An Open Letter to the National Park Service

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Publication Date


Department 1

Civil War Institute


This first of two closing sessions explored the current state of Civil War interpretation/preservation in the NPS, looking backward to cover the profound changes of the past few decades and forward to discuss strategies through which historians outside the NPS can assist the agency in its efforts to preserve and interpret the nation’s Civil War past for public audiences. Particular attention was paid to the Imperiled Promise report, the current budget situation, and the centrality of commemoration to the NPS mission.


This session was part of the Future of Civil War History: Looking Beyond the 150th conference, which was jointly sponsored by the Civil War Institute, the Gettysburg Foundation, and Gettysburg National Military Park and held at Gettysburg College from March 14-16, 2013. The conference drew approximately 450 attendees from all walks of the historical profession, as well as members of the general public.

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