Genealogical Research Collection Donated to Park

Regan collection to park insideGreat Smoky Mountains National Park officials are pleased to announce the addition of a new research collection to the park archives. The Donald Bruce Reagan Genealogical Collection is now available to aid genealogists in researching their family history. 

The collection consists of correspondence, articles, publications, photographs, family information, maps, and digital records compiled by Knoxville resident Donald Reagan during his genealogical research that spanned nearly four decades. The Reagans were one of the early families of Gatlinburg and the collection includes information on many other well-known families of the area. Over the course of his research Reagan published seven genealogical books including ‘The Book of Ragan/Reagan’ and ‘Smoky Mountain Clans Vols. I-III.’ 

“This collection provides a unique opportunity for genealogists to utilize the wealth of information already compiled and organized by Mr. Reagan,” said Park Archivist Michael Aday. “We are honored to be able to share and care for these meticulously collected records.”

In 2016 Reagan passed away and, as part of his estate, willed his entire genealogical research collection to the park. The 43.5-linear foot genealogical collection is housed at the National Park Service Collections Preservation Center in Townsend, TN. The center houses the archives and material culture collection for Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as the cultural collections for Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Obed Wild & Scenic River, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, and Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. The Collections Preservation Center exists as a result of the public-private partnership between the National Park Service, the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, the Friends of the Smokies, and the Great Smoky Mountains Association.

Access to the collections at the Collections Preservation Center is available by appointment only. Please contact librarian-archivist Michael Aday to schedule an appointment. 865-448-2247

For more information about the park collections and the Collections Preservation Center, please visit the park’s website at

Source: GSMNP