Thing to Do

Viewing the William Henry Jackson Collection

A sketch of a wagon train moving through a narrow, rugged pass.

William Henry Jackson is best known as the first person to photograph the wonders of Yellowstone. His images adorned the parlors of millions of American households and aided in the effort to create the world's first national park. Jackson was also an accomplished artist who recorded his experiences as a young man. His drawings and paintings provide valuable insights to life in a time when America was suffering through the Civil War and venturing westward in search of a national identity.

Scotts Bluff National Monument houses the world's largest collection of original William Henry Jackson sketches, paintings, and photographs. Due to limited space, a small selection of works are on display in the visitor center. There are currently three exhibits on display in the Scotts Bluff National Monument Visitor Center.

William Henry Jackson: Artist and Adventurer

Learn more about the life of Jackson and view 12 of the watercolors of Western life he made in the later years of his life. This exhibit is on display in the hallway at the north end of the visitor center. 

William Henry Jackson and Yellowstone National Park

Learn about how Jackson's involvement in the 1871 US Geological Survey in Yellowstone led to the creation of the world's first national park in 1872. This exhibit features prints of photographs of Yellowstone that Jackson took in 1871 and later in his life. It is located in the hallway at the north end of the visitor center. 

William Henry Jackson and the National Park Service

Besides Yellowstone, Jackson was instrumental in the creation of other National Park Service (NPS) sites, including Mesa Verde National Park and Fort Laramie National Historic Site. Learn about Jackson's connections to different NPS sites through sketches, photographs, and watercolor paintings. This exhibit is on display in the visitor center theater. 

For those who are unable to view the collection in person, the NPS Museum Management Program website hosts a virtual exhibition of selected items from collection. 
20-30 Minutes
View a portion of the Scotts Bluff National Monument collection of the works of artist William Henry Jackson. 
Pets Allowed
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
The Scotts Bluff National Monument Visitor Center
Year Round
The collection is available for viewing when the visitor center is open to the public.
Accessibility Information
The William Henry Jackson Collection is located in the Scotts Bluff National Monument Visitor Center. The visitor center is a fully accessible building. Service animals are permitted inside the building. 

Scotts Bluff National Monument

Last updated: August 28, 2023