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American Heritage Center

Centennial Complex

2111 Willet Drive

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-4114


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Virtual Exhibits


American Heritage Center

Virtual Exhibits are designed to help you explore a specific theme from AHC collections. A selected group of images will provide a brief introduction to the topic and to the types of related material, but they will not include every image relating to a particular topic.


In Memorial: Matthew Shepard

Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten and left to die in a field outside Laramie, Wyoming, during the night of October 6-7, 1998. To honor Shepard’s memory and continue efforts to strengthen compassion and inclusivity in our community for LGBTQIA+ and all social identities, the American Heritage Center curated this exhibit in 2018 to complement a staged reading written by Gregory Hinton, “The Matthew Shepard Story: In Conversation with Rulon Stacey.”


Vera Glaser: A Pioneer for Women's Rights

Vera Glaser (1916 - 2008) was a reporter, journalist, and a pioneer for women’s rights. She paved the way for the Task Force on Women’s Rights and Responsibilities.



Finis Mitchell, Lord of The Winds

Finis Noel Mitchell (c. 1901 – 1995) was an American mountaineer who spent his life exploring the Wind River Range near Lander, Wyoming. He photographed and documented much of the expansive mountain range, as well as led fishing trips up into the mountains with the purpose of passing his information on to later generations. In his lifetime he took over 100,000 photos of the Wind Rivers and surrounding areas, giving insight into his life in the mountains.


Blacklisted: Larry Adler

Larry Adler's career as a famous harmonicist began early in life and spanned the globe. His musical talent offered him opportunities to entertain American troops during WWII with the USO and brought him into the film industry. In 1949, Alder was accused of communist ties and investigated by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. These accusations changed the path of his career in the United States.


Collection Spotlight: "Ex Libris Fitzhugh"

This exhibit shows bookplates found within the Fitzhugh Collection that present heraldic imagery and qualities. The collection seeks to decipher the meaning and symbolism of each bookplate including heraldic coloring, animal choice and symbolism, mottoes, and style, as well as printing process used, allowing for the examination of provenance as it pertains to the importance of history in rare books.



A Look into the AHC's New Gallery Space

About a year ago, the AHC began a project to renovate the Toppan Library rooms, creating a classroom/exhibit space in one part and a small gallery in the other part. Here's a first look at the new spaces.



Collection Spotlight: Charles J. Belden photographs

Charles J. Belden is famous for his photographs that depict the western American ranch lifestyle.


A Fur Trade Diary, Painted By Alfred Jacob Miller


On his way to the 1837 Fur Trade Rendezvous, Alfred Jacob Miller sketched and painted countless images of the American West, the people at the trade, and the culture that was included with the event.




The Baker and Johnston Photographs collection contains original glass plate negatives of Native Americans primarily from the Shoshone, Arapahoe, and Apache tribes, and includes portraits of Chief Washakie, Geronimo, and General Crook.




The Al Christie collection contains silent film era production files and publicity materials, primarily for Christie Film Company silent films. This exhibit highlights a selection of publicity stills from the 1926 film "A Nervous Wreck.




Joseph S. Palen was a veterinarian, historian, and writer. His collection is the culmination of over half a century of research and collecting on the subject of the American West, especially in the history of rodeo and Cheyenne Frontier Days.




In 1944 Ozzie and Harriet Nelson started their own comedy radio program, "Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," which depicted their own family life and featured their two sons, David and Ricky. The show moved to television in 1952 and lasted until 1966.




Clay Blair, Jr. was a well-known author, journalist, and military historian. He volunteered for submarine service in World War II and was decorated with the Submarine Combat Insignia and the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Medal with three battle stars.




Roald Fryxell was an anthropologist and geologist in the mid-1900s who discovered the “Oldest Man In America” at the Marmes Rockshelter and examined sediment samples brought back from the moon during the Apollo Space Missions. The work he completed before his untimely death furthered our scientific knowledge of the lunar surface and life on Earth.




Olaus and Mardy Murie were leading conservationists of their time. They spent many years advocating for the protection of untouched land and the wildlife that resides on it. Through their work they were able to change the way that conservation efforts are carried throughout America.




The variety of images taken by professional and snapshot photographers during the Vietnam War provide an interesting visual portrait of America’s involvement in Vietnam. This exhibit includes images from renowned war correspondent Richard Tregaskis as well as from the personal collection of war veteran Craig Tiernan.




The story of the pronghorn in Wyoming is a story of abundance. This exhibit shows some of the many ways that people and the pronghorn have interacted and highlights the important role the pronghorn maintains in this state as well as around the world.




