Natives of Montana Archival Project

The Natives of Montana Archival Project (NOMAP) collects primary source documents related to the various tribes of Montana. Over the course of four summers (2009-2012), students from the Native American Studies Department at the University of Montana photographed a total of 65,714 pages from 126 boxes of Bureau of Indian Affairs records (Record Group 75) held at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. All of these images are available on the Montana Memory Project. Funding for this project was provided by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, the Native American Studies Department, and the Smithsonian.

The NOMAP project focused on a subset of the BIA records known as the Central Classified Files dating from 1907 to 1939. This subset includes letters received, copies of letters sent, reports, memoranda, minutes, petitions, leases, contracts, affidavits, applications, certificates, licenses, permits, bonds, wills, other legal documents, tables, circulars, accounting records, clippings, photographs, diagrams, and blueprints. As the BIA's Central Classified Files from 1907-1939 contain over two million pieces of paper relating to Montana, the NOMAP project focused specifically on that portion of the records which are organized according to individual field units or jurisdictions, such as the Blackfeet Agency.

Within each jurisdiction, files are arranged according to a decimal-subject classification system. As an example, Decimal Classification 054 is assigned to the Acts of Tribal Councils. Within each decimal-subject classification there are individual dossiers or files of records relating to a specific subject. These files are arranged chronologically and thereunder by file number of the first or "base" letter filed therein. The individual documents within a file are generally arranged in chronological order.

Following is a breakdown of the number of images (digitized pages) in the NOMAP collection by agency:
Types of images included in collection; refer to table for additional details.

Agency Number of Images
Blackfeet 39887
Crow 7485
Flathead 6674
Fort Peck 4876
Fort Belknap 4478
Fort Shaw 882
Rocky Boy 881
Tongue River 374
Special Cases 177

Natives of Montana Archival Project
Photo courtesy of Dave Beck

Browse the Collection

NOMAP documents are available at the Montana Memory Project

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