Native American Populations in Montana

There are hundreds of books, manuscript collections and maps in Archives & Special Collections (A&SC) with content documenting Native Americans and their experiences in what is now Montana. Although in most cases the accounts reflect the perspective non-Natives, they are still valuable primary source materials.

Information about relevant photograph and manuscript collections can be found in this pdf file and by keyword searching or browsing in the Northwest Digital Archives database. Collections with particular depth include the papers of US Representatives and Senators, the papers of author Frank Bird Linderman and ethnographer Fred Voget, the photographs of Edward Boos, and the unique work of ledger art by Walter Bone Shirt.

A&SC holds approximately 450 books that are part of the Paul C. Phillips Collection. Phillips’ two major collecting areas were the fur trade and Native Americans. Particularly noteworthy in his collection is the complete set of Edward S. Curtis’ The North American Indian. (The set has been digitized by Northwestern University and is available online.) All books in A&SC, including those from the Phillips collection, have been cataloged; records are available by using the ‘Search Archives & Special Collections’ box on the home page.