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Special Collections

Learn More About our History & Region

We maintain a number of special collections featuring items that have been given to the Library over time. These items—of varying materials and types—are an important part of our community's history, and can be viewed by appointment. They can not be checked out, but we are more than happy to share them with you when you visit.

Western History

The Walter R. Jones Western History Collection can be found in the Wyoming alcoves on the second floor of the library. This collection includes books about:

  • Western history
  • Wyoming history
  • County histories
  • Wyoming brand books
  • Historical city directories
  • Local high school yearbooks

These books cannot be checked out, but may be read inside the library. Please ask a librarian on the second floor for assistance.

Wyoming Flag

The Natrona County Library hosts two historic Wyoming flags, on display in uv-protected display cases on the second floor.

The smaller of the two flags dates back nearly a century. It is one of the first six Wyoming flags, made by the George Lauterer Company of Chicago from silk taffeta, upon which the bison and Great Seal of Wyoming were hand-painted. The second flag’s date is unknown. Made from a coarser material and featuring the seal hand-inked upon a fabric bison, it exhibits the flag as originally conceived, with the bison facing outward from the flag staff.

The Wyoming State Flag was designed by Verna Keays Keyes in response to a contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1916. Click the button below to read a recollection written by Keyes on February 15, 1960 regarding the design and competition.

Petroleum Collection

An extensive selection of materials related to the oil and gas industry is available on the second floor of the library. This collection includes:

  • Geological surveys and maps
  • Trade journals
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Government documents
  • Books related to the oil and gas industry

Please ask a librarian on the second floor for assistance.

Historic Newspapers

The library’s historic newspaper collection is housed on the second floor in a microfilm format. The selection includes:

  • Wyoming Derrick 1890-1906
  • Natrona County Tribune 1891-1907
  • Casper Record 1911-1918
  • Casper Daily Tribune 1918-1931
  • Edgerton Independent 1926-1928
  • Salt Creek Gusher 1926-1930
  • Casper Times 1929-1941
  • Casper Daily Herald 1931-1933
  • Casper Tribune Herald 1933-1962
  • Casper Morning Star 1949-1965
  • Casper Star Tribune 1962-present
  • Casper Journal 1977-present

Please ask a librarian if you need assistance using the microfilm readers, printing, or e-mailing articles.

In addition to the newspapers available on microfilm patrons can also access the Wyoming Newspaper Project. This website includes all of the newspapers printed in Wyoming from 1849 to 1922.

Jay Lawson Collection

Hunting & Fishing Collection

The Natrona County Library is extremely honored to be the home of the Jay Lawson Collection, a stunning array of books donated by the family of Mr. Lawson, former Chief Game Warden of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Jay was born in Casper and graduated from Natrona County High School in 1967. He earned a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam, a wildlife degree from the University of Montana, and then began a 33-year career with the Game and Fish Department, becoming Chief of the the Wildlife Divison in 1989. Jay received numerous accolades for his dedication to wildlife issues and his lifetime of service to wildlife research and management. He researched and wrote the book, “Men to Match Our Mountains,” a celebration of the most colorful outdoor men and women of the early 20th century. Jay retired from the Game and Fish Department in 2011 and passed away in 2014.

Jay had a keen eye for collecting valuable, rare books with outdoor themes. Jay’s family, including his brother Bruce, donated over 230 of Jay’s personal books to the Natrona County Library. The books cover a wide array of wildlife and outdoor interests, including western history, birds, mammals, plants, hunting, fishing, wildlife management, and more.

Some of the more remarkable titles are early editions of Charles Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” and “Naturalist’s Voyage Around the World,” an 8-volume set of “The Lives of Game Animals” by Ernest Thompson Seton, and an 1860 edition of “Prairie and Rocky Mountain Adventures of Life in the West” by John C. Van Tramp. Several of the books in the collection are inscribed to him and many include Jay’s tucked in notes.

To view the books in the collection, please visit the library’s second floor Reference Desk. Due to the special nature of these volumes, they are not available for checkout.

Thank you to Bruce and the Lawson family for their very generous donation to honor Mr. Jay Lawson.

The Hunting & Fishing collection consists of books and other items relating to hunting and fishing, especially in Wyoming and the West, allowing casual readers and researchers alike the opportunity to delve deeper into each topic. You will find practical titles on how to perfect each craft, as well as rare books illustrating the histories of hunting and fishing skills and practice. The collection covers all aspects of the North Platte River including its unique history, habitat and water management, and environmental remediation. The collection also includes many first editions, signed copies, and one-of-a-kind titles. Some are available to check out, while others are for in-library use only. Please ask a librarian on the second floor for assistance.