Are all parks represented on the Museum Collections website?
All parks that have collections are represented at the collection summary level. Some of these parks have put all, or some, of their collections online on this web site.
How do I find a specific park?
To find a specific park, click on “Parks” in the top-level navigation. The “Find a Park” page allows you to find a park by it’s name, location, or even a theme that you’d like to explore.
Are all the parks' objects represented on the Museum Collections website?
No, parks make a decision about what records they want to put online based on their available resources.
What is a museum object?
A museum object is a material thing possessing functional, aesthetic, cultural, symbolic, and/or scientific value, usually movable by nature or design. Museum objects include prehistoric and historic objects, artifacts, works of art, archival material, and natural history specimens that are part of a museum collection.
Where do these objects come from?
These objects come from National Park Service (NPS) museums. NPS museums collect objects specific to the mission of the individual parks and interpret those collections in their original context. The collections are site-specific, that is, they pertain to that particular NPS site. With the exception of house museums, most other museums gather thematic collections from many different sites and house them in one place.
If I know it can I search by catalog number?
Yes. Go to the park page for that object and enter the number in the search box.
What is the maximum number of records returned?
Currently we are returning a maximum of 5000 records. This may change in the future. If you get 5000 results back you can refine your search using filters or adding an "and" condition to your search e.g. change searching "bottle" to "bottle and medicine".
What is a collection highlight?
A collection highlight is a curated set of objects that have been designed by staff and museum curators at each of the national parks. Each collection highlight has a theme and displays the objects in a park’s collection that relate to that specific theme. These collections allow insight into the wide range of topics that can be found within the National Park Service museum collections.