Welcome to the Wyoming State Archives

Ask An Archivist

Welcome to the Wyoming State Archives

Welcome to the Wyoming State Archives

 

Welcome

 

Whether you are a state agency staff member looking for a retention guide for your office records, a citizen looking for a school transcript or your family history, or a student doing research for a paper, you have come to the right place.

The State Archives collects, manages, and preserves Wyoming state public records that have long term administrative, legal, and historical value. These records document the history of our state and the activities of Wyoming’s government offices. The Archives also collects non-government records that contribute to an understanding of the state’s history. Records Management staff provide assistance to state and local government agencies for the efficient and economical management of records. State Imaging Center services feature digitization of records for preservation, access, and space saving purposes. If you plan to visit the archives, our reference room is on the first floor of the Barrett Building across the lobby from the State Museum.

 

We have included quick links and FAQs on our home page for those who are looking for one specific document or just want to talk to an archivist.  

Find It in the Archives is the place to start if you want to explore our holdings or public services in more depth.

For State Agency Staff is where to go if you have questions about managing your state office files.  Our records management staff provide guidance on scheduling and transferring your records, including digital files.


See below for our street address.

Barrett Building
2301 Central Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002

Phone: (307) 777-7826
Fax:      (307) 777-7044


Email

General Questions

Sara Needles
Cultural Resources Division Administrator

Michael Strom
State Archivist

 


Wyoming State Archives History

 

The Wyoming State Legislature established the Wyoming State Historical Society* in 1895. Six members with an interest in the state’s history, plus the governor, secretary of state, and the state librarian constituted the Society’s board of trustees. The Society endeavored to collect pioneer narratives and information on Native Americans, and encouraged historical and scientific research.

1919 legislation required the appointment of a state historian. The historian was charged to collect information about the state’s progress “from earliest times to the present,” as well as records about Wyoming men and women who served in World War I. Custody of the State Historical Society’s property was transferred to the state historian.

In 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, the office of the state historian was abolished as government downsized. The state librarian was made ex-officio state historian. This arrangement continued until 1951 when new legislation called for the appointment of a state archivist, state museum curator, and state historian, setting the groundwork for the organizational structure that exists today. Appointments made by the newly created State Library and Historical Board would fill these positions. The archivist was authorized to receive and preserve public records from any public officer in the state, including political subdivisions. Provisions for determining the retention periods of records were also established.

A Centralized Microfilm Department was created in 1955.  This Department was placed under the authority of the state archivist two years later.

In 1979 the Archives and Historical Department became the Archives, Museums and Historical Department. Legislation resulting in the reorganization of Wyoming state government in 1989 and 1990 abolished the Archives, Museums, and Historical Department and placed its functions under the Department of Commerce.

In 1999, the Department of Commerce was abolished, with some of its functions being assumed by the Wyoming Business Council.  State Archives programs were included in the new Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.

The three principle units of the current State Archives are:

  • The Archives, which collects and maintains the permanently valuable records of state agencies, some local government offices, and some non-government records which reveal the history of the state. 
  • The Records Management Unit provides assistance to state and local government agencies for the efficient and economical management of records. 
  • In 2012 the Archives and Micrographics Program of the State Archives became the State Imaging Center whose services feature digitization of state agency records for preservation, access, and space saving purposes. 

 

*Not to be confused with the current historical organization by that name.  

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