Lantern slide collection
Hand colored lantern slide, undated.

NPS, ROMO 10798

Museum Collections of Rocky Mountain National Park

As part of the NPS Museum Management Program, the collections at Rocky Mountain National Park provide researchers access to materials that relate directly to the park while preserving the artifacts and specimens for future use. This function is mandated and motivated by the enabling legislation of the NPS: "...which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects..."

The collections are stored in several repositories such as the YMCA of the Rockies, Denver Botanical Gardens, and on site in the park; and currently consist of 33,465 cultural objects, 294 works of art, 10,495 biological specimens, and 455 geological specimens. These objects document human use of the land and the natural history including the alpine tundra ecosystem. About 710 of these items are on exhibit throughout park at visitor centers and the Holzwarth Historic Site. The archival collections consist of central files, images, and donated manuscripts stored on site and at the National Archives Record Administration, NARA.

The curator prepares the objects for display, gives access to the collections for researchers, and oversees the collections stored in the storage facility and collections on loan to other repositories. Many supportive duties are performed by student interns and VIPs (Volunteers in Parks), including: archival and artifact inventories, cataloging, and rehousing, pest and climate monitoring, housekeeping, and library functions.


Access to Collections:
The Museum Storage Facility was built in 1996 to give the park's collections a secure and controlled environment for storage and preservation. This facility can be accessed by appointment only. Please fill out the Researcher Registration form and either mail to: Rocky Mountain National Park, ATTN: Curator, 1000 HWY 36 Estes Park, CO 80517 or send it via email.

Last updated: December 1, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


(970) 586-1206
General park questions: (970) 586-1206. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970)586-1222.

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