The National Archives at Fort Worth

RG79: Records of the National Park Service

Records Available at the National Archives at Fort Worth


The National Park Service was established in the Department of the Interior by an act of August 25, 1916.   It was charged with administering national parks and monuments as well as the Hot Springs Reservation in Arkansas, which was designated as a national park in 1921.  The first public park, Yellowstone, was established by an act of March 1, 1872.   The enabling legislation directed the National Park Service to promote and regulate the use of national parks, monuments, and similar reservations in order to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life and to provide for the enjoyment of the sites by the public.

Before the establishment of the Park Service, park administration was under the direct supervision of the secretary of the Interior Department.  Most of the work was performed by the Patents and Miscellaneous Division until 1907 and thereafter the Miscellaneous Section of the Office of the Chief Clerk.  On June 4, 1914, Mark Daniels was appointed General Superintendent and Landscape Engineer of National Parks with headquarters in San Francisco.  On December 31, 1915, Daniels was replaced by Robert B. Marshall, who was given the title of Superintendent of National Parks with an office in Washington, D.C.  Stephen T. Mather, who had served as assistant to the secretary of the Interior since January 1915, was appointed the first director of the National Park Service on May 16, 1917.

An act of June 8, 1906,  authorized the use of presidential proclamations in setting apart as national monuments lands owned or controlled by the United States containing historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.  Until 1933 monuments were administered by various departments.  Most monuments were administered by the Department of the Interior, but some were supervised by the Department of Agriculture and the War Department.  Typical national monuments include the Statue of Liberty, Fort Sumter, the Petrified Forest, and the Gila Cliff Dwellings.

By Executive Order 6166 of June 10, 1933, the Park Service was expanded and redesignated the Office of National Parks, Buildings, and Reservations.  An act of March 2, 1934,  restored the name National Park Service.  The expanded service was in charge of the national monuments formerly administered by the Forest Service of the Agriculture Department and the national monuments, military parks, battlefield parks and sites, and some national cemeteries formerly administered by the War Department.  The Office of Public Buildings and Parks of the National Capital, Arlington Memorial Bridge Commission, Public Buildings Commission, National Memorial Commission, and Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway Commission were all abolished and their functions transferred to the Park Service.  In 1939 the responsibility for public buildings was transferred to the new Public Buildings Administration of the Federal Works Agency.

An act of August 21, 1935,  provided for the establishment of national historic sites, including some owned by private organizations.  Other types of areas that have been established under the supervision of the Park Service include national historical parks, national memorials, national parkways, national recreation areas, and national seashores.

The National Park Service is responsible for all aspects of park administration, including the establishment and enforcement of regulations for use, protection from fire and other dangers, regulation of concession operators, investigation and recommendation of proposed new areas, land acquisition, and construction and maintenance of roads and trails, buildings, and other structures.  Increasing emphasis has been placed on research and educational work, including the management of guided tours and lectures, marking of nature trails, maintenance of museums and libraries, and preparation of publications and studies in history, archaeology, natural history, and wildlife.

In 1937 four regional offices were set up in Richmond, Omaha, Santa Fe, and San Francisco, each a small-scale replica of Washington headquarters, with a regional director, associate director, and regional branch chiefs.  A fifth regional office was established in Philadelphia in 1955 and in 1962 the National Capital Parks was made the sixth region.  The regional offices are now designated by their geographic areas:  Southeast (Richmond), Midwest (Omaha), Southwest (Santa Fe), Western (San Francisco), Northeast (Philadelphia), and National Capital (Washington).

Superintendents are in charge of individual parks and custodians are in charge of most monuments.  Park rangers are responsible for protection against fire and other dangers and for enforcement of park regulations.  Historians, naturalists, engineers, or other technical personnel are assigned to individual areas.  From 1917 to 1937 park superintendents were responsible only to the director of the Park Service.  Since 1937 they have been responsible to the appropriate regional director.  The National Park Service-Southwest Region, Santa Fe, New Mexico has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

The records of the National Park Service (Record Group 79) accessioned by the National Archives at Fort Worth consist of the following parks and recreational areas:  Amistad National Recreation Area, Texas; Big Bend National Park, Texas; Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas; Platt National Park, Oklahoma. Records of the National Park Service-Southwest Region for the period of 1965-1976 are in the custody of the National Archives at Denver.   

