In an effort to communicate more broadly regarding it programs, events, and activities, the American Heritage Center is initiating this blog. We hope to provide readers with information regarding our collections, our faculty and staff, special events, and what we do on a day-to-day basis. The American Heritage Center (AHC) is the University of Wyoming’s repository of manuscripts collections, rare books, and the university archives. Many universities have primary source repositories. Few have repositories as extensive and significant as the AHC. More importantly, few universities have special collections as welcoming and accessible to undergraduate and graduate students. Internationally known for its historical collections, the AHC first and foremost serves the students and citizens of Wyoming. Not a dusty attic or an exclusive sanctuary, the AHC is a welcoming, lively, place where both experts and novices engage with the original sources of history. Access is free and open to all.
Major subjects of the manuscript collections include Wyoming and the American West, the mining and petroleum industries, Western politics and leadership, environmental activism and policy-making, journalism, and transportation. Our 20th century entertainment holdings include information on popular music, radio, television, and film. Like most major university repositories, the AHC collects both regionally and nationally in select areas. The Toppan Library, a department within the AHC, is the University’s rare books center. With more than 55,000 items in diverse formats ranging from medieval illuminated manuscripts to 20th century- first editions, among other things the Library’s collections document the American West, British and American literature, early exploration of North America, religion, hunting and fishing, natural history, women authors, and the book arts. Unlike most rare book libraries, it is an active teaching site. All that, and we are home to educational programs like the Alan K. Simpson Institute for Western Politics and Leadership and Wyoming History Day. Each year the AHC offers a variety of symposia, lectures, and exhibits that feature the AHC’s collections for both scholarly and popular audiences.
Check back regularly, or better yet subscribe, to keep yourself informed about who we are and what we do!