Are you researching a topic related to environmental studies? If so, you can find many useful resources among these collections at the National Archives. Listed here are some of the many record groups that provide information about environmental issues.



Many state, local, and private archives also contain records that document important information about the environment. The National Archives’ National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) has provided grants to several such institutions, and the collections those organizations have digitized are now freely available online. Two examples include:


  • The Aldo Leopold Foundation and the University Archives of the University of Wisconsin, Madison have digitized the papers of 20th century ecologist and philosopher Aldo Leopold. As they note on their website, “Aldo Leopold is considered by many to have been the most influential conservation thinker of the 20th Century. Leopold’s legacy spans the disciplines of forestry, wildlife management, conservation biology, sustainable agriculture, restoration ecology, private land management, environmental history, literature, education, esthetics, and ethics. He is most widely known as the author of A Sand County Almanac, one of the most beloved and respected books about the environment ever published. The Leopold Collection houses the raw materials that document not only Leopold’s rise to prominence but the history of conservation and the emergence of the field of ecology from the early 1900s until his death in 1948.” You can view the collection and find out more about Aldo Leopold here: Aldo Leopold Archives – UW Digital Collections


  • The University of Florida has digitized material several “archival collections related to the exploration, development, and conservation of the Everglades between 1879-1929. These collections include materials from two Florida governors who wanted to develop the swampy region, a governor's wife who advocated conservation of certain regions, and several individuals associated with development. Together, the approximately 100,000 pages in the collections document the vibrant turn-of-the-century debate about what to do with these lands that appeared useless and dangerous.” To browse the collection, visit: UFDC Home - America's Swamp: the Historical Everglades 


For more information about other NHPRC digitization grant projects, see: