Grand Canyon National Park Research Library Collections

From books to periodicals, the Grand Canyon National Park Research Library’s collections are many and varied, providing excellent information about the Grand Canyon and its history & culture.


The library houses above 12,000. In addition to general books on Grand Canyon, the collection includes books written on subjects related to Grand Canyon such as:

  • Natural history and geology
  • Astronomy
  • Archaeology
  • Regional history
  • Regional ethnic tribes
  • Hiking
  • Government reports and researches
  • Environmental education

Books on the history of Arizona and Utah and history and management of the National Park Service are also part of the collection.


The collection also includes titles from existing and archived magazine subscriptions.

Other Collections

Other library collections include:

  • Vertical File: A selection of historical pamphlets
  • Children’s Collection: For small children, with a scope similar to the library
  • Audio-visual Materials: 500+ videos and DVDs, most focusing solely on Grand Canyon
  • Microfiche Collection: Documents detailing the park’s administrative history
  • Rare Book Collection: Early works on Grand Canyon.


Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collections

Construction of the Grand Canyon Museum Collection research facility was finalized in 1999. You can visit the collection for research and study. The facility, which has 6,000+ square feet of storage & research space, receives over 2,000 research requests every year.
The museum holds over 900,000 that can be found across seven collections.

Archeology Collection

Contains remnants of human activities at Grand Canyon, including:

  • 12,000 years old stone tools belonging to Paleo-Indians
  • Archaic split-twig figurines
  • Ancient basketry and pottery
  • Prehistoric clothing, sandals and embellishment artifacts
  • Tourism artifacts

Ethnology Collection

This collection includes relics from the different cultures that populated the Grand Canyon region. Artifacts in this collection include the following from different tribes from Havasupai to Navajo:

  • Baskets
  • Pottery
  • Silver
  • Rugs

History Collection

This is a delightful collection of non-archeological material artifacts sourced to the non-native cultures at Grand Canyon. In this collection you can find:

  • A pocket watch that belonged to John Wesley Powell
  • The pen that Woodrow Wilson used to sign the act granting the park a National Park status in 1919
  • 20,000+ photographs (black & white)
  • 1,000+ maps
  • 200+ history tapes, videos and transcripts
  • 200+ rare books
  • 80+ hours of historic footage
  • Paintings by masters of landscape and wilderness painting such as Thomas Moran and Gunnar Widforss

Manuscript Collection/Archives

This collection tells a gripping tale of the Grand Canyon across the ages via photos and documents such as:

  • Monthly Reports by Superintendents between 1931 and 1967
  • Files related to the 1956 TWA-United Airlines accident
  • The 1935 Vegetative Study records

Biology Collection

You can see various animal and plant specimens belonging to the Grand Canyon area’s different life zones. Specimens include:

  • 10,000 herbarium specimens
  • 4,500+ entomological specimens
  • 2,000+ animal study materials such as skins and skeletons

Geology Collection

Viewing the geology collection will help you grasp the geologic history of the Grand Canyon area. In addition to the Eddie McKee study and John Maxson schist collections, the geology collection also contains mineral samples and mining cores and ore samples.

Paleontology Collections

There are a number of fossil remains that reflect prehistoric life in the Grand Canyon area. The collection includes:

  • Hermit shale ferns
  • Reptile tracks
  • Ground sloth remains

Plan a Visit

From historic documents and photographs to prehistoric relics and fossils, the collections here offer a world of brilliant artifacts. Don’t forget to see these collections if you are visiting the Grand Canyon National Park.