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About Parks & History Association

History and Purpose
An official partner to the National Park Service, Parks & History Association was founded in 1968 to promote the interpretive, educational, scientific, and historical activities of the National Park Service in the National Capital Region. The Association has grown from a single location in Washington, D.C.—home to many of the nation’s oldest federal parks, monuments, and memorials—to 27 locations region-wide. The Association’s primary purpose is to operate bookshops where park visitors can find a variety of educational products to enhance their understanding of the park’s themes and resources. In addition, Parks & History Association serves local, national, and global audiences through direct and indirect support of national park programs.

Educational Mission
Parks & History Association works with park interpretive staff to select or produce appropriate theme-related and site-specific information about National Capital parks and monuments. In addition, knowledgeable Association staff at bookshop locations provide important park interpretation and information. Our staff greet visitors, answer questions, and distribute park literature. They generally free National Park rangers to conduct in-depth tours, participate in school programs, and provide other interpretive services.

The Association serves its partner agency and the public in a variety of other ways as well. For more than three decades, P&HA has donated proceeds from sales as direct financial aid for curriculum projects, educational programs, and scientific research; and as indirect aid, such as by producing site brochures, trail guides, and other publications for free distribution to park visitors.

Parks & History also produces for sale publications and interpretive merchandise designed to engage visitors of all ages in learning more about the nation’s parks, monuments, historic places, and open spaces. Our products include such popular selections as site-specific self-guided audio tours, booklets, postcards, activity books, and collectible pins and medallions.

Parks & History Association also contributes professional services on a national level to assist in reaching the global community with the National Park Service message of education and stewardship.


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