Parks Conservation Association. Materials consist of correspondence, financial, public relations, publications and program files. A small amount of material from the regional offices is included in this series.
The legislative activity of the organization is reflected in this series, with copies of legislation and testimony presented by staff, or on behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association staff.
Much of the day-to-day work of the organization is reflected in this series. It includes administrative records of the Park Education Center, which attempted to provide educational materials as well as income. The planning and administrative material for their major outreach program, March for Parks, is contained in this series.
In its role as advocate for the National Parks, the National Parks Conservation Association acquired material and developed activities related to the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service, especially budgets, management plans, concessions, and threats to the parks from development, overuse and pollution.
The material in this series represents information collected about other organizations interested in or working on problems related to the National Parks. It primarily consists of newsletters and informational material.
The files of this series represent information gathered to support the work of the organization.
This series documents some of the Associations programs and activities. The largest number of video recordings is for the March for Parks program from 1993 through 1998. Hearing testimony and public service announcements are also included. The video formats include VHS, Beta and 1 inch tapes. Many of the Board of Trustees and committee meetings are recorded on audiocassettes.
As part of their publishing activities, the National Parks Conservation Association acquired a large collection of photographs, some by well-known photographers such as Ansel Adams and David Muench. These represent the plants, animals, and scenery of the National Parks, Snapshots of Association activities and publicity photos form a portion of the series.
This small series is comprised mostly of computer generated financial reports and a few reports, maps, and posters.
The collection is open for research.
Papers are the physical property of the Denver Public Library.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Our Mission: To protect and enhance Americas National Park System for present and future generations.
The National Parks Conservation Association, headquartered in Washington D.C. since its inception, has acted as an advocate for the National Park System and for the preservation of the ecosystems found within the Parks.
From 1915 to 1919, Robert Sterling Yard worked for the Department of the Interior as National Parks publicity chief and later as chief of the Educational Division of the National Park Service. In 1916, Yard began the work of creating an organization to support the newly formed National Parks Service with a group known as the National Parks Educational Committee. This committee included a wide range of activists, administrators, scientists and scholars, and counted one Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt among its members. Beginning with a small group of men meeting at the Cosmos Club, they sought to establish an organization to promote the study of national parks and monuments and to encourage the extension and development of the National Park System (from Sixty Years of Idealism and Hard Work by Kathryn Karsten Rushing).
Following World War I, this group evolved into the National Parks Association with the original members becoming the Ways and Means Committee. Stephen Mather, close friend of Yards and the first director of the National Park Service, provided financial support. Partnering with the U.S. Railroad Administration, the Association distributed promotional material aimed at educating the public about the parks.
The proposed damming of Yellowstone Lake in 1920 lead to the Associations first battle to protect the parks from exploitation and use for energy purposes - in this case, hydro-electric power. Joining with several womens organizations, Yard developed an extensive network through which he could disseminate information about the threats to the parks. This work came to fruition in 1925 with full protection for the parks from the Bureau of Reclamation dams. Other threats included proposals by Albert Fall to include insignificant recreational areas in the national parks system (Fall was later convicted of taking bribes for oil reserve leases, know as the Tepot Dome scandal).
The Association soon turned its attention to defining just what a national park ought to be and how to balance the needs of the visitors while protecting the unique quality of the park environment a struggle that touches every aspect of the parks and continues to this day. Transportation, energy resources, wildlife management, adjacent land area, the federal budget, recreation, and visitor services are all issues that have effected the Parks and that the Association has worked to resolve.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the need to consider issues on a broader, regional basis became apparent, especially around the multitude of issues affecting the Everglades and the Everglades National Park. Reflecting this broader need, the Association changed its name from the National Parks Association to the National Parks and Conservation Association.
In 2008, the National Parks Conservation Association (name again changed in 1999) has grown to represent 330,000 members through [its] DC headquarters and 22 regional and field offices, all working to protect and enhance America's National Park System for present and future generations. (NPCA web site)
91 box(es) (91 linear feet)
2 oversize box(es)
1 oversize file folder(s)
20 audiovisual envelope(s)
11 photo box(es)
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
The National Parks Conservation Association donated the papers of this collection, which remains open for additional material.
Number of boxes: 91
Number of oversize: 2 boxes, 1 folder
Number of audiovisual boxes: 20
Number of photo boxes: 11
PROCESSED AND ENCODED BY:
- Conservation of natural resources -- United States. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- National parks and reserves -- United States. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION PAPERS
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script