Established by Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone was the first National Park in the United States. Management of the park was first given to the Secretary of the Interior who maintained control until 1886. From 1886 to 1916, the U.S. Army managed the park. However, with the entry of the United States into WWI, management was transferred a final time to the newly formed National Park Service which has been responsible for the park ever since. Attracting at least 3.5 million visitors each year, Yellowstone is a popular tourist destination that is well known for its geysers and hot springs and for its unique wildlife.
A. Dean Larsen and his wife, Jean, have shared a life-long passion for Yellowstone National Park. Visiting the park for the first time in 1940, Dean was captivated by the beauty, history, and geology of the park. An outgrowth of his interest was collecting books, maps, photographs, and other materials related to Yellowstone.
In 2000, Dean and Jean gave their collection of more than 2,000 Yellowstone items to the Harold B. Lee Library's L. Tom Perry Special Collections. The collection has been called one of the finest private collections of Yellowstone material and contains many scarce and unique items. The Larsen Yellowstone Collection is a natural complement to the collections of Western Americana already maintained by the L. Tom Perry Special Collections.