Always on my radar, the national park system comprises 401 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House.
The Heritage & Research Center (HRC), located at 20 Old Yellowstone Trail in historic Gardiner, Montana, is a state-of-the-art facility that is home to Yellowstone National Park’s museum collection, archives, research library, historian, and archeology lab.
This 32,000-square-foot, facility is located on seven acres adjacent to the Gardiner School. It now houses almost 3,000 linear feet of historic records, 90,000 photographic prints and negatives, 20,000 books and manuscripts, 300,000 cultural and natural science specimens, over 35,000 archeological artifacts and approximately 10,000 plant specimens. The HRC provides a 500% increase (from 1,642 to 8,017 square feet) in library and archives space including storage, processing areas, reading rooms, and offices; and a 700% increase (from 1,206 to 8,906 square feet) in museum spaces including storage, processing areas, and offices. It was not only designed to improve space for the collections, including room for 25 years of growth, but also to improve access and ease working conditions for employees, visitors, and researchers; increase security; better accommodate tours; and showcase rotating exhibits.
I always enjoy a stop at any of the NPS sites. Maybe someday I will have seen all 401 of them.