Research Library

A person handing someone a book about bison
The Yellowstone Research Library provides in person reference services to visitors, employees, and park partners and remotely assists people around the world.

The mission of the Yellowstone Research Library is to collect published and unpublished materials related to the greater Yellowstone area and to make these materials available to park staff, researchers, and the general public. The library collection consists of more than 20,000 books, periodicals, theses and dissertations, unpublished manuscripts, microforms of historic newspapers and scrapbooks, brochures, technical reports, and audio visual material.

The Map Room collection includes a large number of published maps from 1865 to the present. In the Rare Book Room are books by notable figures from Yellowstone history, including Major Hiram Chittenden and several early superintendents. In the summer, the library operates a monthly bookmobile to provide access to the collection to employees in the park's interior.

The Yellowstone Library and Museum Association, predecessor of today’s Yellowstone Forever, was organized in 1933 in part “to assist in the establishment and development of a Yellowstone Park Library for the use of rangers, ranger naturalists and others dealing with park visitors and the public.” Donations from Yellowstone Forever, and private donors, as well as funding provided by the National Park Service, have made possible an impressive, possibly unsurpassed, example of Yellowstone National Park resources. Today, the library collection is owned by the National Park Service and is managed through a cooperative agreement process with the Great Basin Institute.



The Research Library is open: Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm.
Email us for more information.

Closed federal holidays and the following dates:
January 15
February 19, 21
May 27
July 4
September 2
October 9, 13
November 9-10, 23-24
December 25-January 1


  • Online Catalog. Our online catalog is available through the Wyoming Library Databases consortium
  • Access. The general collection is open to everyone, free of charge. Bags and coats must be left in the lockers outside the library. Patrons may only use pencils in the Reading Room. Pens are NOT ALLOWED. There is NO public email access in the library. Food and drinks are prohibited.
  • Copies of materials. Copyright rules must be observed. Copying from print and microform is available for $.25 a page. Digital photos (without flash) are allowed. Please be aware that fragile items can not be copied.
  • Research. The library staff is able to perform limited research for patrons by mail or in person. Please allow up to one month for all research requests. It is recommended that extensive research be done in person.
  • Tours: Free public behind-the-scenes tours are offered on Wednesays from 4:00-5:00 PM between Memorial Day (May 30) and Labor Day (Sept. 5). Space is limited, please call 307-344-2264 or email us to register.
  • Temporary and Traveling Exhibits: The main and upper floor lobbies of the building include small changing exhibits for public viewing. Topics vary from history, culture, art, and natural history. Current exhibits include:
    • A Window into Yellowstone’s Wonders: 150 Years of Collecting in the First National Park: This exhibit offers highlights from the museum, archives, and library collections documenting 150 years of Yellowstone and 150 years of documenting and preserving the story of Yellowstone through heritage collections.
    • Through the Eyes of a Master: Thomas Moran's 1871 Field Sketches. A small selection of watercolor sketches (high quality reproductions) done by artist Thomas Moran during the 1871 Hayden Expedition through what would become Yellowstone National Park. Previously displayed in the Albright Visitor Center. More information here.
    • Thomas Moran's oil paintings, "The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" and "The Chasm of the Colorado" anchor the exhibit Thomas Moran and the 'Big Picture' at the Department of the Interior Museum in Washington, D.C. Learn more here.
Online CollectionsSelected portions of our records have been digitized and placed online. This is an ongoing project.
  • Montana Memory Project: Collections include Superintendent's Annual and Monthly reports, maps and drawings, oral histories, and photographs.
  • Open Parks Network: Historic photographs taken by the Park's official photographers and gathered together into thematic albums in the mid-20th century.
  • Historic Slide File: Historic photographs from the museum collection organized by era and then by topic.
  • NPS Technical Information Center: Historic maps and architectural drawings, and related construction reports for all parks in the National Park Service. Use the Search Filters button to select Yellowstone.
  • In the Shadow of the Arch: The Heritage and Research Center's blog is used to highlight collections within the Museum, Archives, and Library.

Contact Information

Melanie Cutietta and Jess Bolwar, Librarians
email us
Phone: (307) 344-2264

Mailing Address:
Yellowstone Research Library
20 Old Yellowstone Trail
Gardiner, MT 59030

Last updated: April 8, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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