Yellowstone Archive Fund
Yellowstone, America's and the world's first national park is a place of extraordinary natural beauty and wonder, and also a keeper of stories. These stories include the exploration of the American West, the history of American science, the birth of the conservation movement, the national park idea, and the government's role in the stewardship of our public lands.
Yellowstone has amassed collections of several million diverse museum items since its designation as a national park in 1872. It is the second-largest collection in the National Park System and the only national park collection affiliated with the National Archives. The objects and documents which constitute it are invaluable for understanding Yellowstone's place in American history and culture.
Opened in 2005, the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center near the North entrance to the Park now houses the entire Yellowstone Archive. The collection has finally been secured under one roof but there is much work to be done. The collection now must be fully assessed, catalogued, and properly preserved. Funding is also needed to enhance the public's knowledge of and access to this great resource.
The Yellowstone Park Foundation raised $500,000 to establish the Yellowstone Archive Fund. Park staff are using the fund to organize the collection through careful curation, educate the public by mounting periodic exhibits, enhance the museum collection through targeted acquisition, and ensure access for future generations by planning for the digitizing of the collection.
With limited funding available for Park staffing needs, the Yellowstone Archive Fund is also supporting a volunteer program that brings talented volunteers to the Heritage and Research Center to assist in organizing and conserving the collection.
The Yellowstone Archive Fund is making a difference now, and will continue to make a difference for many years to come. With this fund, new stories are being uncovered, and new knowledge is being created. The archive will be brought into the public domain as never before.
The Yellowstone Archive is a unique resource, an American treasure. Together, we can ensure that it continues to inspire future generations of scholars, students, visitors, and -- perhaps most importantly --vigilant stewards of Yellowstone and all of our national park treasures.