Heritage and Research Center
Please note that the building will be closed for the Centennial Celebration on August 25
The Heritage and Research Center, located at 20 Old Yellowstone Trail in historic Gardiner, Montana, is a state-of-the-art collections storage facility that houses Yellowstone National Park’s museum collection, archives, research library, historian, herbarium, and archeology lab. It features small rotating exhibits in the lobby.
Yellowstone’s collections document the cultural and natural history of the world’s first national park and of the park, changes in perception and meaning over time, and the interaction between people and nature. Specimens range from geologic and natural history to Native American and European American cultural materials.
It is National Park Service policy to collect, protect, preserve, provide access to, and use objects, specimens, and archival and manuscript collections to aid understanding and advance knowledge. Collections play important roles in resource management, research, and education programs, and function as baseline databases for park natural and cultural resources.
With several million items, Yellowstone has one of the largest collections in the National Park Service.Yellowstone National Park’s collections grow continuously with the addition of archival records (generated mostly by National Park Service staff),archeological and natural science objects, important donations, and occasional purchases.
Free public tours of the Heritage and Research Center are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 AM, from May 31 to September 8, 2016. Tours last about one hour. Space is limited to 10 participants, so please call (307) 344-2264 to reserve a slot.
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.
Conducting Collections Research
Researchers range from local high school students working on term papers to tourists re-tracing an ancestor’s visit, and from park staff developing education programs or researching climate change to filmmakers preparing a miniseries for PBS.
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.
For information about the Heritage and Research Center building, please call 307-344-2662
For general park information, please call 307-344-7381