The library is open to the public by appointment.
The park's library and archives are open to the public by appointment.

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Collections Preservation Center
Construction of the National Park Service Collections Preservation Center in Townsend, TN was completed in 2016. This center will house the cultural related museum collections for five NPS units: Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Obed Wild and Scenic River. Materials stored at the center will vary by park but include: archeological artifacts, artwork, textiles, furnishings, and other historic items relating to the parks’ history.

The collections will be moved to the center over the next several years. Great Smoky Mountains NP began the process of moving and re-housing their collection in late 2016. Big South Fork NRRA and Obed WSR plan to move in 2017. Cumberland Gap’s collection is scheduled to move in 2018. The Andrew Johnson NHS collection is also scheduled to move in 2018. These plans are subject to change based on the speed at which the collections can be safely moved.

In addition to the park’s cultural museum collections, archives from Great Smoky Mountains NP are also housed at the Collections Preservation Center. The park’s archives contain information about the history of the park, and the people who have called the park area home. Collection highlights include: lands records, genealogical information, historic photographs, park management reports, and maps. To make an appointment to access the collections please refer to the information below. Please note, archives from the other four parks will not be moved to the center. For information on researching those records please contact the individual park directly.

View of northeast corner of the Collections Preservation Center shortly after construction was completed showing the front and side facades.
View of northeast corner of the Collections Preservation Center shortly after construction was completed showing the front and side facades.

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Use of Archives and Collections at the Collections Preservation Center
Appointments are required: Appointments are available Monday – Friday between the hours of 9 am and 3:30 pm. Only a limited number of researchers can be helped at any one time. Contacting the facility staff well in advance of your desired appointment time is strongly recommended. Call 865-448-2247 to schedule an appointment.

The center is closed all federal holidays and December 25 through January 1.

Contact Information

Librarian-Archivist: Mike Aday
Email: e-mail us
Phone: 865-448-2247

Museum Curator: Baird Todd
Email: e-mail us
Phone: 865-448-2245

Mailing Address:
National Park Service
Collections Preservation Center
8440 State Highway 73
Townsend, TN 37882

Database of the Smokies
Database of the Smokies (DOTS) is a free online bibliography of Smoky Mountain material published since 1934 (the date of the establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park). DOTS contains searchable records of books, scholarly and popular journal articles, government and scientific reports, theses and dissertations, maps, digitized photographs, and travel guides. Whenever copyright restrictions permit, citations are linked to the full text of the published item. DOTS can be visited on the University of Tennessee Libraries' website.

Digitized Park Collections
Online collections that include material from the Great Smoky Mountains NP Archives can be found on the following sites:
Western Carolina University Hunter Library
The Open Parks Network

Last updated: December 12, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738


(865) 436-1200

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