In 1991, Charles E. Little and The Johns Hopkins University Press donated the core of what would become the Greenways Archive at NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center. After the completion of his path-breaking book, Greenways for America, Charles E. Little wanted to donate his impressive collection of greenways material to an academic institution that was committed to the development of greenways systems across the United States. NCSU was chosen as the repository for the Archive because of the strong interest for greenways in the Raleigh, NC area and the university's renowned programs in Parks and Recreation, Landscape Design, Engineering, and Environmental Sciences. For several years, however, the Archive remained undeveloped, consisting primarily of the Little papers.
The primary mission of Catena, the Digital Archive of Historic Gardens and Landscapes, is to fill a void in American higher education by assembling a searchable collection of historic and contemporary images that include plans, engravings, paintings, and photographs to make the following possible: Provide Images for Teaching Landscape Studies Catena offers a readily available set of images to illustrate classroom lectures.