Special Collections and Archives blog

Happy Birthday Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon from Yaki Point
Photo Courtesy of Josef Muench Collection

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Grand Canyon National Park. President Woodrow Wilson designated Grand Canyon as the 15th national park on Feb. 26, 1919, after decades of lobbying to protect the Canyon.

Two NPS Rangers, Grand Canyon National Park
Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collection

Today, the Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the country. It see approximately 7 million visitors a year, most of whom see the Grand Canyon from the South Rim Village. It is one of the most iconic national parks in the national park system and wows the viewer with breath-taking vistas that stretch for over twenty miles.

President Roosevelt at Rust Camp, Grand Canyon, 1913
Photo courtesy of Edwin Jessop Marshall Collection

The Cline Library Special Collections and Archives is hosting an exhibit celebrating the centennial of the Grand Canyon National Park. Splendor and Spectacle: The 100 Year Journey of the Grand Canyon National Park was curated by Ms. Hana Lipke, a senior Honors College student at Northern Arizona University, with guidance and direction from Kelly Phillips, Archivist for Digital Programs, and Sean Evans, University Archivist. The exhibit is located on the second floor of the Cline Library in Special Collections and Archives. It is available for viewing Monday through Thursday form 9:00am – 6:00pm and Fridays from 9:00am – 5:00pm. The exhibit opened on October 23, 2018 and will be available through September 2019. For those of you unable to visit the physical exhibit, we have an online version of the exhibit freely available here.

NAU Honors College Senior and the Elizabeth M and PT Reilly intern, Ms. Hana Lipke
Photo courtesy of Hana Lipke

Complementing the exhibits, the Cline Library partnered with the Arizona State University Library and the Grand Canyon National Park Museum to digitize over 3,000 letters, photographs, reports, and other primary source material documenting the transition of the Grand Canyon from its pioneering, free-enterprise period to becoming a national park. The 100 Years of Grand project is both a celebration and exploration of one of America’s most fascinating national parks. The project was just featured in the Guardian Weekly.

We encourage everyone to visit and experience the Grand Canyon and the Splendor and Spectacle exhibits.

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