The mission of the Yellowstone Research Library is to collect published and unpublished materials related to Yellowstone and to make these materials available to park staff, researchers, and the general public. The library collection consists of more than 20,000 books, periodicals, theses and dissertations, unpublished manuscripts, microforms of historic newspapers and scrapbooks, brochures, technical reports, and audio visual material.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 30 to September 5, 2018. Tours last about one hour. Space is limited to 10 participants, so please call (307) 344-2264 to reserve a slot.
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.
Jackie Jerla and Sarah Marino, Librarians
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Last updated: September 26, 2018