Clemson helps set up new digital gallery of state and national parks

Scholars with Clemson University and the National Park Service recently announced that they have created a digital gallery featuring unique, rare, and archived material from historic sites, national parks, and battlefields in the U.S.

The digital gallery is called the Open Parks Network. It is designed for ongoing growth; as of today, it includes over 100,000 public domain, high-resolution pictures. This gives the public as well as park leaders a seamless, integrated resource for information about the U.S. parks.

Most of the gallery exhibitions are photographic, but there are also maps and architectural plans from various eras about various topics. These items will be useful for researching and interpreting land acquisition and pre-park history, giving more documents that identify park maintenance and infrastructure points.

The team is currently planning to add another 40 photo albums of Yellowstone National Park on Aug. 25 to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial.

“Before the Open Parks Network, items in the park archives weren’t viewable unless you visited the park,” Brett Wright, dean of the Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences and project sponsor, said. “The network puts these treasures in the hands of anyone with an internet connection, enriches the experience of visitors and further appeals to the next generation of park-goers.”

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