Research Library

Empty glass-top tables with chairs in an open area with drawers on a wall
The Yellowstone Research Library is in the midst of a digitization project that will make library records accessible online.



The mission of the Yellowstone Research Library is to collect published and unpublished materials related to Yellowstone and to make these materials available to park staff, researchers, and the general public. The library collection consists of more than 20,000 books, periodicals, theses and dissertations, unpublished manuscripts, microforms of historic newspapers and scrapbooks, brochures, technical reports, and audio visual material.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 the personal papers and books of notable figures from Yellowstone history, including Major Hiram Chittenden and several early superintendents. Donations from Yellowstone Forever (formerly the Yellowstone Association and Yellowstone Park Foundation), 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.

The library has also hosted teacher training seminars focusing on primary documents and teacher-led high school writing groups. In 2006, the library staff began a bookmobile service that travels around the park interior once a month during the summer. Participation in the program has grown by at least 30% every year since it began.

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.” While the library collection is now the property of the National Park Service, Yellowstone Forever continues to support the library by employing librarians and providing most of the funding for purchases and subscriptions as well as for specific library projects.



Free public tours of the Heritage and Research Center are Wednesdays at 2 PM, from May 29 to September 4, 2019. Tours last about one hour. Space is limited to 10 participants, so please call (307) 344-2264 to reserve a slot.

The Library is open:

  • Monday-Thursday: 9am-4pm
Closed federal holidays and special closures as noted:
  • October 14
  • November 11, 13 (opening at 1pm), 28
  • December 23-January 2
  • January 21
  • February 18
  • May 27

Appointments are not necessary, although it is recommended that you utilize the online catalog before coming to the library. Please note that you will need appointments to have access to the archives and museum collection.

Contact Information

Jackie Jerla and Sarah Marino, Librarians
e-mail us
Fax: (406) 848-9958
Phone: (307) 344-2264

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


  • 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.
  • Online Catalog. Our online catalog is available through: The Wyoming Library Databases consortium,
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.

Support the Library

  • Join Yellowstone Forever. This organization is a non-profit entity cooperating with the National Park Service to advance educational programs, including the library, to promote understanding and appreciation of the park. For more information contact the Yellowstone Forever at (307) 344-2293.
  • Donate. The Yellowstone Research Library is always seeking donations to enhance the current collection. Contact the librarians for information about donating documents or other materials, internships and Volunteer Opportunities. The librarians would be happy to discuss internship or practicum with students enrolled in Library Studies programs. Volunteers are always welcome. For more information, please contact the librarians.

Last updated: November 4, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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