Oral History Project

An Overview

In commemoration of the NPS Centennial, the Association of National Park Rangers has launched an oral history project. Our goal is to record, transcribe, archive and share 50 interviews of Park Service personnel who have shaped the agency's history during its second half-century. Narrators will range from emeritus employees to the newest NPS hires.

ANPR completed its first two rounds of interviews at the annual Ranger Rendezvous in 2012 and 2013. A team of NPS oral historians has conducted 26 interviews with longtime employees, all of whom helped create the modern Park Service. They joined the agency in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, and they occupied leadership positions during decades of great change. During their tenure, the NPS expanded significantly, the country adopted laws that challenged the Service's management policies, and the demographics of the agency's workforce and its visitors underwent a significant shift.

ANPR's oral history project joins a long tradition in the NPS of using interviews to safeguard the collective memory and expertise of those who have shaped the Service over the years. It also advances the top priorities of NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis by passing on important lessons to a younger generation of Park Service personnel. The information collected during these interviews can be used immediately as part of workforce development and leadership succession. It is also vital to the long-term stewardship of the agency's history and the education of its early-career employees.

ANPR is committed to properly preserving and protecting the interviews that it conducts. Every interview will be transcribed, edited and archived. The audio recordings and transcriptions of the oral histories will be archived at the Harpers Ferry Center in West Virginia and are being shared via publications and websites.

Interviewees (as of December 2013)

Charles "Butch" Farabee
Maureen Finnerty
William Halainen
Frank Hastings
Bob Krumenaker
Wendy Lauritzen
Ken Mabery
Mary Martin
Richard Martin
Scot McElveen
Bruce Reed
Ed Rizzotto
Clair Roberts
Edwin Rothfuss
Bill Sanders
Rick Smith
Deryl Stone
Barry Sullivan
James "JD" Swed
Dale Thompson
Florence Six Townsend
John Townsend
Bill Wade
Margaret "Meg" Weesner
Lee Werst
Teresa Ford (longtime Ranger editor and publisher,
  ANPR membership/business services; non-NPS employee)

If you have suggestions for additional interviewees, please contact Alison Steiner and Jeremy Kaufman at anproralhistoryproject@gmail.com.


ANPR's Rick Gale Memorial Fund is underwriting interview transcription, editing and archival preparation of the oral history interviews. To donate to the Rick Gale Memorial Fund, visit this link.

Interview Excerpts

Jan Kirwan

Ed Rizzotto

Wendy Lauritzen

Dick Martin

Butch Farabee

Barry Sullivan

J.D. Swed