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:

  • Carl Sandburg National Historic Site
  • DeSoto National Memorial
  • Everglades National Park
  • Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Military Park
  • Ft. Frederica National Monument
  • Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area: Final Production
  • Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
  • Minute Man National Historical Park
  • Pipe Spring National Monument
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial
  • Redwood National and State Parks
  • Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
  • Springfield Armory National Historic Site
  • Women’s Rights National Historical Park

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.

  • Exploring a Common Past: Interpreting Women’s History in the National Park Service (1996 Edition)
  • Exploring a Common Past: Interpreting Women’s History in the National Park Service (2003 Edition)
  • Statue of Liberty Interpretive Themes
  • USS Arizona National Memorial: Peer Review of Exhibit Plans

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.

  • Abraham Lincoln Sites Staff Training Seminars
  • American Colonial Experience Distance Learning Class for NPS Staff
  • Civil War through Current Scholarship and Technology Conference
  • Early American Sites Network Distance Learning Class for NPS Staff
  • Interpreting Edison Conference
  • John Brown’s Body 2000 Conference
  • Meanings of Freedom Conference
  • The Monument to Robert Gould Shaw and the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment: History and Meaning
  • The Stuff of Women’s History Conference
  • The Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Conference
  • Washington and Du Bois at the Turn of Two Centuries Conference
  • Women and Historic Preservation Conference

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.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore Historic Resource Study
  • Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site
  • Catharine Furnace Historic Resource Study (Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
  • Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
  • Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
  • Governors Island National Monument
  • National Trails: African Americans on the Overland Trails
  • Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
  • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
  • Shiloh National Military Park
  • Underground Railroad in Arkansas
  • Underground Railroad in Maryland
  • Underground Railroad in Virginia

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.

  • Air Force Academy Chapel National Landmark Nomination
  • John F. Kennedy National Historic Site Register Nomination
  • NHL Theme Study on African American History
  • NHL Theme Study on Aviation History
  • NHL Theme Study on Black Regulars in the Frontier Army (Buffalo Soldiers)
  • NHL Theme Study on Chinese American History
  • NHL Theme Study on Civil Rights in Education
  • NHL Theme Study on Civil Rights in Employment
  • NHL Theme Study on Civil Rights in Housing
  • NHL Theme Study on Civil Rights in Public Accommodations
  • NHL Theme Study on Civil Rights in Voting
  • NHL Theme Study on Women's History
  • NHL Theme Study on the World War II Home front
  • NHL Theme Study Updates (Asian and Latino Immigration; Hispanic History; Latino Migration; and History of Agriculture)
  • Women in the Civil Rights Movement

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.

  • National Trails Oral History
  • Pacific West Regional Oral History

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.

  • Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
  • Antietam National Battlefield
  • Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park
  • Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor
  • Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
  • Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
  • Gettysburg National Military Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Independence National Historical Park
  • John F. Kennedy National Historic Site
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
  • Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
  • Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
  • Minute Man National Historical Park
  • Richmond National Battlefield Park
  • Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
  • Scotts Bluff National Monument
  • Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park
  • Vicksburg National Military Park

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.

  • Blackstone River Valley
  • Buffalo Bayou
  • Lincoln Highway
  • Midwestern Statements of Significance (Missouri and Arkansas)
  • River Raisin (Peer Review)
  • Space Shuttle Columbia
  • Tulsa Race Riot

Special Projects

  • American Colonial Experience Web Site: Peer Review
  • Archival Processing: NPS Records at the National Archives
  • Bibliographic Essay Series for NPS Web Site
  • Evaluation of the NPS History Program
  • HABS/HAER Report of the Titan One Missile Complex
  • Jamestown Fellows Program
  • Jamestown Research: African Influences
  • Minute Man National Park Administrative Research
  • Publication Series: Environmental History in the National Park Service
  • Publication Series: Highlights of Historical Work in NPS Northeast Region
  • Sagamore Hill General Management Plan: Scholarly Participation
  • Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Scope of Collections
  • Underground Railroad Elementary School Curriculum: Hampton to New Bedford