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Tickets on Sale April 16 for Yellowstone Conference Keynote Dinner Co-Hosted by UW Libraries

April 14, 2022
man standing outdoors with a mountain in the background
Dayton Duncan

Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 16, for the “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” conference’s keynote dinner. The conference is co-hosted by University of Wyoming Libraries and Montana State University (MSU) Library.

Dayton Duncan, an award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker and frequent collaborator with Ken Burns, will give the keynote address Tuesday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m. The event will take place in the Music Hall of the Armory Hotel, located at 24 W. Mendenhall St. in Bozeman, Mont. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $100 for those not attending the conference. They can be purchased starting April 16 at  

Duncan will present “Happenstance and History.” His talk will explore the unlikely confluence of events that resulted in Yellowstone becoming the world’s first national park in 1872 as well as the equally unforeseen and unplanned evolution of the park’s mission.

“This rare opportunity to hear Dayton Duncan speak about Yellowstone will be a highlight of the conference,” says Ivan Gaetz, dean of UW Libraries. “If you saw the four-hour PBS film on Benjamin Franklin earlier this month, you again witnessed Duncan at the peak of his craft as a historian and filmmaker. His talk at the conference dinner focusing on the founding of Yellowstone National Park will help us all celebrate its sesquicentennial.”

For nearly 30 years, Duncan has been involved with the work of documentary filmmaker Burns as a writer and producer. Their series on the country’s national parks, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” won Emmy Awards for outstanding nonfiction series and outstanding writing for nonfiction programming. Duncan has been collaborating with Burns on “The American Buffalo,” which is slated for broadcast on PBS in 2023.

Duncan also is the author of 13 books, including “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” a companion book to the documentary series, and “Out West: A Journey Through Lewis & Clark’s America,” which chronicles his retracing of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

“Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” will take place Sunday-Wednesday, June 5-8, at MSU. The conference coincides with the 150th anniversary of the creation of Yellowstone National Park. Scholars, researchers, collectors, librarians, archivists and members of the public are invited to explore collections, scholarship and research related to the park and its greater ecosystem.

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.

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

For more information about the dinner event with Duncan or “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone,” visit; or call Tamsen Hert at (307) 766-6245 or email

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