The files in this record group use a decimal classification system see Appendix A


Amistad National Recreation Area

Series Title NARA ID Local Identifier
Central Files, 1965 - 1972 639097 79-NRF-AM1

Big Bend National Park

Series Title NARA ID Local Identifier
Central Files, 1943 - 1965 639105 79-NRF-BB1

Hot Springs National Park

Series Title NARA ID Local Identifier
Central Files, 1940 - 1966 639107 79-NRF-HS1

Platt National Park

Series Title NARA ID Local Identifier
Central Files, 1934 - 1969 639118 79-NRF-PL1

Appendix A 

Select list of decimal classifications

Amistad Recreation Area

A2615 Monthly Report

A2617 Quarterly Report and Calendar

A2619 Semi-annual Report

A3415 Commendations about Personnel

A3615 Complaints about Personnel

A3815 Public Relations

A406 Conferences and Meetings-Regional

A4071 Conferences and Meetings-International

A42 Cooperating Associations

A44 International Boundary and Water Commission

A5623 F. O. Memorandum-WASO

A5627 SWFFO Memos

A5639 Numbered Memos

A6415 Organization-Amistad

A6423 Organization-Park Service

A6427 Organization-WASO

A6431 Organization-Regional

A6435 Organization-Field Offices, Management Objectives, Amistad Goals, Program Standards

A7015 Civil Defense Program

A7615 Health and Safety

A7623 Accidents

A8215 Dedications, Anniversaries

A9027 Motion Picture Filming

A94 Laughlin AFB

A9819 Job Corp

C2621 Annual Financial Report

C34 Concessionaire’s Organizations, Meetings, Recommendations

C42 Employment and Labor

D18 Planning Program and Master Plans

D22 Construction and Development Programs

D2215 Construction and Development Programs-Correspondence

D32 Grounds

D3415 Building-Construction and Maintenance

D3423 Buildings: Building Reports and Project Completion Reports

D5015 Services and Utilities-Electricity

D5023 Services and Utilities-Heating and Cooling Systems

D5027 Services and Utilities-Radio

D5039 Services and Utilities-Water and Sewer

D5041 Services and Utilities-Gas System

D52 Contracts

D54 Soil and Moisture Control

D6215 Museum and Exhibit Activities-Planning, Preparation, Maintenance, Presentation

D6223 Museum and Exhibit Activities-Acquisitions, Gifts, and Loans 

H2215 Archeological Research

H34 National Register Newsletter, National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings and Natural Historic Landmarks 

K1815 Interpretive Activities-Services and Facilities

K1817 Interpretive Activities-Interpretive Planning

K3023 Pictures and Slides-Loans and Gifts

K3819 Publications-NPS Free Informational Literature

K3823 Publications-NPS Sales

K3827 Publications-NPS Maps

K42 Publications-Other

K46 Radio and TV Activities

K58 Special Articles Prepared by Other than NPS Personnel

L1417 Acquisition and Disposal of Lands-Boundary Adjustments 

L1425 Acquisition and Disposal of Lands-Holdings

L1427 Acquisition and Disposal of Lands-Surplus Real Property

L1429 Acquisition and Disposal of Lands-Land Records

L2615 Monthly Reports

L2621 Identification of Real Property-NPS (APG) 11; Annual Report of Real Property-NPS (APG)-2

