Yellowstone National Park Heritage and
Research Center
Photos taken August 25, 2005
Located in the gateway town of Gardiner,
MT, and within view of the great stone arch
at Yellowstone's north entrance, sits the
new Yellowstone National Park Heritage
and Research Center. As the name
suggests, the center was not intended as a
traditional public museum of displayed
collections, but as the park's historic
research and collections facility.

The Heritage and Research Center opened
to the public on May 18, 2005. The photos
on this page were taken on August 25,
2005 at a community
open house and tour
of the facility. Guests were treated to cake
and coffee in the lobby, while staff were on
hand at various stations throughout the
center to provide information and answer
questions. The photos on this page were
taken during that event.

The building has three levels: The lowest
floor is a nonpublic area used for
processing acquisitions and for various
research and preservation activities. The
main floor includes the lobby, a public
research room, several staff offices, a large
museum collections storage area, and a
herbarium storage room with plant samples
dating back over 70 years. The upper floor
features library stacks open to the public
for viewing within the facility, a comfortable,
quiet public reading/research room, staff
offices, and restricted research areas
including a map room, rare book room, and
archives storage area.

The facility houses over 5.3 million items
comprising the
park's archives, library, and
museum collections storage in a
state-of-the art, climate-controlled
atmosphere.

The
park archives is affiliated with the
National Archives and meets their
standards. It includes park records going
back to the U.S. Army administration of the
park, as well as ephemera, oral history,
audio and videotapes, and historic film
footage available for researchers.

The
research library contains over 10,000
volumes, 2,000 manuscripts, and a rare
book collection.

The
museums collections consists of over
200,000 objects including natural science
specimens, fossils, a herbarium, hotel
furnishings, original artwork of Thomas
Moran, over 80,000 historic photographs,
including those of William H. Jackson, and
other historic objects from the park's rich
past.

The nonprofit
Yellowstone Association has
provided substantial support for the library,
museum, and archives collections since
1933. During the past ten years the
Association has provided significant funding
for acquisitions, library staffing, and
preservation of historic vehicles.
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Open House: Inside the lobby of the Heritage and Research Center guests are
treated to cake and coffee. Display cases show artifacts from Yellowstone's past.
Behind this historic sign the are entrances to the walk-in freezer (left) and the cold
storage area (right). Photographs are placed in cold storage to help preserve them.
(left) This old touring bus, YPT Co. No. 351,
was manufactured by White Motor Company
and was once used to transport visitors
through the park. It has been restored by
Bruce Austin, who brought it to the dedication
of the Heritage and Research Center at the
invitation of the Park Service.

The bus has had minor appearance
restoration to its original color, but is
essentially preserved in its original early
operating condition, and has most of the
upholstery and all of the drive train original  
to the 1931 production.
(above left and right) Representative pieces of furniture once used in Yellowstone's hotels are stored on shelves in the main floor's
museum collections storage area.
(above) The great stone arch marking Yellowstone's northern entrance is
centered in the lobby doorway of the Yellowstone National Park Heritage and
Research Center.
All photos this page (c) F. Markley
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Yellowstone Notebook
Information sources:
- National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park
- The Yellowstone Association
Visitors inspect restored White touring bus (see larger photo and caption below).
The Prius hybrid vehicle (right) was donated to Yellowstone by the manufacturer.