About the Route 66 Archives and Research Collaboration

 

The history of Route 66 is paved with paper—postcards, photographs, maps, menus, oral histories and other primary source documentation.

To bring more attention to the historical record of Route 66, the National Park Service (NPS) is collaborating with archival institutions along the route to develop the Route 66 Archives and Research Collaboration, or “Route 66 ARC”. The mission of Route 66 ARC is to stimulate the collection and preservation of historical records, and increase their accessibility to the public.

The importance of archival sources is unquestioned. With each map, tourist brochure, diary or photograph, we learn more about the highway—what it looked like, who used it, what it was like to drive it.

Archival information is useful not only to scholars and students, but to tourists looking to enrich their travel experience; property owners wanting to learn more about their building or business; local communities wanting to promote their town history; and government agencies responsible for managing aspects of the highway.

Ten institutions have partnered with the NPS as key repositories and have contributed significantly to the development of the initiative. Current goals are to promote the archives; identify important Route 66 collections throughout the states; encourage cross-collaboration between archives, libraries and museums; and develop this website as a rich resource of archival information to help preserve the memory and materials of the route.

 

Doing research?
Route 66 ARC’s mission is to help you to find library and archival materials.  Whether you are doing a school assignment, renovating your business on the Route, or writing a major research paper or article, we hope to point you in some useful directions.

 

Contact one of our Route 66 Archive and Research Collaboration institutions, or Ask a Librarian to find online resources as well as the archives, libraries, historical societies and museums that are the major holders of research materials on (and sometimes off) Route 66.

Start Your Research here to find Route 66 history & culture!