North Carolina State Parks

About this collection

Welcome to the North Carolina State Parks digital collection, a trove of materials relating to the natural and cultural history of the state parks system gathered from the holdings of the State Archives, State Library and N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. The story of North Carolina’s state parks – beginning in 1916 – is interwoven with stories of its people and their connection to the landscape. This collection reflects that intimate connection and was prepared as part of the 2016 centennial celebration of the state parks system.

Most of the items currently available in this digital collection are photographs, drawings, and postcards in the custody of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. These materials include both historical and contemporary images of varied topics, such as: the creation of individual parks, significant public events held in the parks, animals and plants, park scenery, recreation activities, and park visitors. Many of the items were digitized by Clemson University Libraries for the Open Parks Network, a project sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The digitized items in this collection are representative of the extensive image collection held by the state parks. Images can be downloaded directly from this site using a tab at the top of the individual image page. Questions about use of images can be directed to Denise Williams, Operations Administrative Assistant, Archival Coordinator for the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation at or 919-707-9341.

Items from the State Library of North Carolina’s collection include promotional and informational materials for specific parks and the parks system; various state park master plans and general management plans; and brief histories of North Carolina’s state parks and recreation areas. The materials span from the 1950s to the early 2000s.

The State Archives is in the process of indexing state parks records that have been transferred into its custody. Once that indexing process is completed, the Archives will digitize and add a selection of documents, including correspondence, reports, and studies to this digital collection.

For more information about North Carolina’s State Parks, see: