Thermal maturity of oil and gas source rocks is typically quantified in terms of vitrinite reflectance, which is based on optical properties of terrestrial woody remains. This study evaluates 13C CP/MAS NMR parameters in kerogen (i.e., the insoluble fraction of organic matter in sediments and sedimentary rocks) as proxies for thermal maturity in marine-derived source rocks where terrestrially derived vitrinite is often absent or sparse. In a suite of samples from the New Albany Shale (Middle Devonian to the Early Mississippian, Illinois Basin) the abundance of aromatic carbon in kerogen determined by 13C CP/MAS NMR correlates linearly well with vitrinite reflectance. ?? 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.