Cultural Resources Division
The Mission of the Cultural Resources Division:
To provide inspiration and leadership in acquiring, conserving, and managing
cultural resources that represent California’s rich history and diverse population
To foster an appreciation of the extraordinary value of California’s cultural heritage for the
enjoyment of present and future generations through access, education, service, and stewardship.
Cultural Heritage Publications
California State Parks has been publishing the results of their archaeological and historic research for over 50 years, an endeavored to publish the results of its investigations and management of a wide range of California's most important cultural heritage sites.
National Historic Landmarks
National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, just over 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. There are a total of 142 National Landmarks in California; 29 of them within California State Parks. The Cultural Resources Division works with the National Park Service and community partners in the ongoing preservation and maintenance of these distinctive resources.
California State Parks is responsible for the management of over one million museum objects, two million archaeological specimens, and more than three million archival documents throughout the state in more than 140 different parks.
- California Statewide Museum Collections Center (SMCC)
- Museum Collections Management Handbook, Volume II: Practices & Procedures
- Guidelines for Writing a Scope of Collections Statement
California's long human occupation of over 12,000 years has created tens of thousands of archaeological sites, representing villages, hunting, gathering and fishing areas, religious and ceremonial locations, trails and rock art sites. The cultural complexity of ancient California is unmatched in North America.
- State Archaeological Collections Research Facility
- Historical Archaeology
- Rock Art
- Underwater Archaeology
Cultural Resource Management in California State Parks
California State Parks is the steward of many of California's most significant cultural treasures. Whether preserving historic structures, archival documents, shipwrecks, gold rush towns, ancient villages or museum collections, the job of managing heritage resources can be described in three steps.
California's wealth lies in the diversity of its land and people. Our cultural heritage is derived from at least 300 indigenous tribal groups and explorers and immigrants from many continents, including '49ers seeking gold and settlers seeking a new life. There were many reasons why people chose to come to this part of the world, but all brought their skills and dreams.
The Built Environment
The built environment includes an array of historic buildings, structures, and objects all, serving as physical connections to the past, reflecting the history and impact of California's diverse cultures.
Cultural landscapes portray how humans have used and adapted natural resources over time, whether through agricultural, mining, ranching and settlement activities, or traditional Native American cultural practices.
Cultural Landscapes Planning and Stewardship
California State Parks and the National Park Service (NPS) have signed an agreement to create a Cultural Landscapes Planning and Stewardship Program. In this program, the NPS is providing technical assistance to help develop cultural landscape management and treatment plans.