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National Park Service, National Capital Region Photograph Collection

 Collection — external hard drive: DIG_00033
Identifier: P034

Scope and Content

While the collection consists of images from nearly a century, the bulk of the photographs range from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s. Images document the people, activities, and sites that make up a part of the National Capital Parks. Highlights include houses that were demolished to make way for the C&O Canal Park, Work being performed by Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration personnel, World War II defense installations, Carter Barron Amphitheater, and flood and natural damage to park sites.


  • Creation: 1863
  • Creation: 1900
  • Creation: 1921 - 1961


Conditions Governing Use

There are no known restrictions

Historical Note

The National Capital Parks (NCP) is a unit within the National Park System that encompasses a variety of federally owned properties in the District of Columbia and surrounding areas. These areas include monuments, memorials, public parks, historic sites, historic houses and interiors of traffic circles and squares. The origins of the lands controlled by the NCP can be traced to the Residence Act of 1790, which gave Congress the power to acquire lands as part of the city’s construction. In 1924, Congress created the National Capital Park Commission to acquire land in and around the District of Columbia for the purpose of preserving the sites of civil war battles, fortifications, and burial sites. In 1933, title and control of all parklands in the District of Columbia was transferred to the National Park Service, creating the NCP unit. The NCP was created by an executive order and not by explicit legislation. The order officially dissolved numerous commissions that controlled the various sites and consolidated their functions into the National Park Service. Today the NCP remains a formal unit of the National Park Service, but administration of the parklands has been divided into six administrative units.


10.25 Linear feet (19 letter document storage boxes, 1 Flat Box, 1 3" letter document storage box, and 1 index card box.)

Language of Materials



There is no Deed of Gift for this collection and it is unclear how or when the Library acquired the collection, however all images within this collection are in the Public Domain.

Processing Procedure

Collection originally rehoused in 2013, additional processing and rehousing was performed in 2018. Arrangement of the collection was established by the Park Service and only slightly modified during the processing. These changes included the addition of new series and date order arrangement. During the 2018 processing a small amount of oversized, larger than 8”x10”, were removed from their original location and moved to a flat storage box to ensure better preservation. Additionally, negatives of varying sizes were removed and housed in separate boxes. These boxes were then stored with the rest of the Library’s negative collections. The folder titles for these images and negative were retained and are reflected in the inventory.

National Park Service, National Capital Region Photograph Collection
A guide to the National Park Service, National Capital Region Photograph Collection
Prepared by Jerry McCoy 2013, edited by Mark Greek in 2018
2013, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001