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Women in the Archives Research Guide


Many women composed histories of the towns in which they lived. Archives and Special Collections has many accounts of Western communities that include information on daily life from the perspective of women. 

Leah Gillies Olson Family Papers, 1905-1952

This collection consists of typed transcriptions and photocopies of original documents created by Leah Olson and her daughter, Karen. The first is a genealogy, while the second is an essay entitled "History of Twin Bridges." The essay details the town in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and is primarily composed of secondary source material.

Elizabeth Berger Swan Papers

The Swan Papers contain two typewritten documents by Swan. The first is the story of her family's settlement in Lewistown and its development alongside the activities of the Catholic church. This document is entitled, "A Brief History of the First Catholic Pioneers of Lewistown, Montana." The second document is a short Cree Indian story.

Doris Whithorn Research Files

There are multiple town histories within the Whithorn Files. The first concerns Emigrant Gulch and was written by Dorothy, the second concerns Chestnut and was written by Andrew Walker and sent to Dorothy, and the last is distilled into a speech by Dorothy about self-guided tours along the Trail Creek Road.

Cassandra O. Phelps Papers, 1914-1945

The second and third scrapbooks, as well as a folder, in the Phelps collection contain newspaper clippings about aspects of general Montana history. Topics include Charles M. Russell, the vigilantes of 1863-4, and the battle of the Little Bighorn. 

Edna Tracy White Papers, 1869-1969

The White Papers include a variety of historical essays and speeches on several different topics. These topics include Tracy's journey to Montana, pioneer life in Bozeman, Indians in Montana, Yellowstone National Park, the early Presbyterian and Methodist churches in Bozeman, and family letters.

Montana Institute of the Arts Bozeman History Group Records, 1948-1977

This collection houses the records and research of the Bozeman History Group, which was founded to preserve the history of Gallatin Canyon. Within the collection are compact disc and cassette magnetic recordings of meetings, interviews with prominent individuals, meeting notes and transcripts, administrative files, and special projects like radio dramatizations. These materials include a wide variety of women, from Harriet Cushman to Marjorie Leigh.

Dorothy Floerchinger Collection, 1864-1975

Dorothy Floerchinger was an avid historian of Conrad, Montana. She composed a number of histories and studies regarding the Conrad family and Pondera County. Dorothy's collection contains much of her research, a variety of essays, and an oral history interview. Much of the collection spans the history of Pondera County, towns of Conrad and Valier, and a variety of local companies.

Beryl Stith Papers, 1883-1963

The Beryl Stith Papers include Beryl's paste-up, research, and drafts for her book on the history of Terry, Montana, which is entitled Terry Does Exist. Of note are family papers tracing the Stith family's history. Within the collection are a variety of family papers and materials used in the creation of the book and many photographs of Terry.

Mary M. Schreiner Papers, 1937-1952

The Schreiner Papers contain five historical essays written by Mary. Topics include the history of mining camps and laws in Montana, the general history of Hassel, the mining activity in Bedford and Springfield, and Hugh Broderick (the son of a miner in the Confederate Gulch area).

Hazel Christiansen Papers

Hazel Christiansen was the Big Horn county librarian in the early twentieth century. Her collection houses correspondence, notes, and manuscripts on the history of Hardin and Big Horn county, Montana. Additional research deals with Crow Indians, forts, battles, churches, libraries, schools, and local activities.

Fannie Louise Davis Ennis Speeches and Essay Transcripts, 1964

Among other materials, this collection contains two of Ennis's speeches dealing with Montana history. "Atlas Club Speech" is a simple history of Montana and Yellowstone with no personal information about Ennis. Similarly, "Beloved Pioneers" is a superficial overview of Montana history.

Mary Redfield Lindsey Papers, 1952-1965

The collection includes historical interest stories written by Mary Redfield Lindsey Dehaven and published in the Great Falls Tribune and Virginian City Madison. The collection also houses brochures on the history of Montana Methodism, photocopies of oral history transcriptions, and an unpublished reminiscence of Dehaven's childhood. Many of these histories discuss Montana or Montana residents. 

Charlotte Stowe Autobiography

Along with other topics, the Stowe autobiography details Charlotte's travels and homes with her husband Edward and son Edward, Jr. She and her husband purchased and operated a hotel. The business flourished due to a housing shortage caused by the opening of  Montana State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, later to become Montana State University. 

Irene Thatcher Scrapbooks, 1948-1966

The Thatcher collection contains two scrapbooks. The first handles the history of the Montana Centennial train journey from Montana to New York in 1964. The second contains newspaper clippings about a variety of Montana pioneers, including Lilla Bogert, Frieda Bull, Elmer Cass, Mary Hunter Doane, Caroline McGill, Pete Karst, Frank "Doc" Nelson, Lester Pierstorff, and David Willson.  

Grace Kamp Bates Research Papers, 1977-1982

Among other materials, the Bates Papers include documents on the history of the Amsterdam or Holland settlement area of Gallatin County, Montana, including data on Montana blacksmiths.

Edith R. Furman Photographs and Scrapbook, circa 1924-1954

This collection contains photographs and newspaper articles about Montana history. The photographs, taken by Furman, include images of the Crow Fair at Crow Agency and the dedication of a monument on the Rosebud Battlefield. The clippings focus on the Battle of Little Big Horn, Custer and his widow, Native American tribes, the Vigilantes, the Pony Express, and fur trappers and traders.