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The library collects materials directed towards courses taught and research done at Montana State University. At times this overlaps with genealogy research and publications. Search the online library catalog by entering a topic such as "genealogy" and choose the "Subject" search.
The local newspapers in Renne Library are listed in this guide, but no court, marriage, birth or death records are held in the library. The census sources are also listed in this guide. Most of the library materials listed below are in the Reference (Ref) area or in Special Collections (Special) on 2nd Floor. A few are found in the open stacks and noted as such.
In the Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections, a limited number of manuscript collections are available, mainly pertaining to Montana agriculture families, and accessible through the online catalog. Photographs form parts of these collections, and a separate photograph collection, which includes an extremely limited number of Montana individuals, is available in Special Collections.
The census rolls (containing actual names and other census schedule information) are released after 72 years, so for Montana 1870-1880, 1900-1930 are available in Special Collections and in Ancestry (see link below). Most of the original 1890 census rolls burned, so are not available anywhere.
The index listed below gives the details of what parts of the 1890 rolls are available. Census population statistics for U.S. and Montana are listed in MSU's online catalog; do a subject search under United State-Census or Montana-Census.
With these indexes, you can find the appropriate roll for the state, county, and name that you want. Soundex is the card index system by which the surnames from the census schedules are indexed, and it is explained in the appendix of these books. For U.S. Census Information online, see Cyndi's U.S. Census page or CensusFinder for links to census information as early as 1790.
There are some excellent and thorough listings of resources available through the Internet. Search Yahoo, Google, or any other search engine for genealogy. A sampling of available sites is listed below.