Rocky Mountain National Park Museum Collection

The park's museum storage facility is in the Utility Area Historic District, behind the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. The park built the facility in 1995. It has four storage rooms that are environmentally controlled. The temperature must stay between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit and at 40% relative humidity. All objects are carefully stored in acid-free boxes and in drawers that are lined with Polyethylene foam sheets. All the objects are on shelves or in drawers so that they are easily accessible. The park's curator carefully monitors pests in the facility to assure that all objects will remain in good condition.

There are 10,388 objects related to natural history in the museum storage facility. This includes 455 geology specimens, 2,857 cataloged mounts, 392 cataloged animal skulls, and 1,932 specimens of lepidoptera (butterflies). There is also a plant herbarium, many of which the Denver Botanical Gardens collected in the early 1930's. There are 4,925 cataloged plants in the historic herbarium, representing all the park's different elevations and zones. For a virtual view of an arrowhead click here. (This virtual view requires QuickTime, if you don't have it click here .)

There are 33,465 objects related to the park's cultural history. This collection includes furnishings from historic homes in Rocky Mountain National Park, such as the Leifer Cabin, the William Allen White Cabin, the Holzworth Ranch, and the lodges. Furniture, placemats, tablecloths, doilies, and other linens, as well as place settings have all been donated to the park. The cultural history collection also has items related to the conservation and recreational history of the park such as the Osbourne Fire Finder from the Twin Sisters Fire Lookout and skis found in the Fall River Road area. There are also 20,737 cataloged objects related to archeology, mostly representing Ute Arapaho occupation of the area now known as Rocky Mountain National Park. For a virtual view of the cup shown in the dishware collection, click here. (This virtual view requires QuickTime, if you don't have it click here .)

The park's museum collection also include pieces from the Artist-in-Residence program, which the park has been gathering since 1984. The artists use a variety of mediums to represent the park including colored pencil, watercolor, oil, silk, black and white photographs, color photographs, music, poetry, and literature. There are 89 pieces of art displayed throughout the park. Visit the Moraine Park Museum for a concentration of pieces.

Finally, the museum storage facility holds the park's archive collection which includes photographs, lantern slides, books, and documents. There are 9,000 cataloged objects in the archive collection.

Several volunteers help keep our Museum Storage Facility in order. Regular volunteers catalog and inventory objects and help with pest management. In addition, each fall, a group of Library and Science Graduate students from Emporia State University come to the park for a one-week class. They have worked on conservation, rehousing lantern slides, and cataloging land records.

The Museum Curator will give tours of the facility. And regular volunteers are always needed.

To access the collection for research, a tour, or to volunteer, call (970) 586-1340.

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