L2623 Reports-Situation

L34 Recreation Activities

L54 Water Matters

L58 Proposed Areas

L7019 States and State Parks Cooperation 

N14 Wildlife

N16 Wildlife Management

N18 Plant Life

N2621 Annual Wildlife Report-NPS (OR)-44; Annual Fishery Report-NPS (OR)-3 

N42 Weather-Studies and Reports

N44 Natural History Landmarks

W14 Contract Procedure for Construction and Supply

W2621 Reports-Law Enforcement

W28 Executive Orders and Proclamation

W34 Law Enforcement

Y14 Forest Fires Control

Y22 Forest Pests and Control

Y2621 Annual Forest Fire Report Summary

Y46 Noxious Plants Control

Big Bend National Park

A16 Advisory Board 

A1619 Staff Meetings, Conferences

A22 Associations, Societies, Foundations

A2419 Departmental Committees

A2435 Field Offices

A34 Commendations

A36 Complaints

A38 Public Relations

A4049 Interpretation 

A4051 Naturalists-Conferences & Meetings

A42 Cooperating Associations-Annual Reports

A6423 Service 

A6435 Organization-Field Offices

A6635 Service Manuals

A70 National Defense Activities

A7015 Civil Defense Activities

A7215 Management

A7615 Health and Safety 

A7619 Safety Committees

A7623 Accidents

A7627 Floods

A7631 Buildings

A82 Special Events 

A8223 Religious Services

A8227 Special Events 

A88 Travel 

A9027 Permits-Motion Picture Filming

A9031 Other Permits

A98 Job Corps 

D22 Construction Program

D30 Roads and Trails

D32 Grounds

D3415 Construction and Maintenance-Disposal of Buildings

D3423 Other Construction and Maintenance

D46 Other Structures 

D5015 Service and Utilities-Electricity

D5027 Service and Utilities

D5031 Sanitation Matters 

D5039 Water and Sewer 

D5041 Gas Systems

D5051 Utility Rates

D5043 Others 

D54 Soil and Moisture Control

D6219 Museum and Exhibit Activities

D6223 Acquisitions, Gifts, and Loans

F34 Preliminary Estimates 

F7423 Quarters

K1815 Interpretive Studies and Services

K1819 Interpretive Reports

K30 Pictures and Slides

K3015 Loans and Gifts of Still Pictures

K3023 Loans and Gifts of Still Pictures and Slides to Public 

K38 Publications

K3823 Sales

K3827 Aerial Survey and Maps

K4219 Publications

K4223 Publications-Others

K46 Radio and Television Activities

K54 Special Articles by Service Personnel

K58 Published Articles

L1415 Acquisition and Disposal of Lands-Policy and Procedures

L1425 Acquisition and Disposal of Lands-Holdings

L1429 Land Records Covered under Certificate Number #185520 

L3415 Recreation Activities

L3423 Mountain Climbing

L54 Water Matters and Related Documents

N1415 Wildlife-Amphibians and Reptiles

N1419 Wildlife-Birds

N1423 Wildlife-Fish

N1427 Wildlife-Mammals

N16 Wildlife Management

N18 Plant life

N22 General Research-other than Historical

N2615 Naturalist Reports

N2623 Reports-Others

W14 Contract Procedures for Construction and Supply

W1415 Report of Procurement

W22 Final Opinions and Orders

W28 Executive Orders and Proclamations

W34 Law Enforcement

W3415 Violations of Regulations-Arrests, Trials, and Prosecutions

W3419 U.S. Commissioners

W3423 Other Matters regarding Law Enforcement

Y1419 Forest Fires Controls

Y1819 Forestry and Range Conservation and Management

Y1823 Reforestation

Y22 Forests Pests and Control

Y2619 Reports-Annual Forestry

Y2627 Special and Other

Y4223 Statistics 

Hot Springs National Park

A22 Associations 

A3615 Complaints about Service and Personnel

A3619 Complaints about Concessions

A4063 Conferences and Meetings- Service

A4075 Conferences and Meetings-Other

A42 Cooperating Associations

A44 Cooperating Agreements with Federal, State, and Local Agencies 

A6423 Organization-Service

A7015 Civil Defense Program

A7619 Safety Committees, Meetings

A7623 Accidents, Injuries, Deaths

A7631 Building Fires and Reports

A98 Conservation and Preservation of Areas for Public Enjoyment

D2215 Construction Programs

D5031 Services and Utilities-Sanitation

K1815 Interpretive Activities  

Y14 Forest Fires Control

Platt National Park (1903-53)

