Research in the Museum Collection

Research in the Shenandoah National Park Museum Collection:
Research in the museum collection requires an appointment and depends on the availability of museum staff. You will be asked to describe your research project and must complete some research forms.

Contact Information:

Museum Specialist
Shenandoah National Park
3655 US Hwy 211 East
Luray, Virginia 22835

Telephone: 540-999-3500 x 3495
Facsimile: 540-999-3697

or contact us by email

The following forms must be read and completed before or at the time of the appointment: (If you want to provide the forms to the park prior to arrival, use snail mail.)
· Researcher Registration Form
· Copyright and Privacy Restrictions
· Researcher Duplication Form (for copies or prints)

The Shenandoah National Park Museum Collection contains four main archival collections:
· State Commission on Conservation and Development Land Records, 1869-1995
· Shenandoah National Park Resource Management Records, 1880-1996
· L. Ferdinand Zerkel Papers, 1889-1962
· Darwin Lambert Papers, 1921-1994

State Commission on Conservation and Development Land Records, 1869-1995
Records generated by Commonwealth of Virginia when acquiring 195,000 acres of land to establish Shenandoah National Park includes typed letters and carbon copies of letters, handwritten notes and forms, newspaper clippings, drawings, blueprints, photographs, ledger sheets, and return receipt cards.

It is summarized in The Database of SNP Land Records, compiled by archives staff in 1997.Duplicate sets of land records can be found in the courthouses of the eight counties surrounding the park

Shenandoah National Park Resource Management Records, 1880-1996
Records created or used by the park staff during the day-to-day administration and management of park cultural and natural resources and park facilities includes typed and carbon copies of letters, blueprints, photographs, handwritten notes, reports, park guidebooks, pamphlets, theses and scientific papers, magazines, books, drawings, and financial records

L. Ferdinand Zerkel Papers, 1889-1962
Zerkel was a Luray real estate agent and lumber broker, a payroll clerk for construction of Lee Highway and Skyline Drive, an early promoter of Shenandoah National Park, and project manager for the U.S. Resettlement Administration.

Subjects include land acquisition, resettlement, SNP Association, fundraising, park boundaries, Skyline Drive, George Freeman Pollock, and Skyland. It includes correspondence, handwritten notes, blueprints, photographs, reports, pamphlets, drawings, maps, newspaper clippings, and sales receipts.

Darwin Lambert Papers, 1921-1994
Lambert was the first employee of Shenandoah National Park. He organized the Shenandoah Nature Society, wrote the park's first guidebook, and published a magazine on the Shenandoah area's natural history and human story. His papers were created while researching and writing four books pertaining to the natural and cultural history of Shenandoah National Park. The collection includes typed letters, handwritten notes, forms, publication drafts, photographs, negatives, slides, and newspaper clippings.

Additional collections include:
· Park Establishment and Early Park Assembled Collection
· Herbert Hoover Assembled Collection
· Civilian Conservation Corps Collections
· Virginia Sky-Line Company Advertising Scrapbooks
· Photographs Collection
· Skyland Assembled Collection

Additional Sources beyond Shenandoah National Park:
The Shenandoah National Park Oral History Collection can be found at the James Madison University Libraries, Special Collection.

Local historical societies and libraries may also have information of interest to researchers.

Last updated: November 10, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


540 999-3500
Emergency Phone: 1-800-732-0911

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