There's a U.S. Congressional resolution to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park this year. It became the first addition to the National Park System in the 1800s. Congress authorized it and President Ulysses S. Grant signed the papers on March 1, 1872.

The park is known for its active hot water geysers and covers a huge area in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. The geologic history of the area is fascinating and will be part of a four-day conference June 5-8 at Montana State University in Bozeman. It's called "Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone," and follows a similar conference in 2019 in Cody, Wyoming.

More than 50 speakers are coming to the MSU campus, including a June 7 Keynote Dinner with Dayton Duncan, writer and filmmaker who often works with Ken Burns. He and Burns wrote a companion volume to the PBS series on national parks. The goal of the conference is to explore ways to collect documentation about the park and the surrounding ecosystem. Collections of objects, documents, stores, scientific data and more will be examined, with a hope of using the latest collection techniques to preserve and distribute the information.

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Other speakers will include retired Yellowstone National Park historian Lee Whittlesey, author Diane Smith, and Shane Doyle of the Apsaalooke Nation. Jan Zauha of the MSU Library said in a news release, "The 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 will explore using and understanding collections such as souvenirs, stories and data. 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.

Information on the conference, including registration costs, as at the MSU pressroom website.

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