000 Conferences and Meetings 0-01.1 Minutes

0-2.1 Congressional Interviews

0-3 Invitations and Addresses

0-4 Letters of Introduction

0-10 Laws & Legal Matters

0-20 Fish & Wildlife Service

0-30 Other National Parks 

0-32 Proposed National Parks

0-33 State Parks

0-36 Proposed National Parks

101 History 

101-01 Dedications

101-02 Historical Programs

101-03 Calendar of Events

104 Data for Establishment

120 Legislation

120-1 House Bills

120-2 Senate Bills

120-5 Acts

120-7 Proposed Legislation

200 Administration and Personnel

201 Administration (General)

201-01 Memos

201-06 Superintendents and Custodians

201-08 Delegation of Authority

201-09 Honor Awards

201-13 Organization

201-13.1 Charts

201-13.2 Lists 

201-15 Policy

201-23 Civilian Defense

202 Letters of Compliments

203 Complaints

204 Inspection and Investigations

205 Instructions and Orders

205-01 Executive Orders

205-01.1 Proclamations

205-02 NPS Orders

205-02 Memos 

205-02.1 Circularization File

205-03 Secretary's Orders

207 Reports

207-01 Superintendents Reports

207-01.2 Directors Reports

207-01.5 Park Naturalists Reports

207-01.6 Forest Protection Reports

207-01.7 Annual Forestry Report

207-01.8 Animal Census Reports

207-01.9 Annual Reports of Southwest National Monuments

207-02 Monthly Reports

207-02.1 Directors Monthly Reports

207-02.3 Superintendents Reports

207-04 Park Naturalists Monthly and Daily Reports

207-07 Maintenance Foreman's Reports

207-08 Unemployment Reports

207-18 Annual Roads and Trails Reports

207-20 Weather Reports

207-23 Monthly Progress Reports

207-24 Quarterly Report of Free Publications

207-25 Publications 

208 Rules and Regulations

208-01 Automobile and Motorcycle Rules

208-02 Building Code

208-03 Public Relations

208-04 Dogs and Cats

208-06 Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping

208-07 Flags

208-08 Liquor Traffic

208-13 Coordinating Superintendents

208-20.3 Transportation Requests

208-30 Uniforms

208-39 Births

208-40 Vandalism

208-41 Deaths

208-48 Trespass

250 Personnel

252 Employment

253 Appointments

256-06 Rangers

262-02.1 Position Descriptions

300 Appropriations-Finance and Accounts

302 Appropriations-Estimates

303 Status of Park Appropriations and Revenues

303-01 Status of Appropriations

303-03 Emergency Reconstruction and Forest Fires

303-06 Outline of Work

304 Allotments and Status of Allotments

304-01 Allotment Advices

304-02 Quarterly Appropriations

304-05 Disbursing Account

401 Chief Coordinator

403-01 Contracts Correspondence

405 Inventories

452 Museum Equipment

500 Publicity and Statistics

501 Publicity

501-02 Magazine Articles

501-03 Press Clippings

501-04 Special Articles on National Parks

502 Entertainment and Lectures

502-01 Radio and Addresses

502-02 Radio Plays

502-03 Easter Pageant

503 Pictures

503-02 Pictorial Index

503-04 Pictures, Slides

503-10 Moving Pictures

503-11 Loan of Films

504 Publications

504-01.1 Information Tables

504-04 Maps

504-04.2 Blue Prints

504-23 Mississippi River Parkway Survey

504-26 Dilemma of Our National Parks

550 Statistics 

600 Lands, Buildings, Six Year Plan

600-01 Master Plans

600-03 Development Outline

600-04 Approved Specifications

601 Lands

601-02 Airfield Sites

601-03 Camp Sites

601-11 Park Entrances

601-12 Recreational Areas

601-17 Golf Courses

602 Boundaries

602-02 Status of Lands

603 Condemning of Lands

604 Donations

607 Jurisdiction

609 Leases

609-01 Mining Claims

610 Private Holdings

610-02 Taxes

611 Repairs and Improvements

612 Rights of Way

614 Surveys

616 Land Withdrawals

618 Public Works Administration

619 Emergency Relief Administration

620 Buildings 

621 Construction Projects

621-01 Project Completion Reports

621-02 Rehabilitation Program

