State Historical Records Advisory Board

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State Historical Records Advisory Board



Read all about Wyoming history in the newspapers!

Newspapers have been published in Wyoming since 1867. They can offer a wonderful snapshot of daily life in the state and enhance most research projects. Find out how national news affected local communities, get the scoop on social events, read obituaries and see what life was like across the state at any given time in Wyoming’s history. The Wyoming State Archives houses the largest, most complete collection of Wyoming newspapers in existence from 1867 to the present.

Newspapers up to 1923:

Wyoming Newspapers   (link opens in a new tab/window)

Browse through this online database of newspapers published across the state prior to 1923 or search the text for events, people and more.  Note:  Newspapers published after 1922 cannot be published online due to copyright restrictions.  Check our microfilm for all years of Wyoming newspapers.

Try this tutorial on using the newspaper database, from the Wyoming State Library.

All Wyoming newspapers:

Microfilm Holdings Database(link opens in a new tab/window)

Come in to the State Archives to read any Wyoming newspaper on microfilm.  You can search for a particular newspaper in our microfilm database.

You can borrow newspaper microfilm from the University of Wyoming  Libraries through interlibrary loan. Contact the interLibrary loan staff at your local library for more information.


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While the information contained in newspapers is a wonderful resource, the papers themselves were never meant to last for longer than it took to read them. To keep printing costs down, they are printed on very cheap, acidic paper that becomes yellow and brittle when exposed to light and air. They become very fragile and cannot endure much handling. So what’s an archive to do?

Our solution is to microfilm the newspapers and discard the original papers. Properly stored microfilm can last much longer than paper, takes up much less space, and can survive excessive handling and viewing.

But there are some things microfilm is not good at. One of those is reproducing the gray shades in photographs in the papers. This is why the newspaper photographs usually appear very dark and hard to see.

Is there an index to all the newspapers published in Wyoming?

  • No. Some indexes to obituaries have been developed for selected years of some papers, but the vast majority of the papers remain unindexed. If you are searching for articles published before 1923, you are in luck. The Wyoming Newspapers site is fully word searchable.


How can I access newspapers published after 1923?

  • The easiest way to view newspapers published after 1923 in Wyoming is to visit us here at the Archives. If that is impractical, you can also request the microfilm through the University of Wyoming. Contact the InterLibrary Loan staff at your local library for more information. Also, most county libraries in Wyoming have microfilm of their local newspapers.


Can I request a copy of a particular article from the newspaper if I cannot visit myself?

  • Yes! Since the newspapers are not indexed, we ask that you provide a location and general date (within a month or less) and our staff and research volunteers will look through the papers for you. Due to staffing and research load, we are unable to spend more than one hour per researcher fulfilling these requests. Also, keep in mind that county libraries sometimes have indexes to their local papers, often created by enterprising local genealogical groups!


How current are the newspapers in your collection?

  • The Wyoming State Archives actively collects newspapers published in Wyoming. We now use a vendor to microfilm the newspapers, so papers less than 3 months old may not be available for research onsite. If you are looking for recent issues not yet available on microfilm, please contact the Wyoming State Library.


I’m looking for a photograph published in the newspaper. Can you help?

  • Sometimes. Some images printed in the newspaper have made it into our holdings either as a collection or individually.
  • Collections include:
    • Francis Brammar - Wyoming Tribune and Wyoming Eagle (Cheyenne) ca 1920-1970s
    • R.D. Martin/Saratoga Sun Collection - Saratoga Sun (Saratoga) 1910s
    • Kathryn Gress Collection - Wyoming Tribune Eagle (Cheyenne) 1960s-2000 (coming soon!)
    • Cheyenne Star Collection - Cheyenne Star (Cheyenne) 1960s-1970s

History Day

2022 Wyoming History Day and National History Day competitions have been moved to online judging! 

For more information, see the Wyoming History Day and National History Day websites. 


Wyoming history is full of great research topics for History Day contest projects. To get the mental juices flowing, we have come up with some potential topics that fit with the 2021-2022 theme, Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.

The National History Day program is a year-long education program that culminates in a national contest every June. Wyoming History Day, administered by the American Heritage Center, occurs every year in April.

