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Registration Open for Yellowstone Conference Co-Hosted by UW Libraries, MSU Library

February 18, 2022
man standing outside with mountains in background
Dayton Duncan

Registration is now open for the 2022 “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” conference, which will be co-hosted by University of Wyoming Libraries and the Montana State University (MSU) Library.

“Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” will take place Sunday-Wednesday, June 5-8, at MSU in Bozeman, Mont. The conference coincides with the 150th anniversary of the creation of Yellowstone National Park. The first “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” conference was held in 2019 in Cody.

Scholars, educators, private collectors, museum curators, librarians, archivists and members of the public are invited to the conference to explore aspects of collecting documentation about the park and its greater ecosystem, including objects, documents, stories, data and representations, and to look to the changing nature of collecting and curating these materials.

“This ‘Collecting Yellowstone’ conference presents for UW Libraries and the University of Wyoming a singular opportunity to partner with our Montana State University colleagues and help celebrate the sesquicentennial of the park’s founding,” says Ivan Gaetz, dean of UW Libraries. “Following on our partnership with Brigham Young University in 2019, these conferences focus on the educational aspects of preserving and promoting an enormous array of historical records pertaining to Yellowstone National Park. They also help raise attention on the national parks -- what Wallace Stegner calls ‘America’s best idea’ -- to new levels of intrigue and fascination.” 

The conference will feature speakers, panel presentations, social events and networking opportunities. Additionally, the conference will include a vendor fair June 6-7, which will be open to conference attendees and the public.

More than 50 individuals from across the country will present at the conference. Speakers include retired Yellowstone National Park historian Lee Whittlesey; author Diane Smith; Shane Doyle, of the Apsáalooke Nation; and environmental leader Mike Clark.

“This conference will bring together voices from many of the communities that have an enduring interest in collecting aspects of the park and the surrounding ecosystem, and it will explore using and understanding collections such as souvenirs, stories and data,” says Jan Zauha, MSU Library humanities and outreach librarian, and conference program committee co-chair. “Opportunities for conversations among historians, teachers, Native Americans, artists, environmentalists, archivists and the public will connect diverse perspectives on this environmentally and culturally important area.”

Conference events include a June 7 keynote dinner with Dayton Duncan, an award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker who frequently collaborates with Ken Burns. Duncan is co-author, with Burns, of the companion volume to the PBS series “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”

Early registration for the full conference, including the June 7 keynote dinner, is $250 through April 15. Early basic registration, which does not include the Duncan event, is $200. Full conference registration increases to $300 April 16, and basic conference registration increases to $250 April 16. Individuals who do not plan to attend the full conference can purchase tickets to the keynote dinner beginning April 16.

To register for the conference, go to Registration closes May 25.

A post-conference tour will visit Jackson and Yellowstone National Park Thursday-Saturday, June 9-11. For more information, go to

For more information about “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone,” visit

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