Yosemite's resources are captured within a flourishing museum collection that protects more than 4 million items, including John Muir's tin cup, Thomas Hill's oil paintings, and 100,000 historic park photographs. The 1922 donation of an Indian basket collection helped inspire the park to build a museum in Yosemite Valley that opened in 1926.
The Yosemite Museum herbarium collection has significant regional holdings, with 8,000 specimens dating from the early part of the 20th century to the present. While most of the collections date from the 1920s - 1960s, it is an actively growing herbarium with over 3,000 vascular plant specimens added in the last ten years. The herbarium is a valuable component of the park's museum collections and is an essential tool for resource management: fire management, exotics programs, and vegetation management. It is also a valuable source of information to the scientific community about Yosemite's complex flora. Online access is available to the museum's herbarium courtesy of the Consortium of California Herbaria (choose "YM (Yosemite N.P. herbarium)" as the source). Access is granted to researchers by advance appointment; contact the park's registrar for details.
Yosemite Research Library
Research is by appointment; research hours are Mondays & Tuesdays 8 am-4:30 pm. To set an appointment, please call 209/379-1283.
Did You Know?
In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.