National History Day engages students in grades 6-12 in the process of discovery and interpretation of historical topics. Students produce dramatic performances, imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries and research papers based on research related to an annual theme. These projects are then evaluated at local, state, and national competitions.


Wyoming History Day
Current year National History DayTheme Book


History Day 2021 Topic Ideas Using Wyoming State Archives sources

Annual Theme: Communication in History: The Key to Understanding

2021 Theme Narative from NHD


  • The ride of Portugee Phillips
  • Stage stations and their role in communication in early Wyoming
  • White Eagle speaks: The poetry and prose of a deaf Native American cowboy in Wyoming (meet White Eagle)
  • Newspaper editors and journalists in Wyoming:
    • E.A. Slack - Cheyenne, Esther Morris' son and helped popularize his mother as the face of women's suffrage in Wyoming
    • Caroline Lockhart - Cody, fearless journalist and independent rancher
    • Merris Barlow - Douglas, the "Sagebrush Philosopher" (meet Merris Barlow)
    • Bill Nye - Laramie, Wyoming's Mark Twain
    • James Hayford - Laramie, (meet James Hayford)
    • Gertrude and Laura Huntington - Saratoga, Wyoming's first newspaper owned by women (meet Gertrude and Laura Hutington)
    • Tracy McCraken - Cheyenne
    • Francis Brammar - Cheyenne, "One-Shot Bram" photographer/photo journalist 
  • The region's first telephone conversation - Cheyenne to Laramie
  • Rural telephone operators
  • Women's editions in local newspapers
  • Lightening Creek Raid
  • Airmail - 2020 is the 100th anniversary in Wyoming
  • E.T. Peyton - journalist incarcerated in the Wyoming State Hospital
  • Ah Say - interpreter, consul, and leader of the Chinese community in Wyoming
  • Chief Washakie - leader of the Eastern Shoshone
  • Sharp Nose - a leader of the Northern Arapaho who petitioned the US Government to move his people from a dangerous situation
  • Wind River Tribal Business Council - a dialog between two tribes
  • Establishing public broadcasting and radio in Wyoming
  • The postal system in Wyoming - serving rural communities and cities (Wyoming postal route maps)
  • Use family, personal, business, or official correspondence to tell a story or learn about an event
    • Letters between Esther Hobart Morris and her sons and her niece, Francis "Frankie" McQuigg Stewart (read their letters)
    • Personal and business correspondence by John Feick, general contractor during the inital construction of the Wyoming Capitol Building
    • Wyoming Governors' records (find them here)

Directories & Phone Books


Phone Books   

Phone Books at the State Archives, from cities across the state.


State Directories

Lists of businesses in Wyoming, 1906-1955, 1989-1991.

Genealogical Resources


Genealogical research can extend far beyond the basics of birth, marriage and death. Digging deeper into the historical record can provide a more complete picture of the life and times of your ancestors. It can be a lot of work - but it can also be very rewarding!

Below is a very cursory list, for novices and experienced researchers alike, of material available at the Wyoming State Archives that can help you find out more about your relatives. It is by no means a complete list, but we hope it will help you to break through some of your “brick walls.” If you have questions about specific records, please contact us.







All the information on these records is on our Vital Records Page.  Keep in mind that birth records are closed for 100 years and Death, Marriage, and Divorce records for 50 years.  So, for more recent records, you will want to contact the Wyoming Department of Health’s Vital Statistics Records Office.


  • Biographical sketches in books or the newspaper
  • Newspapers
    • Birth announcements were often published in the newspaper, and birth dates are sometimes included in obituaries or featured biographical articles.

Census Records  

  • Territorial census: Only the 1869 territorial census records contain names of individuals.
  • State census: The 1925 state census contains only statistical information, not actual names.
  • City censuses: We have the Cheyenne city censuses of 1875 and 1878; they do contain names.
  • Federal census: 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 Federal census records are available in the Reading Room on microfilm. They are also available online via the AncestryLibrary database, here and in all Wyoming libraries. The 1940 census is also available for free through the National Archives, and via the Ancestry Library database.


