Geographies of Wonder Part 2: Evolution of the National Park Idea 1933–2016

"Geographies of Wonder: Evolution of the National Park Idea 1933–2016" depicts the unceasing public enthusiasm for national park spaces as well as the steady pace of changes in the concept of a "national park" that grew to include national lakeshores and seashores, wild and scenic rivers, battlefields, industrial sites, parkways and trails.
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The Huntington Library continues to celebrate the centennial of the U.S. National Park Service in this second of two consecutive exhibitions that focus upon the critical role that national parks have played in American history. “Geographies of Wonder: Evolution of the National Park Idea 1933–2016” will depict the unceasing public enthusiasm for national park spaces as well as the steady pace of changes in the concept of a “national park” that grew to include national lakeshores and seashores, wild and scenic rivers, battlefields, industrial sites, parkways and trails. It will illuminate the great paradox established by the National Park Service’s founding legislation—how to make the lands under its management available for public enjoyment while at the same time ensuring the preservation of those lands unimpaired for the use of future generations. Drawing upon nearly 100 items gathered from the Huntington’s holdings as well as from various private collections, “Geographies of Wonder” will include maps, photographs, advertisements, illustrated guide books, travel narratives, promotional brochures, scientific surveys, reports and correspondence that will highlight the experiences of visitors to the parks and the many (sometimes conflicting) visions of national parks that took shape over the past eighty years.

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