630 Roads

630-01.4 Report on Asphalt Surfacing Work

630-02 Maintenance

630-02.1 Surfacing, Oiling

630-02.3 Road Surfacing

631 Asphalting Perimeter Drive

631-01 Road Easements

632 Roads Outside of Park

640 Trails

640-02 Maintenance of Trails

650 Lakes, Rivers, and Waterways

650-01 Lakes

650-04 Bridges

650-04.2 Steel Arch Bridges

650-04.3 Suspension Bridges

660 Plants and Systems

660-01 Electric Service

660-02 Heating Plants and Systems

660-03.3 Sanitation

660-03.4 Sewage

660-04 Telephone, Telegraph, and Radio Service

660-05 Water Supply Systems

660-05.5 Water Analysis

660-05.7 Water Rights 

700 Game and Other Wildlife

701 Flora

701-01.1 Lower Plants (Cryptogrammic)

701-01.2 Flowering Plants

701-01.4 Trees

705 Interpretive Program

710 Fauna

711 Zoology

712 Amphibian

713 Birds

714 Fishes

715 Mammals

715-03 Buffalo

715-04 Deer

715-05 Elk

716 Insects

718-01 Ecology

719 Rodent and Wildlife Control

720 Protection and Car

720-04 Wildlife Survey

720-05 Wildlife Management

731 Geography

731-01 Place Names

732 Geology

732-03 Rocks and Minerals

732-03.1 Requests for Specimens

732-06 Water 

732-06.1 Ice and Glaciers

732-06.2 Soil Erosion and Control

732-06.9 Artesian Water

740 Antiquities

740-02 Archeology

740-02.3 Researches

800 Protection, Service to Public

801 Protection

801-01 Accidents

801-02 Floods

801-03 Policing

801-04 Storms

801-05 Fires

802 Arrests and Law Enforcement Matter

806 Field Safety Inspections

830 Service to the Public

830-01 Service Awards

833 Exhibits

833-01 Botanical

833-02 Conservation of Natural Resources

833-02.1 Soil and Moisture

833-05 Museums 

833-05.4 Cooperation and Extension Service

834 Gifts and Loans

840 Educational Activities and Methods

840-01 Educational Groups

840-02.2 Libraries

841 Inspirational Activities

843 Instructions and Orders

843-03 School Activities

843-04 Special Training

845 Research

855 Medical Service

856 Religious Services

857-02 Free Accommodations

857-06 Mountain Climbing

857-07 Opening of Parks

857-08 Railroads

857-09 Use by the Public

868 Winter Sports

869 Public Utilities

871 Associations, Clubs, and Committees

880 Forestry (General)

883 Forestry Protection 

883-01 Fires

883-01.1 Fire Plans

883-01.2 Fire Control Training Conferences

883-02 Protection Improvement

883-02.1 Mapping

883-03 Fire Records

883-03.1 Individual Fire Reports

883-03.4 Fire Atlas

883-04 Fire Law Enforcement

883-05 Fire Control Training

883-06 Insect Infestations

883-06.1 Weed Control

883-07 Forest Protection Cooperation

884 Forest Products

885-01 Reforestation

886 Fire Protection for Buildings

900 Concessions

900-01 Buildings

900-02 Contracts

900-03 Financial Reports

900-05 Miscellaneous Correspondence

900-05.1 Concessionaires Employees

900-06 Rates

900-08 Wages and Hours

900-09 Concession Policies

901 Privileges and Permits

901-02 Buried Treasure

Platt National Park (1954-69)

A22 Associations

A2435 Committees

A2623 Reports

A3415 Commendations

A3615 Complaints

A3815 Public Relations

A3817 Foreign Agencies

A3823 Washington Office

A4023 Regional Directors Conference

A4031 Platt Staff Meetings

A4035 Architects and Engineers Conferences

A4039 Clerk's Conferences

A4047 Historians and Archeologists Conferences

A4051 Naturalists' Meetings

A4063 Conferences and Meetings-Service

A4067 Conferences and Meetings-Regional

A4071 Conferences and Meetings-International

A4075 Meetings-Other

A4615 Correspondence Procedures

A4635 Postal Laws 

A4639 Telephone, Telegraph, Radio

Procedures and Service

A4653 Postal, Regulations, and Services

A5415 Inspections, Investigations, and Studies

A5623 Instructions and Orders-F.O. Memoranda

A5627 Instructions and Orders-F.A.O. and F.F.O.