Death and Burial

  • Cemetery Records
    • Sometimes listings of the interments, often with their dates of interment. Some records include the owner of the plot, amount paid, etc.
  • Cemetery Survey
    • In the 1980s, a statewide survey was done of all of the cemeteries and individual gravesites known to exist in Wyoming. While some of the smaller family cemeteries and individual gravesites may contain the names of those buried at the locations, inventories are not usually included for large cemeteries.
  • Coroner’s Inquests
    • A coroner’s record should exist for any death under “suspicious” circumstances. This often includes murders, suicides, accidents and later home deaths. The records may include the findings of the coroner as to time and cause of death, and the verdict of the Coroner’s Jury, if applicable.
  • Death certificates
    • See our Vital Records Page for more information. Many of the death certificates from our collections have also been scanned by Ancestry. Wyoming residents can go to any public or college library to access this website for free.
  • Funeral Home Records
    • Local funeral homes often keep very complete records of burials and funerals. These often include the deceased’s name, date of death, burial location and who paid for their services. They can also include details about the funeral service.
  • Newspapers
    • ​Microfilm of all Wyoming newspapers is available at the State Archives.
    • Newspapers up through 1923 are available online via the Wyoming Newspapers database, and are searchable by location, date, newspaper name, and keyword.
  • Probate Records
    • These are court cases that include the settlement of estates. A probate file may include a person’s will, date of death, heirs, list of property and assets, and information about the settlement and distribution of the estate. As with other court records, many courts regularly transfer their inactive files to us but retain their indexes. Please contact the Clerk of District Court in the county the person lived in at the time of their death for a docket number. Contact information for the courts can be found on the Wyoming Supreme Court’s website.
  • State Mine Inspector Reports
    • Nearly every death of a coal miner is detailed in the State Mine Inspector Annual Reports. This includes their name, date and place of death, the details surrounding their and often a brief biographical sketch of the individual. See the Wyoming State Library for reports published after 1956.



  • Chancery Court
    • Very early (1860s-1870s) territorial divorces were usually handled by the Chancery Court. These records usually include basic information about the parties involved, the date the divorce was granted, and who received custody of any children.
  • Civil Case Files
    • If a divorce was filed, the parties would have gone through their county’s District Court. The divorce proceedings include date and place of marriage, date and place of divorce, grounds for divorce, children involved, and property settlement and child custody agreements. They are open records. In most cases, you will need to contact the county’s Clerk of District Court for a case number as they retain the indexes. (see also court records)
  • Divorce certificates from Vital Records (see our Vital Records Page)



  • County marriage records
    • ca 1869-mid 1960s. County marriage record books pre-date the state’s record keeping and usually begin with the organization of the county. In addition to the standard names of both bride and groom, date, location, officiant, and witnesses, some also include the ages of the bride and groom. There may also be parental consent affidavits if either are under age.
  • Church records
  • Newspaper announcements
    • These newspaper write-ups can often corroborate dates, places and names. Sometimes they will also include details about the ceremony, dress, decorations and even the gifts.
  • Obituaries
    • ​You can find obituaries through 1923 on the Wyoming Digital Newspaper Collection. For later years, contact us or visit the State Archives to search our microfilmed newspapers.


  • City Directories and State Business Directories
    • ​City directories list businesses and residents; many directories can be searched by address as well as name. Listings include adults and their occupations, if a renter or homeowner, and sometimes race.
  • County Tax Assessment Records
    • These records record how much tax each individual or business was assessed for a given year. This can tell you when they built a house (tax increase), or how successful their year had been.
  • House and Building History
    • ​Start with our online guide
  • Newspapers
  • Non-Government Records
    • In some cases, business records have been donated to our collection by private individuals. Correspondence, ledgers and advertising may be included.
  • Professional Licensing Boards
  • Certified Public Accountants directories
  • Licensed Architects directories
  • Licensed Dentist directories
  • Licensed Physicians directories
  • Secretary of State Corporation Records


  • Club Records
    • We have an extensive collection of local and state club records, especially women’s clubs. Scrapbooks, minutes, membership lists, event programs, photographs, and by-laws can often be found in the records.
  • Fraternal Organizations
    • The records of several Wyoming chapters of national fraternal organizations are a part of our collection, including the Sons of the American Revolution and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. These records contain minutes, membership lists and event programs. Chapter directories and by-laws for fraternal organizations can be found in non-government collections.


