Archives

Tall cabinets filled with neat rows of yellow and gray boxes
The archives are an affiliate of the National Archives and include records from the US Army's administration of the park.

NPS

 

The Yellowstone National Park archives house records that document natural and cultural resources of the park as well as how the national park idea developed after Yellowstone’s establishment, how policies for managing the world’s first national park were developed, and how they continue to develop today. The Yellowstone Archives is an affiliate of the US National Archives and Records Administration and houses a unique record of physical and administrative development beginning with early civilian superintendents and pioneer entrepreneurs, through the turn-of-the-century military era, to the founding and development of the National Park Service.

The collections include documents from the military administration of the park (1886–1918), administrative records from the establishment of the National Park Service (1916) to the present, resource management records that document how the natural and cultural resources are protected, records of major projects that have occurred in the park, the records of park concessioners such as the Yellowstone Park Company, and donated manuscripts. The collection also contains historic maps, photographs, films, oral histories, administrative records, and scientific data.

The park is allowed to permanently hold federal records created by the park’s administration instead of transferring them to the National Archives because of its affiliation with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). While legal custody of these records belongs to NARA, physical custody is kept by Yellowstone National Park to allow researchers to have the best access to both current and historical resources in one location.

 

Hours

Public behind-the-scenes tours are available every Wednesday at 2pm from May 31 through September 6. Space is limited, so please call 307-344-2264 for reservations.

Appointments are strongly recommended. Some collections will be temporarily closed due to an ongoing cataloging project. Contact the archives prior to planning a visit to ensure that the records you wish to consult will be available.

The archives are open:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 9 am-4 pm
  • Wednesday: 9 am-12 pm
  • Friday: 9am-4pm through August 18; closed until further notice beginning Aug. 25

Closed federal holidays and special closures as noted:

  • August 31-Opening at 11 am
  • September 4; 25-28
  • October 9
  • November 10, 23-24
  • December 25-January 1

Catalogs: Search by subject at: http://wyld.sdp.sirsi.net/client/en_US/yrl/. Click on the link in the record to access the detailed finding aids.

Search a specific collection or browse all of our finding aids:

  • Yellowstone's Records: The official records of the administration and operation of the Park. Organized by function. Subjects include policy, resource management, fire, and development.
  • Manuscript Collections: Documents, photos, and ephemera donated by visitors, researchers, and others. Particularly strong in topics such as tourism, concessioners, and photographs.
  • Subject guides: Lists of hot topics and the collections and boxes that are most relevant.

Access Policies

Researchers must complete and sign the following forms prior to accessing the records: Access Policy (107 kb PDF), Researcher Registration form (15 kb PDF), and the Copyright & Privacy Waiver (19 kb PDF). Return the forms electronically or by mail to the contact listed below.

Contact Information

Anne Foster, Archivist, e-mail us
(307) 344-2563 or (307) 344-2228
Fax: (406) 848-9958
Mailing Address:
Yellowstone National Park Archives
PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Last updated: July 24, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

(307) 344-7381

Contact Us