Yellowstone National Park Archives – Shae Rafferty

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My home in the park.
My home in the park.

For my UMSI internship I worked as an intern at the Yellowstone National Park Archives. This was an absolutely amazing experience where I lived, learned, and worked Yellowstone National Park for ten weeks. Yellowstone was amazingly beautiful and so much bigger than I had previously thought. It is an all day trip to drive around the park in its entirety!


The Heritage and Research Center
The Heritage and Research Center

I lived in the northern part of the park called Mammoth Hot Springs, but the archive is in Gardiner, a town just outside of the northern entrance of the park. The archives are housed in the Heritage and Research Center (HRC) which also contains the research library, museum collection, and herbarium.


My primary duties/projects included processing collections, giving tours to visitors, and working reference. Many of the reference requests involved tracking down relatives who worked in the park over the past 100+ years. Since the Yellowstone Archives is also an affiliate of the National Archives it was very interesting to learn about and use a number of added security measures when providing researchers with records. I was fortunate to work on a number of additional projects though, including creating a work flow for an upcoming digitization project and writing blog posts.


Image of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone


Bookmobile Day.
Bookmobile Day.

This being an internship at a National Park, my work was not restricted to just indoor activities. The Research Library has a bookmobile deliver books to employees stationed around the park that I drove with the library intern each month, this takes a full 10 hour work day to complete. A number of field trips were also set-up throughout the summer for the HRC employees and interns to visit historical sites and museums about the park’s history.

Image of a moose.
A moose.

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