  • Court Records
    • Many city and county courts as well as the Wyoming Supreme Court regularly transfer their inactive case files to us. Unfortunately, they usually retain their indexes. Please contact the courts to obtain docket numbers and to be sure the cases have been transferred to us. You can find up to date contact information for Wyoming courts on the Wyoming Supreme Court’s website.
  • Governor’s Records
    • Petitions for Pardons - includes pardons granted as well as rejected petitions.
  • Requisition and Extradition Records
  • Newspapers
    • Crime makes for good reading, at least that is what most newspaper editors believed, so crimes are usually well documented in the newspapers.
  • State Penitentiary Records
    • While the full inmate files and medical files are restricted, mugshot card and the Board of Charities & Reform’s basic inmate files are open records. They contain the inmate’s name, description, date and location of crime, sentence and date of release. Nineteenth century inmate files can be found here: 

Note:  Juvenile Criminal cases are restricted by the courts. Please contact the court in question about access. Information about incarceration at the Wyoming Boys School, Wyoming Girls School and Wyoming Training School are also restricted and we can neither confirm nor deny an individual’s incarceration at any of these facilities. Please contact the Department of Corrections for access to the records.


  • Governor’s Appointment records
    • These files often tell who was appointed to various positions in state government and sometimes include petitions for or against certain choices.
  • Legislator Directories
    • These directories are published every session and include the names and short biographies of each legislator in both the House and Senate.
  • Secretary of State Records
  • Election Returns
  • Bonds and Oaths of Office
    • These include both the five statewide elected officials (Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor and Superintendent of Public Instruction) as well as Notary Publics, and Commissioners.
  • State government department correspondence
    • Correspondence files tell you what topics were hot during a person’s time in a particular office. It will also give you an idea of the scope of their responsibilities, how they felt about topics, what decisions they made, etc.


Researching your house or building - Start here 


  • City Directories and phone books
    • We have a large collection of city directories and phone books from around the state, click here for listings. City directories are similar to phone books but they have additional information like spouse and occupation and are available before the widespread installation of telephones. Directories and phone books can provide addresses and help you to determine dates of residence.
  • County Clerk Land Abstracts and Deeds
    • Land abstracts function like indexes for transactions on a particular piece of land. You can see when, from whom and for how much your ancestor purchased land, if they mortgaged it, to whom and for how much, and when they sold it and to whom. There is a general index for most individual counties, but as there is not an all-encompassing index, you will need to know which county to search. Legal Descriptions of land can also be helpful.
  • County Tax Assessment Records
    • These records record how much tax each individual or business was assessed for a given year. This can tell you when they built a house (tax increase), or how successful their year had been. If the person did not own real estate or a business, they may not show up in these records.
  • Immigration Department Publications
    • The state Immigration Department was in charge of enticing and recruiting settlers and investors for Wyoming during the first part of the 20th century. Their publications often include generalizations about the land and resources and may give clues about why individuals settled in an area.
  • Poll Books
    • These records may be helpful in proving a person lived in a particular area. But be forewarned, these records are not usually indexed and can be tedious to search and not everyone registered to vote.
  • State Engineer Water Rights Applications and Permits
  • Territorial Census Records
    • Only the 1869, 1875 and 1885 territorial census records contain the names of individuals.
  • US Federal Census Records
    • 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 census records are available in the Reading Room. The 1890 Wyoming census was lost in a fire, though the Civil War veterans and widows schedules did survive. The 1940 census is available for free through the National Archives.


Nearly all information about a person’s health or hospitalization is restricted by HIPAA privacy regulations. In the case of State Hospital patients, we can neither confirm nor deny their hospitalization. Please contact the State Hospital with any requests for information about patients of the hospital. That being said, there may be mentions of medical conditions or hospitalization in open records.


