National Park Service

Supporting the cultural heritage mission

Preserving the nation's cultural resources, history, and heritage.

The U.S. National Park Service isn’t just about preserving our environment; it’s about preserving the nation’s cultural resources, history, and heritage.

Protecting and sharing cultural resources is a multi-faceted process. You may be asking yourself any - or all - of the following five questions:

What historical items do we currently have on hand?

You probably have some combination of:

  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Audio-visual (videos, films)
  • Museum objects
  • Memorabilia
  • Digital content

Inventories are often conducted as a one-time project with an outside contractor in order to meet the demands of such an intensive, focused activity.

Where are our historical items now, and where should they be stored in future?

Many repositories of historical items are simply rooms full of stuff! Sorting through and figuring out how to care for and store aging documents, photos, and other memorabilia can be not only a logistical challenge but also a physically daunting one.

A proper storage assessment will allow you to know the volume and storage needs of your various assets. After that, a solid storage plan will suggest responsible, safe storage methods for your assets.

If you'd like to talk with an HAI expert specializing in NPS services, please complete and submit the form:


POINT OF CONTACT:

Laura Starr

Government Program Manager
lstarr@historyassociates.com
Direct: 240.514.0926
DUNS Number: 037704574
CAGE Code: 9Y474

Are any of our existing items at risk of loss?

Sometimes time, water, air, pests, and other factors present a risk to degrading or destroying valuable cultural resources. With the National Park Services’ mission of preserving these irreplaceable items, you’ll want to start with processing all of your at-risk assets. 

This includes organizing and preserving them. Finally, you’ll want to catalogue those at-risk items to fully capture their contents and value and make it accessible to internal and/or external audiences.

How can we be sure our resources are used to the fullest and shared with the public?

No matter how many valuable items you have on hand, the ultimate mission is to “conserve park resources and provide for their use and enjoyment.” 1 

Fortunately, an interpretive plan can provide a roadmap for or sharing your stories and cultural resources with the public. A certified interpretive planner can help you choose how best to present your materials.

1 (National Park Service Organic Act of 1916. 16 U.S.C. §1)

Looking to move forward with an exhibit? An exhibit plan will provide detailed specifications on how the visitor will interact with your historical and cultural assets.

Digitization services are essential to converting analog historical assets into compelling digital content. Developing a digitization plan, implementing scanning workflows, and creating consistent metadata are hallmarks of a successful digitization initiative.

If you're looking for a partner to help answer any of the above questions, HAI has 40+ years of experience caring for NPS cultural heritage at every organizational level.

NPS Unified Regions Map

Image Credit: nps.gov

HAI Case Study

NPS Exhibit Development, Interpretive Planning, Archives, and Museum Services

Since 1993, HAI has provided a range of services to the National Park Service (NPS). We have supported NPS’s mission to preserve natural and cultural resources and entertain, educate, and inspire current and future generations. We have processed, cataloged, and preserved records and artifacts, identified interpretive goals for NPS sites, and developed exhibit content at more than 80 NPS sites. Interpretive plans and historic resource studies, compelling and insightful exhibit text, and comprehensive collection management plans...

Read full HAI Case Study

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NPS sites nationwide served by HAI 

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rights cleared for multimedia assets

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processing plans developed by HAI

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linear feet of NPS collections surveyed

  • “I really hadn't thought about the processing and description that HAI did, ca. 2011-16, as blazing a trail to digital planning, but that is exactly what it did! Records had to be arranged and processed first, before any digitization effort was begun; otherwise you'd be digitizing chaos.”

    John Roberts
    Chief Archivist (retired), National Park Service

Have we self-identified the need for any of the following services?

  • Storage plan
  • Processing
  • Organizing
  • Storage assessment
  • Digitization services
  • Websites
  • Cultural resources management
  • Inventory
  • Preserving
  • Cataloguing
  • Finding aids
  • Interpretive plan
  • Exhibit development
  • Historical publications