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postcard of Thor's Hammer, Grand Canyon, ca. 1915

National Parks

May 2019

"Awe-inspiring Grand Canyon of the Colorado Grand Canyon National Park in Northern Arizona is filled with ever-changing color and mood. This major scenic attraction is 200 miles long, an average of 15 miles wide and one mile deep. It is one of the most impressive natural attractions in the United States." (Three Photographs of Colorado Scenes. PRI4849-3a MSC)

The Grand Canyon became a National Park in 1919. In honor of its centennial year -- as well as the upcoming summer vacation season, when the National Parks are popular vacation destinations -- the Library's May exhibit featured resources about the Grand Canyon and other National Parks.

National Parks exhibit, left case with Independence Rock, Niagara Falls and Grand Canyon materials
National Parks exhibit, center case with early postcards (facsimiles) from Grand Canyon and Yosemite

This display case featured black-and-white photos (circa 1960) of Independence Rock and the Grand Canyon, as well as a Junior Ranger Booklet (circa 2014) from the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area.

The Clark Family Collection (SC23595) in Manuscripts and Special Collections includes a postcard album, circa 1915, of postcards collected on a trip out west. On display were reproductions of several postcards highlighting various features of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite Valley, including O'Neill's Point and Thor's Hammer at the Grand Canyon, and the Gates of Yosemite and Overhanging Rock at Yosemite Valley.

National Parks exhibit, center case with maps of Arizona, circa 1873 and 1915

This display case featured a couple earlier maps of Arizona:

  • National Highways Map of the State of Arizona, circa 1915 ((791) 1915 MSC) - Created after the Grand Canyon was designated as a National Monument (1908), but before its designation as a National Park (1919), this map shows tentative locations for part of a National Highways System.
  • Northern Arizona Atlas Sheet No. 67, circa 1873 ((791) 1873 MSC)- This atlas sheet covering northern and northwestern Arizona and southern Utah was created out of the information gathered from the expeditions of 1871-1873, "By order of the Honorable Wm. W. Belknap, Secretary of War. Under the direction of Brig. Gen. A.A. Humphreys, Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army."
two books on the Grand Canyon and guide to Yellowstone Park

Additional items on display included books about the Grand Canyon and federal documents, both historical and current, from the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service.

Bibliography of Items Exhibited

  • Bailey, Florence Augusta Merriam. Among the birds in the Grand Canyon country.  United States, National park service, 1939.
    Call number: 598.29791, B154
  • Corle, Edwin. The story of the Grand Canyon. 2nd Edition. Duell, 1951.
    Call number: 979.1, C799a
  • Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel. A canyon voyage; the narrative of the second Powell expedition down the Green-Colorado river from Wyoming, and the explorations on land, in the years 1871 and 1872. G.P. Putnam's sons, 1908.
    Call number: 917.9, D35ab
  • Dilsaver, Lary. America's National Park System: the critical documents. Rowman & Littlefield, 1994.
    Call number: 973, A512, 95-10527. America's National Park System is also available online.
  • Powell, John Wesley. First through the Grand Canyon. Outing Pub. Co., 1915
    Call number: 917.91, P884. First through the Grand Canyon is also available online.
  • Scharff, Robert. Grand Canyon National Park. D. McKay Co., 1967
    Call number: 917.9132045, S311
  • Standley, Paul Carpenter. Plants of Glacier National Park. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1926.
    Call number: 581.9786, S785
  • Tillotson, Miner Raymond. Grand canyon country. Stanford university press, 1929.
    Call number: 917.91, T57
  • United States Department of the Interior. Glimpses of our national parks. 1916
    Call number: 917.3, U56
  • United States. National Park Service. Division of Publications. Mammoth Cave : Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky. 2003.
    Call number: I 29.9/5:158 (Federal Document Collection)
  • United States Department of the Interior. National Parks Portfolio. C. Scribner's Sons, 1916
    Call number: 711, U58
  • United States. National Park Service. Division of Publications. Redwood : a guide to Redwood national and state parks, California. 1997.
    Call number: I 29.9/5:154 (Federal Document Collection)
  • United States. National Park Service. Division of Publications. Yellowstone : a natural and human history. 2001.
    Call number: I 29.9/5:150 (Federal Document Collection)
  • United States. National Park Service. Division of Publications. Yosemite : a guide to Yosemite National Park. 1988.
    Call number: I 29.9/5:138 (Federal Document Collection)

Exhibit curated by Matthew Laudicina and Amy Peker

Last Updated: November 2, 2021