Heritage and Research Center

The front of a building with a mountain in the background

The Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center houses Yellowstone's museum collection, archives, and research library.



The Heritage and Research Center, located at 20 Old Yellowstone Trail in historic Gardiner, Montana, is a state-of-the-art facility that is home to Yellowstone National Park’s museum collection, archives, research library, historian, and archeology lab.

This 32,000-square-foot, facility is located on seven acres adjacent to the Gardiner School. It now houses almost 3,000 linear feet of historic records, 90,000 photographic prints and negatives, 20,000 books and manuscripts, 300,000 cultural and natural science specimens, over 35,000 archeological artifacts and approximately 10,000 plant specimens. The Heritage and Research Center provides a 500% increase (from 1,642 to 8,017 square feet) in library and archives space including storage, processing areas, reading rooms, and offices; and a 700% increase (from 1,206 to 8,906 square feet) in museum spaces including storage, processing areas, and offices. It was not only designed to improve space for the collections, including room for 25 years of growth, but also to improve access and ease working conditions for employees, visitors, and researchers; increase security; better accommodate tours; and showcase rotating exhibits.

Excerpts from Yellowstone Science Vol.12, Number 4 Part I & Part II

Free public tours of the Heritage and Research Center are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 AM, from May 26 to September 10, 2015. Tours last about one hour. Space is limited to 10 participants, so please call (307) 344-2264 to reserve a slot.


The facility is open, Monday–Friday, 8am-5pm and closed weekends and federal holidays and special closures as noted:

December 24-January 5


  • Monday, Tuesday 9-4
  • Wednesday 9-12
  • Thursday, Friday 9-4

Archives and Museum Collections

By appointment only.

Please be advised that the Yellowstone National Park Herbarium and archeology labs do not maintain an open door policy for researchers due to field work.


Researchers are encouraged to complete their preliminary research at other archives, libraries, and/or museum collections with a broad topical focus before approaching the holdings of Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone National Park has limited reference staff and resources that must be made available to researchers whose work focuses on materials available only at Yellowstone. Access to materials is dependent upon their physical condition and the level of processing to date by the park staff. All research must be done on-site in the museum research room or the library reading room.

Other Repositories Containing Yellowstone National Park Related Collections


Contact Us

For information about the Heritage and Research Center building, please call 307-344-2662

For general park information, please call 307-344-7381


More Information

  • Historic Vehicle Collection: Yellowstone’s historic vehicle collection is one of the largest in the National Park Service.
  • Preserving Cultural Resources: Yellowstone’s cultural resources tell the stories of people and their connections to the park. The protection of these resources affects how the park is managed today.
  • Park History: Learn about Yellowstone's story from the earliest humans to today's modern management.
  • Science & Research: Yellowstone is important as a natural reserve, but also has a rich history that include an archeological record of more than 11,000 years of human use. Each year, Yellowstone issues and manages 150-200 research permits.
  • Yellowstone Center for Resources: Yellowstone employs a number of scientists and researchers in the Yellowstone Center for Resources whose work helps us understand this special place and better conserve the park’s natural and cultural resources.

Did You Know?