30 January 2015. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is located near Yellowstone National Park in Cody, Wyoming. Its purpose is to share the story of the authentic American West, and it is comprised of five different museums. The center's McCracken Research Library has a vast collection of historic items, including unique manuscripts, letters, photographs, audio and video materials and more.
Using OCLC's CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management Software, the library has embarked on a digital initiative to provide online access to many of these unique materials. Online visitors to the center can search a suite of photographic collections and digital documents, conduct research and submit orders for reproductions all at library.centerofthewest.org.
Among their unique collections is the William F. Cody collection, which includes a selection of letters, published material, objects and photographs surrounding the life of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody. This collection follows Buffalo Bill from his start as a young frontiersman to his career as a showman and entrepreneur. The characters, artifacts and legends in this collection bring to life the spirit of the American West.
The library also has a George Armstrong Custer collection that contains various documents concerning the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The two most prominent items are reports from General Alfred H. Terry to General George Crook, which are the first official mentions of the defeat of Custer at the Little Bighorn battlefield.
Library staff at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West continue to digitize their rich collection of historic items from the American West. These projects are made possible by ongoing grant funds, and they help to increase public access and use of these unique materials.