The History of Gardiner project
August 12, 2012
Park Street, Gardiner, Montana, 1890
Park Street, Gardiner, Montana, 1890. Building in center has sign that reads Pratt & Hall, General Merchandise
Sometimes things just happen to come together quite handily without those involved really intending for it to happen. And when the project is wrapped up in a beneficial way, one may just have to think that a "fortunate stroke of serendipity" occurred and be happy about it.
Take the Collection Development policy document that we have in place. This document was a group effort and directed by our curator, Colleen Curry. It is useful to the staff to help guide us in what we accept from donors and our decision making process in acquiring new materials. According to our guidelines, since no other entity actively "collects" for the town of Gardiner, Montana, north entrance gateway community to Yellowstone National Park, we will collect relevant materials and care for them at the HRC.
This decision, along with the desire to produce a diverse and meaningful digital project, provided the background for The History of Gardiner. This is a digitization project hosted by the Montana Historical Society on their website, the Montana Memory Project http://cdm15018.contentdm.oclc.org. The History of Gardiner project is a collection of historic photographs of early Gardiner, oral history transcripts of residents, the town's newspaper Wonderland (1902-1905), and a georeferenced historic 1907 Sanborn Insurance map of Gardiner. The GIS (Geographic Information Systems) lab in Yellowstone made the Sanborn map transparent, overlayed it on a Gardiner, Park County, Montana 2004-06 NAIP Imagery map. Both maps were georeferenced for correct imagery alignment. The result is that viewers can see current sites in Gardiner and what used to be there in 1907.
The story doesn't end here. Enter the Gardiner Gateway Project that is moving to redesign Gardiner as the premier entrance to Yellowstone National Park and have it completed in time for the 2016 anniversary of the National Park Service. The Gardiner Chamber of Commerce is looking for material to tell the town's story by way of a walking tour. And here we are at the HRC, a staff most willing to help provide access to what we have.