Rare views of the Outer Banks of North Carolina
designed by:
Matt Wilkerson, Aug 2001 FRF

photos scanned by:
Stan Riggs, Leigh Hazelton ECU

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In the 1930's the Beach Erosion Board (BEB)*, conducted a study of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The results of this study were published as House Document 155, 74th Congress, 1st session, 1935. As part of the study, aerial photographs were taken from Kitty Hawk, NC south to Waves, NC. These are remarkable records of the Outer Banks in an earlier time. Most of the photos are in good shape, being glued to fabric and mosaiced with hinges that allow each strip to fold into a letter-sized file folder. We are very pleased to make these rare images available.

There are eight sets of photographs. Each is an original mosaic of 8-17 sheets and the nominal scale is 1:1200. The images are presented north to south, left to right down the page. Sets 1-5 have the ocean on the right side and in sets 6-8 the ocean is on the left. Each individual segment is a separate image, you can recreate the moasic by reconnecting each image - there is overlap only when a seam appears in two adjacent images. Some sets duplicate others - Set 2 is better and covers more than Set 5,similarly Set 3 is much better than either Set 6 or Set 7.

The images are available in three different resolutions: thumbnails, a large jpeg (~200K), and a full size 300 dpi jpeg (~2,000K). Each is viewable and downloadable via the links below and all images are available via the http link at the top of the page. An article, The Evolution of a Barrier Island:1930-1980 published by Shore and Beach in 1984, made extensive use of these photographs. It is available in pdf format (~2,000k).

Set 1 | April 1932 | Southern Shores to Oregon Inlet
Set 2 | October 7 1932 | N of Bodie Island Lighthouse to Rodanthe
Set 3 | February 21 1933 | N of Bodie Lighthouse to Waves
Set 4 | November 19 1934 | N of Bodie Island Lighthouse to N of New Inlet
Set 5 | October 7 1932 | N of Bodie Island Lighthouse to just N of New Inlet
Set 6 | February 21 1933 | N of Bodie Island Lighthouse to just N of New Inlet
Set 7 | February 21 1933 | New Inlet to South of Waves
Set 8 | November 19 1938 | N side of Oregon Inlet to just S of Salvo

These images are in the public domain, credit the US Army Corps of Engineers, if you use them.

*The Beach Erosion Board was predecessor to the Coastal & Hydraulics Laboratory, the parent agency of the Field Research Facility