A United Airlines flight departed from Denver, Colorado on the morning of October 6, 1955 bound for Salt Lake City, Utah. The following day, rescue teams composed of experienced mountaineers were called in to a plane wreck on the face of Medicine Bow Peak near Laramie, WY


Maps of Laramie and Albany County


This exhibit features 10 large maps of Laramie from 1867 to 1965, and one large Albany County map from 1886. Each map includes a brief description of the growth of Laramie and highlights features on the map, including businesses, schools, churches, hospitals, and street names. The Albany County Map shows a much larger county that, at the time, extended north to present-day Crook County.


Collection Spotlight: S.N. Leek, Wyoming Wildlife Photographer


Through his photographs, writings and personal appearances Stephen Leek was instrumental in building public support for saving the Jackson Hole elk herd that culminated in the establishment of the National Elk Refuge in Jackson.


S.H. Knight's Fossils of Wyoming


The Knight family were important figures when it came to discovering dinosaur fossils. They used their skills as geologists and paleontologists to help spread information to the world.


Alan K. Simpson: A Broad Look At His Career


Alan K. Simpson is a well known name in Wyoming and across the country due to his political career spanning 1964-1997. Simpson, however, wore many hats throughout his working.


The Virginian


In 1902, Owen Wister published his Western novel "The Virginian". Its impact upon Western literature, drama, and film continues to be felt to this day.


Eighteenth-Century Women Writers


The AHC's Toppan Rare Books Library is home to the University of Wyoming's rare books collection. This exhibit uses a selection of the Toppan collections to highlight the contributions of eighteenth-century women to literary culture.


Hell on Wheels: Union Pacific Towns in Wyoming


While some southern Wyoming Union Pacific railroad towns existed for only a matter of months then became ghost towns, others prospered and became permanent communities. All of these “Hell on Wheels” towns contributed to the construction of the engineering marvel which was the transcontinental railroad.


University of Wyoming: A Brief History of Campus


The University of Wyoming campus features a rich mixture of historic buildings and growing infrastructure. Discover the history of some of UW’s oldest buildings and the people they were named for.


"Stampede" by Jerry Palen


During the course of its 43 year run, "Stampede" became the largest weekly syndicated cartoon feature in the agriculture sector of both the United States and Canada, reaching a weekly audience of more than 2 million readers. Explore a selection of some of Palen's best comics.


In Pursuit of Equality:

 Nellie Tayloe Ross Govewrnor of the Stae of Wyoming

The story of three women who, as elected office holders, challenged and changed the conventional understanding of equality in Wyoming.


The Black 14: Protests and Reactions


Discover the reactions, both positive and negative, to the Black 14 incident and how it fit into the national conversation of the time.


Fort Laramie: Prairie Sentinel

Members of the 7th Infantry at Fort Laramie in 1885 (American Heritage Center Collections)

Fort Laramie as a secluded outpost protected emigrant trains, mail services, and telegraph lines. It was the scene of trade and treaty councils with the Native Americans and became a base for military operations against them when they took up arms against the invasion upon their land.


Hayden Party on the Yellowstone Expedition, 1872. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, Photofile: Hayden Party.

In 1871, Ferdinand V. Hayden was tasked with leading the first federally funded geological survey to explore the region soon to become Yellowstone National Park. Hayden's report, along with the artwork and photographs made on the expedition, played a prominent role in convincing Congress to designate Yellowstone as America's first national park.


View of the internment camps. Heart Mountain Relocation Center (Wyo.) American Heritage Center Collections. Photo by Bill Manbo, 1942-1944.

What motivated the American government to place thousands of its own citizens in concentration camps during World War II? Discover the history of internment camps in America and get an inside look at Wyoming's camp at Heart Mountain.


Construction of Buffalo Bill Dam, 1908. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, Buffalo Bill Dam Construction Photograph Album.

Discover the story of Wyoming's tallest dam.



Hell on Wheels: Union Pacific Towns in Wyoming

Union Pacific Railroad construction near Green River, WY

Connecting Wyoming to the World: A History of UW

University of Wyoming, circa 1900

Eighteenth-Century Women Writers18th century women writers

More Pronghorn Than PeoplePronghorn--fastest animal in North America.
The VirginianCover of an original edition of The Virginian. Souvenirs of WarSoldiers on ground patrol, 1962-1963.
Adventures of Ozzie and HarrietOzzie and Harriet Nelson Papers. Clay Blair, Jr.Clay Blair in his Washington, D.C., office, 1960.


Contact Us

American Heritage Center

Centennial Complex

2111 Willet Drive

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-4114


Find us on Instagram (Link opens a new window)Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)Find us on LinkedIn (Link opens a new window)Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)