Yellowstone Forever

April 13, 2011

Volunteers Help Preserve Park's Museum Collection

Heritage and Research Center in YellowstoneWhere can you find priceless Thomas Moran watercolors from 1871, skulls from the original wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995, antique furniture from Park hotels that no longer exist, and civilian scout diaries from the U.S. Army period of 1896-1916? The Yellowstone Heritage & Research Center (HRC) is home to the Park’s library, archive, and museum collection, and many volunteers participate in the care of these priceless treasures.

Yellowstone has the second-largest collection in the National Park Service, with an estimated 5.3-million items. This collection documents the cultural and natural history of the world's first national park and the conditions of its resources.

The HRC staff is always busy with interesting work, and welcomes volunteers to help with various projects.  Some examples are: cataloging early Yellowstone souvenirs, photographs, and postcards; assisting with early newspaper research; re-housing natural history specimens; and completing an inventory of maps and oversized drawings.

Because of the significance and value of these collections, Yellowstone also seeks volunteers to help staff the HRC’s reception desk and security checkpoint, providing basic information to visitors and checking IDs.  For these volunteers, the Park requests a commitment of one half or full day per week.

For more information or to inquire about volunteering, please contact Colleen Curry, Supervisory Museum Curator, Yellowstone National Park, at (307) 344-2262 or

The Yellowstone Park Foundation raised $500,000 to establish the Yellowstone Archive Fund to help care for the collection housed at the HRC.  Learn more about the Archive Fund and other ways YPF is helping to protect and preserve Yellowstone’s Cultural Treasures.


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