VISITING THE HRC
Fossils are among the many natural history specimens housed at the Heritage and Research Center.
BELOW Inscription by John Muir, in his 1901 book Our National Parks, to H. M. Chittenden of the US Army Corps of Engineers office in Yellowstone National Park.
The Heritage and Research Center, located near the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner, Montana, is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., to view the temporary exhibits in the lobby.
The museum collections encompass more than 720,000 diverse objects, including: · Early Native American artifacts, such as 11,000-year-old projectile points · Original Thomas Moran watercolor sketches he produced during the 1871 Hayden Expedition · Records, oral histories, photos, and other items from the fires of 1988 · More than 150 skulls from the wolves that were reintroduced in ’95 and ’96 and their subsequent offspring · 30 historic vehicles, from stagecoaches to firetrucks · One of the world’s largest collections of Yellowstone postcards While funding to build the HRC was provided through government channels, Yellowstone Forever granted funds to furnish the interior and continues to play a key role in operations by funding two full-time librarians and housing for curatorial interns. Yellowstone Forever also supports ongoing preservation projects like digitizing delicate documents to make them accessible to the public.
During the summer, visitors can also take a free tour that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the HRC. Tours run on Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day, and last about one hour. Space is limited to 10 participants, so reserve a slot by calling 307.344.2264. “For the tours, we bring out some items that are favorites with visitors, such as the Moran field sketches and wolf skulls. Since preservation work on the collections takes place year-round, visitors often see staff, volunteers, or interns cataloging, scanning, or photographing objects as we tour through the work rooms,” says Curry. The library is open to the public Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Appointments are needed to conduct research in the archives (YELL_Archives@nps. gov) and museum collections (307.344.2662). For more information about the HRC, visit nps.gov/yell/learn/historyculture/collections.htm. Christine Gianas Weinheimer lives in Bozeman, Montana, and has been writing about Yellowstone for 17 years.
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