Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Mapping The National Parks

[Detail] The Grand Canyon. Clarence E. Dutton, 1882.

Historical Research Capabilities

America has national parks, national monuments, national forests, and state, county, and local-level versions of these entities. Maps from this collection instigate research into the definitions and regulations governing these entities. What are the similarities and differences in how they are maintained? Funded? Regulated? How does their designation determine how the land is used by different "stake holders" such as the government, miners, loggers, hunters, and vacationers? How do the different entities reflect different uses and different significance for Americans?

Students can research and discuss what factors contribute to a land being designated a national park as opposed to a national monument or forest. They can use the parks featured in this collection as a starting point. Begin by reading the special presentations about the four parks featured in the collection: Acadia, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, and Yellowstone. Continue the research by searching the collection by park name to find maps that feature the characteristics that led to the parks becoming national parks, as opposed to other uses.