Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial with Music

Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service!

The National Park Service was founded 100 years ago on August 25, 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. Reporting to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service protects and makes accessible hundreds of historic sites, monuments, parks, and recreation areas throughout the United States and its territories. National Parks, like public libraries, museums, and archives, are some of our greatest treasures as a nation and provide a wonderful opportunity for individuals and families to engage with U.S. history and nature.

Here in the Music Division we love National Parks! We invite you to celebrate the parks during the centennial by exploring musical representations of some of the most famous sites in the National Parks system, such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Lincoln Memorial, and many more! You can search for park-related sheet music via our online catalog. Below are some highlights from the Music Division’s collections. We invite you to find your park!

Music Division Collection Highlights

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon Suite, I. Sunrise [holograph sketches], by Ferde Grofé, ca. 1929-1931. Ferde Grofé Collection, Library of Congress Music Division.

Grand Canyon Suite, I. Sunrise [holograph sketches], by Ferde Grofé, ca. 1929-1931. Ferde Grofé Collection, Library of Congress Music Division.

Bunker Hill Monument – Boston National Historical Park

Bunker Hill march by I. A. Grohe, Philadelphia: G. E. Blake, 1840. Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1820-1860 Collection, Library of Congress Music Division.

“Bunker Hill march,” by I. A. Grohe, Philadelphia: G. E. Blake, 1840. Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1820-1860 Collection, Library of Congress Music Division.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

"Lewis and Clark exposition march," by F. A. Young, arr. by R. A. Sears, Chicago: Victor Kremer Co., 1903. Historic Sheet Music Collection, 1800 to 1922, Library of Congress Music Division.

“Lewis and Clark exposition march,” by F. A. Young, arr. by R. A. Sears, Chicago: Victor Kremer Co., 1903. Historic Sheet Music Collection, 1800 to 1922, Library of Congress Music Division.

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

"Defence of Fort M'Henry," by Franis Scott Key, ca. 1814. First printing of Key's lyrics that became "The Star Spangled Banner." Library of Congress Music Division.

“Defence of Fort M’Henry,” by Francis Scott Key, ca. 1814. First printing of Key’s lyrics that became “The Star Spangled Banner.” Library of Congress Music Division.

Redwood National Park

"In the redwoods," by Jose Sancho, Cincinnati: John Church, Co., 1894, Historic Sheet Music Collection, 1800 to 1922, Library of Congress Music Division.

“In the redwoods,” by Jose Sancho, Cincinnati: John Church, Co., 1894, Historic Sheet Music Collection, 1800 to 1922, Library of Congress Music Division.

 

Selected Library of Congress Resources on National Parks

WPA National Park Posters (Free downloads)

"The national parks preserve wild life," Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, 1936-1939. Work Projects Administration Poster Collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

“The national parks preserve wild life,” Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, 1936-1939. Work Projects Administration Poster Collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Mapping the National Parks Digital Collection (Free downloads)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park [map], U.S. National Park Service, [1981], Mapping the National Parks Collection, Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park [map], U.S. National Park Service, [1981], Mapping the National Parks Collection, Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

Carol Highsmith Archive (Photographs)

The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, by Carol M. Highsmith, ca. 1980-2006, Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

“The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas,” by Carol M. Highsmith, ca. 1980-2006, Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Video Resources
Example: “Tourists going round Yellowstone Park,” ca. 1899, Edison Manufacturing Co.

Explore the National Parks Service Centennial

Official Centennial Website

National Park Service History

Find Your Park Portal

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