A5631 F.P.O. Memos

A5631 WASO Memoranda

A5635 Instructions and Orders, Informational Memoranda-WASO

A5639 Regional Informational Memoranda

A5641 Instructions and Orders-GSA 

A5645 Design and Construction Memoranda

A6023 Billionth Visitor to Platt

A6415 Lists and Directories

A6423 Reports, Organization 

A6435 Organization-Field Offices

A6615 NPS Administration Manual

A6631 Manuals-Natural Science

A6637 Other Government Manuals 

A7015 Civil Defense

A7215 Records Management 

A7217 Correspondence Management

A7219 Records, Directives Management

A7223 Forms Management 

A7615 Health and Safety

A7619 Safety Committee Minutes

A7623 Accidents, Injuries, and Deaths

A7631 Building Fires

A7633 Vandalism

A8015 Space for Administrative Use

A8215 Dedications, Anniversaries, Similar Events

A8223 Religious Services

A88 Travel, Studies and Statistics

A9015 Permits

A9415 Government Agencies and Department

A9419 Agriculture

A98 Long Requirements Program, Mission

A9819 Job Corps

C3823 Concessions Contracts and Permits Procedures

C42 Concessions-Employment and Labor

C4619 Merchandising

D22 Project Construction Proposals

D30 Roads and Trails

D32 Grounds 

D3415 Buildings-Construction and Maintenance 

D3423 Buildings

D46 Other Structures 

D5015 Electricity

D5019 Contracts 

D5027 Radio & Telephone 

D5031 Services and Utilities-Correspondence

D5039 Water and Sewer

D5043 Services and Utilities 

D6215 Museum Prospectus and Exhibit Activities

D6219 Training-Museum and Exhibit Activities

D6235 Reports-Museum and Exhibit Activities

F58 Statistics 

F7423 Quarters Evaluations 

F86 Travel Regulations 

K1815 Interpretive Activities

K1817 Reports of Interpretive Activities

K1819 Report of Interpretive Activities 

K3019 Production & Acquisition of Still Pictures and Slides 

K3023 Loans & Gifts of Still Pictures and Slides 

K3415 Press Releases-Correspondence

K3417 Press Releases-Platt NP 

K3819 Publications-NPS

K3823 Publications, Sales-NPS

K3827 Publications, Maps-NPS 

K3831 Publications and Posters

K3835 Publications, Other-NPS

K4219 Publications-Other Agencies

K4223 Publications-Other 

K46 Radio and Television

K54 Special Articles-NPS

K58 Special Articles-Other than NPS

L1425 Private Holdings

L1429 Land

L2619 Semiannual Reports

L3415 Recreation, Camping

L3431 Recreation, Other 

L58 Proposed Areas

L7019 Cooperation

L7423 Correspondence re: Professional Analysis and Report on Platt National Park 

N1415 Wildlife, Amphibians, and Reptiles

N1423 Fish

N1427 Mammals

N16 Wildlife Management

N18 Plant Life

N22 General Research 

N2615 Monthly Reports

N2623 Reports-Animal Wildlife

N3019 Paleontology

N3023 Speology (Caves)

N3039 Thermal Features

N42 Weather-Studies & Reports 

P68 Promotion 

P90 Wage Board Matters

S4215 Board of Survey Minutes

S4219 Sale of Quarters

S72 Procurement 

S94 Uniforms 

W14 Contract Procedures for Construction and Supply

W22 Final Opinions and Orders

W26 Reports

W3415 Violations of Regulations

W3423 Other Matters Regarding Law Enforcement 

Y14 Forest Fire Control 

Y1815 Conservation 

Y2215 Forest Pests and Control

Y2619 Annual Forestry Report 

Y2627 Special and Other Reports 

Y4215 Fire Statistics