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Programs & Resources

OAH/NPS Projects (1994–Present)

Projects undertaken in collaboration with the National Park Service (1994-present). Projects in progress are highlighted. Click a highlighted item to learn more about the project.

Administrative Histories

Administrative Histories document the history of particular park sites or programs, with an eye toward using historical background to inform current management decisions. The OAH has undertaken administrative histories of the following sites:

Interpretive Projects

Interpretation is the umbrella term for all materials that convey content to visitors. These materials can include brochures, exhibits, films, wayside signs, and ranger tours. In addition to our historic resource studies and site review programs, which both have an influence on interpretation, the OAH has collaborated on some additional efforts in this area.

Professional Development Training/ Conferences

The OAH is well known as a provider of scholarly content and as the host of the largest conference on U.S. history, the OAH annual meeting held each spring. The organization has harnessed this background to provide a series of workshops and conferences on a variety of topics for NPS staff and for the public.

Resource Studies

Historic Resource Studies document the history that occurred within the boundaries of a national park unit before it was part of the NPS. They provide the historical research that forms the basis of a park’s historical interpretation and its management of historic structures. Special Resource Studies document the history of particular resources for a variety of purposes.

National Historic Landmarks (NHL) Projects

The National Historic Landmarks Office, part of NPS, monitors and advises on properties of national historic and architectural significance. Not all of these properties are part of national park units; many are privately owned or managed by other public entities and either carry National Landmark designation or are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The OAH has assisted on a number of applications for these designations and NHL theme studies, which advise the staff of this program on areas of U.S. history that are underrepresented in historic preservation efforts.

Oral Histories

The National Park Service conscious of the value of oral history: its own internal history and the history of some of the recent events that are interpreted in national park units. The OAH has assisted in some of these efforts.

Site Reviews and Scholars’ Visits

Perhaps the OAH-NPS projects that are best known to the profession at large are our site reviews, in which we assemble a team of scholars to visit a particular national park site to consult on various planning efforts, such as creating interpretive plans or reconceptualizing the story it tells based on recent trends in scholarly understanding.

Statements of Significance

For a site to become a unit of the National Park Service, the agency must conduct a Special Resource Study (SRS), analyzing the site’s feasibility, integrity, and significance. One component of the SRS is the statement of significance, which analyzes the national importance of the place by situating it in historical context.

Special Projects