Cultural Treasures Icon 2014

Cultural Treasures

The Yellowstone Park Foundation supports projects that protect, preserve, research, or share information about Yellowstone’s human past and cultural resources.


Yellowstone Archive Fund

Yellowstone Archive Fund

The Yellowstone Park Foundation established the $500,000 Yellowstone Archive Fund Initiative to help the Park preserve its several-million-piece museum collection housed in the Yellowstone Heritage & Research Center (HRC). These objects and documents — such as original journals, one-of-a-kind maps, prehistoric tools, biological specimens, and early photographs — portray the rich area history. Park staff use the Archive Fund to catalog and re-house items so that eventually all pieces are properly conserved and more publicly accessible. They are also currently using Archive Fund dollars to:

  • Provide free tours of the Heritage & Research Center for Park visitors.
  • Transcribe valuable oral histories.
  • Create special HRC lobby exhibits.

Learn more about the Yellowstone Archive Fund

2013 Archive Fund Summary Report


Conserving Yellowstone's Historic Map Collection

Conserving Yellowstone's Historic Map Collection

The 6,000 maps, line drawings and oversized documents comprising Yellowstone's historic map collection add dimension to the story of the Park. They detail location of roads and buildings during the Army era, geothermal activity during the 1920s and 1930s, and wildlife distribution in the 1950s and 1960s. In 2004 and 2005, a federal grant provided funds for around 4,000 of the maps to be flattened, re-housed in archival materials, cataloged and digitized. The remainder of the collection, however, is deteriorating due to age and inaccessible to researchers because it hasn’t been processed nor digitized. Funding from YPF is completing the cataloging, conservation and digitization of these fragile and important pieces.


Oral History Collection: Wolf Reintroduction

Oral History Collection: Wolf Reintroduction

In 1995, gray wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone, the culmination of a multi-year effort requiring careful integration of biological, political, economic and social interests. Seventeen years after the return of the wolf, many of the people involved are retired or nearing retirement. Yellowstone's Oral History program, funded by the Yellowstone Park Foundation, will bring together key individuals in the reintroduction effort, including public officials, wildlife biologists, wolf advocates, park staff, and non-profit partner representatives. These individuals will reunite once again in the Park to contribute perspectives to be recorded and transcribed for addition to the Yellowstone Archive.

Learn more about the history of wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone


Conservation of Old Faithful Store

Million Dollar Room - Hamilton Store

Charles A. Hamilton was a larger-than-life part of Yellowstone's colorful history. In 1905, he was a purchasing agent with the Yellowstone Park Association, and worked his way up through various concessioner jobs. In 1915, he purchased the Klamer Store, built in 1897 at Old Faithful, and the store was re-named the Old Faithful Lower Hamilton Store. Charles lived in a six-room apartment on the upper floor; of that apartment, only his office remains. Charles wrote two checks to purchase the store and these, along with hundreds of other cancelled checks totaling $1,839,105 paper the walls of his office, known as the "Million Dollar Room." This project will complete documentation and conservation of the interior of Charles’s eccentric office.

Read more about the Old Faithful Historic District