  • Adjutant General’s Office
  • Wyoming casualty lists (KIA) for WWI, WWII, and Vietnam
  • Spanish American War Regiment Rosters
  • 1890 Federal Census veterans & widows schedule
  • Wyoming Territorial military post returns (microfilm purchased from the National Archives)


  • Company Records
    • Company towns were ubiquitous to many industries and often provided or sold all the necessities, including food, housing, and medical and spiritual assistance. Some companies, especially in the Casper area in the 1910s-1930s, published company newsletters that included information about the company and local work as well as “human interest” stories about their employees. There is not an index to these publications.
  • County Clerk Records
  • County Clerk Land Abstracts and Deeds
    • Land abstracts function like indexes for transactions on a particular piece of land. You can see when, from whom and for how much your ancestor purchased land, if they mortgaged it, to whom and for how much, and when they sold it and to whom. There is a general index for most individual counties, but as there is not an all-encompassing index, you will need to know which county to search. Legal Descriptions of land can also be helpful.
  • Immigration Department Publications
    • The state Immigration Department was in charge of enticing and recruiting settlers and investors for Wyoming during the first part of the 20th century. Their publications often include generalizations about the land and resources.
  • Newspapers
    • Newspaper editors were often the biggest cheerleaders of their areas, and worked hard to promote interest in local resources. Often mineral discoveries and the health of the local economy was well covered in the papers.
  • Oil and Gas leases
  • Placer Claim Records
    • These record the location of mining and mineral claims.
  • Secretary of State Corporation Records
    • All corporations must file their articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State’s Office. Starting in the 1920s, they also had to file annual reports.
  • State Geologist Records/State Geological Survey
    • The State Geologist initially oversaw all of the non-coal minerals found in Wyoming, including gold, silver, asbestos, uranium, trona, bentonite, etc. The current State Geological Survey oversees coal production.
  • State Mine Inspector Annual Reports
    • Early State Mine Inspectors oversaw Wyoming’s coal industry and their annual reports can provide many details about the mines operated in the state and their production.


  • Annual/Yearbooks Newspapers
    • Articles, especially in the society section, may talk about who was in a play or concert, who was on the honor roll, who graduated, etc.
  • School District Census Records
    • These are a listing of all of the children in each school district of school age, usually 6-20 years old. They will not tell you which school they went to, since there may have been multiple schools in a district, but it may give you clues to help narrow your search. If they were in a rural district, it may help identify close neighbors and verify family members. Generally, the census records list the student’s name, age, gender, home address (street or just town/area), parent/guardian, whether they were disabled or attended school out of the district, and sometimes it will give date and place of birth.
  • School District Superintendent Records
    • These records often include minutes taken at board meetings, mention when buildings were constructed or abandoned, the names of teachers and board members, how funding was raised, and statistics about students.
  • School histories
    • Very few individual schools have been studied in depth and their histories published.
  • Transcripts and School Records
    • Transcripts and school records that contain grades or test scores are restricted to the student of record. Only the student of record and the school district of origin may request these records.


  • Newspapers
    • Newspapers often cover elections and will tell you what was on the ballot for each election.
  • Poll books
    • Because we vote using secret ballots, there is no record of how an individual votes, but poll books may tell you where they voted and whether they registered to vote in an election.


Web Collections


The Wyoming State Archives is partnering with the Internet Archive's Archive-It Program to selectively capture, preserve, and make accessible web sites and social media created by Wyoming’s state agencies and officials. The Archive-It Program allows the capture of relevant web content and ensures its long-term access through the Internet Archive's website. The Archive-It Program selectively crawls either web domains or individual web pages, taking a snapshot of the page, and storing a copy in the Internet Archive. The web page is then made publicly accessible on the Archive-It partner page.

The type of web content collected reflects the administrative functions of Wyoming state government. It does not include password protected sites, databases or calendars, or web sites that have robots.txt exclusion requests. The Wyoming State Archives does not claim copyright to any of the materials within the archive. It is the sole responsibility of the user to determine the copyright status of archival collections before publishing materials.


Collections (links open in new tab/window)


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State Historical Records Advisory Board