Discover you family history through historical newspapers at


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Discover you family history through historical newspapers at

For a Big State with a Big History, Montana has yet to create any Big Archives online.  But they're getting started, and have some intriguing digital materials available, chiefly at the Montana Memory Project.  

The Montana Memory Project is made up of materials from several dozen collections at libraries, universities, government archives, and other sources around the state.  This is a hard collection to describe, other than to say what's not included.  
  • It's not a deep family history resource -- I saw no name look-ups available for census, military records, court cases, and the like.
  • It's not comprehensive -- a search on cowboys (this is Montana, after all) turned up only 200 or so results, and only a few dozen photographs.  
  • It's not easy to find things -- a search on Map turned up a few thousand hits, but very few actual maps
    (Montana Memory uses the CONTENTdm platform, which I've always found to be very unfriendly to end users, and to produce very poor relevancy for search results ...archivists of the world, take note!).

That said, if you have a very specific search in mind, or if you have the time for a lot of browsing, there are some great materials to be found here, from the following collections:
  • August ‘Gus’ Ludwig Hormay Papers
  • Butte Digital Image Project
  • Central Montana Historical Photographs
  • Dudley White Collection
  • F. Jay Haynes Architectural Drawings
  • Flathead County Local History
  • Heritage Book of the Original Fergus County Area
  • James Willard Schultz Photographs
  • Jordan, James Crooks Calk
  • Livingston High School Annuals
  • MHS Archives
  • MHS Library
  • MHS Livestock Brands
  • MHS Photograph Archives
  • Miles City Fort Keogh
  • Miles City Medical History
  • Miles City Saddlemakers
  • Miles City Veterans
  • Miles City WWII Peggy Letters
  • Miles Community College Horse of Course
  • Mining World Index
  • Montana Indian Law Portal
  • Montana State Library, Various Collections
  • Montana Subscription Histories
  • Montana Tech Campus
  • Montana Tech of The University of Montana
  • Parmly Billings Library Historic Collection
  • Rocky Mountain College Yearbooks
  • Rosetta Kamlowsky Interviews
  • Sidney-Richland County Library collections
  • Thomas B. Brooks Photographs
  • UM - The Jack L Demmons Bonner School Photographs
  • UM Western Photos
  • Will James Collection

By the way, use the Montana Memory's Preferences button to increase the number of results shown per page (unless you're on a slow connection).  

There are a few other Montana archive resources to take note of, though none yet house a great deal of content. 

The Montana Historical Society is certainly a player in this area, and their site includes a description of major Montana Archives, Library and Photography collections, all offline, but with some online search tools to see more about their holdings.

They have also created an online African-Americans in Montana Heritage Resources Project, which offers background information, some primary materials, and links to other resources, both online and off.  

At the Montana State Library, you can conduct an online search of their holdings, to explore many of their offline collections and materials. 
Lastly, Montanta State government publications dating back to 1874 are housed online at the Internet Archive, of all places.

More historical archives and research materials can be found at these excellent resources:

 Historical Newspaper Archives       

 Genealogy Tools                                US Historical Newspapers        

 European Historical Newspapers        International Historical Newspapers

Court Record Searches                        Public Records Searches 

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