Diaries, Letters, Ledgers and Manuscripts
The items in these collections are housed in Archives and Special Collections.
Civil War diary of Amos W. Avery of Illinois who served in the Third Missouri Calvary, Company I. The diary begins with a brief reminiscence back to Avery's enlistment in 1861 and has regular entries from January of 1862 until March of 1863. There are also entries from July to September of 1865. The collection includes a typed transcript.
This single volume, commonly known as the "Red Book," contains over 1000 pages of detailed statistical and narrative information about the athletes and intercollegiate athletic teams at the University of Montana-Missoula between 1897 and 1980.
A multi-part memoir, entitled Defending National Park Idealism: The Mystique: Memoirs from a Career in the National Park Service 1949-93. The author worked for Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, and was a faculty member in the University of Montana, School of Forestry.
This unpublished history of the Boone and Crockett Club, a national wildlife conservation organization and sportsman’s club, was written by William G. Sheldon who served on its Executive Committee. The work was completed in 1954 or 1955 and includes information about the Club’s mission, activities and officers to that time.
These two expert reports, written by David M. Emmons, Ph.D. and submitted as evidence in lawsuits against the Atlantic Richfield Company, discuss the history of metal mining and processing in Montana’s Upper Clark Fork watershed.
This diary, written in 1917 and attributed to Edith Reneau, consists of a woman's documentation of her life on a homestead located in Beaverhead County’s Big Hole Valley in southwest Montana. Each day's entry begins with a description of the weather, and continues with brief descriptions of her activities for the day.
Spottswood’s diary runs from January-August, 1913. In it he briefly describes life in Missoula and then focuses on the family's travel in the United States and Europe. Spottswood mentions his wife, their children and the events and sites they enjoy as well as prominent people they met, including Joseph Dixon and President Woodrow Wilson.
This journal contains short daily entries documenting activities and events at the US Office of Indian Affairs' Flathead Agency in Dixon, Montana, from January 1, 1916 until the office was discontinued on November 7, 1918. The daily account was likely maintained by the agency clerk and documents visitors, arrests, travels of the doctor and superintendent, and weather extremes.
In 1938, Harold Wave Whicker (1895-1955) donated a collection of rare books and manuscripts to the University of Montana, where he had been a faculty member in the English Department. The collection emphasizes literature of the nineteenth century. Represented authors include Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, Thomas Carlyle, and others.
These four diaries of Henry Katsuji Hashitani are written in Japanese and date from approximately 1904 to 1949. It is believed that they document Hashitani’s thoughts and activities during the years covered. During these years he lived in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
The James Ball Diaries consist of three volumes written by sheep rancher James Ball. The diaries contain day-to-day observations of the ranch, weather, Ball's travels around Montana, visits from neighbors, work exchanged with neighbors, and other small community events.
J.B. Speer worked for the University of Montana (then called Montana State University) from 1905-1953, starting as student clerk and working up through business officer and controller. In his unpublished manuscript, “Land for the Campus,” Speer provides information about acquisition of sites for expansion of the campus from its founding 40 acres to a campus of over 30 buildings.
This manuscript, written by Joseph H. Jones, consists of a typescript first-person account of Jones' encounter with and escape from a band of Nez Perce attempting a return from Canada to Idaho one year after the Battle of the Big Hole (1877).
In her unpublished manuscript, “Narrative of Montana State University, 1893-1935,” Mary Brennan Clapp (1884-1966), wife of University president Charles H. Clapp (1883-1935), covers the administrations of the University of Montana’s first five presidents. This draft includes numerous handwritten notes.
The Pablo and Potvin Mercantile operated at least six general stores and was headquartered in Ronan, Montana. This collection consists of two financial ledgers, Ledger A and Ledger B, dating from 1910-1912. (The location of Ledger C is unknown.)
The Steffen Heinrich Aggens Diary consists of a single volume written in German. The diary begins with Aggens' departure from Germany in 1852 and charts his travels to New York and San Francisco and then through the goldfields of California, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana through 1868.
The Thula Hardenbrook Diary describes a trip through Yellowstone National Park that she took in the summer of 1887.
The sixteen drawings in this ledger were created by Brulé Lakota artist Never Misses (also known as Walter Bone Shirt) in the early 1890s. The ledger was donated to the University's library in 1962 by Genevieve Prochnow. Learn more about the Walter Bone Shirt Ledger.
The William H.H. and Emma Dickinson papers include a Dickinson family genealogy, William Dickinson's Civil War diaries and Emma Dickinson's reminiscence of early Missoula.