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. Parks & History Association primarily supports education in the National Capital Region, which includes many of the nations oldest federal parks, monuments, and memorials. From our modest beginnings as a single bookshop in the Lincoln Museum at Ford's Theatre, Parks & History now operates more than 25 bookshops and serves as an important educational resource and a significant contributor to our national parks.
Parks & History operates more than 25 bookshops for the benefit of visitors to National Capital parks and historic sites. In addition to running the bookshops, knowledgeable Association staff 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 give interpretive lectures.
Each year, P&HA donates trail guides, site brochures, informational bookmarks, and similar educational publications to the parks and historic sites as part of our interpretive mission. We also produce publications for sale in our stores that further the educational purposes of the Park Service.
Parks & History produces its own interpretive merchandise designed to engage visitors of all ages in learning more about our nation's parks, monuments, historic places and open spaces. Our products include popular selections such as site-specific self-guided audio tours, booklets, postcards, magnets, patches, pins, coloring books, and medallions. Our nationally distributed American Discovery(tm), Pin Power(tm), and Kids Know(tm) product lines are specifically designed to spark the imagination and kindle curiosity.
Parks & History Association supplies free hardware, software, training services, and technical support and maintenance to a number of Park Service web operations and personnel. As just one example of our level of commitment, the Association maintains Links to the Past, a highly visited National Park Service website. We assist the Park Service in reaching the global community with its educational message.