New Wyoming Collections added to the Digital Public Library of America

The Plains to Peaks Collective (PPC) recently added new historic Colorado and Wyoming collections to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).  The PPC, the Colorado-Wyoming service hub of the DPLA, shared over 43,000 new items, bringing the total items available from Colorado and Wyoming institutions to 224,715.  With these new additions the Collective added unique items from our founding partner the Wyoming State Library (WLS) as well as items from our new partner the Park County Archives in Cody, Wyoming.A history of Water Law, water rights & water development in wyoming

The WSL supports Wyoming’s involvement in Plains to Peaks using federal Library Services & Technology Act funds through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The WSL shared over 19,000 items from their own state publications collection.  This collection contains publications produced by Wyoming government agencies as well as Federal Publications concerning the State of Wyoming. Online visitors can research a wide variety of topics including health, business, education, crime, agriculture, mining, employment, taxes, water quality, wildlife, and the environment.

Wyoming Wild Life magazine cover, august 1941The items shared with the DPLA date back to as early as 1902. Included is the Wyoming Wildlife Magazine, the monthly publication of the Wyoming State Game and Fish Department.  The department reports various aspect of Wyoming wildlife management and even strived to ensure Wyoming youth drove responsibly. “Youth must have its fling and when it gets into a car has no responsibility–not alone endangering their own lives, but the lives other–speed is the thrill and the high spot–and to hock with the results.” [Wyoming Wildlife, June 1937. WSL]. The Wyoming State Library cares for six digital collections and they can all be freely searched via their Digital Collection Suite.

yellowstone water fall, black and white photo
Yellowstone Falls, Park County Archives

Our new partner, the Park County Archives, has generously shared almost 15,000 items from their historic photograph collection.  Their vast collection includes over 20,000 images relating to the town of Cody, Park County, and the region. Park County was organized in 1911 and its boundaries include most of the Shoshone National Forest, one of the first nationally protected land areas, and part of Yellowstone National Park.  Researchers exploring this collection can discover beautiful scenic views and learn about early visitor experiences within these two regions.

The collection also holds images of notable Park County ghost towns such as Marquette, which is now found under the Buffalo Bill Reservoir; Kirwin, a turn-of-the-century mining camp which at its peak was home to 200 people – miners and their families; Wiley, the center of a failed 3 million dollar irrigation project that went bankrupt in 1909; and the Elk Basin oil field camp built by the oil company to house employees and their families.  The Heart Mountain Relocation Center, a War Relocation Authority (WRA) facility, that confined Japanese Americans from August 1942 until November 1945 is also represented in this rich collection.  Nearly eleven thousand evacuees were interned there making it the 3rd largest city in Wyoming.

rows of housing units and desert butte in background
Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Park County Archives
three people wading along a shoreline, with a tour boat in the background
Yellowstone Lake, Park County Archives

Please give a warm welcome to our new partners. They join their fellow Wyoming institutions; the University of Wyoming, the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming and the University of Wyoming Art Museum. I hope you enjoy searching their collections as much as I have!  If you would like to become a PPC partner or if you have questions about sharing your collections with the DPLA please contact me, Leigh Jeremias, at