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Archives & Special Collections: Mansfield Library Archives & Special Collections

A guide with information about resources available at the Mansfield Library's Archives & Special Collections department, and about archival and special collections materials located elsewhere.

What We Do

The Mansfield Library's Archives & Special Collections (A & SC) helps to document the history of Montana and the region by collecting, preserving and providing access to unique, rare and / or valuable books, pamphlets, ephemera, archival and manuscript collections, photographs, maps, oral histories and moving image material.

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Where We Are

Archives & Special Collections is located on the 4th floor of the Mansfield Library.

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Archives West

Archives West provides access to guides to archival collections and to descriptions of primary source collections held at repositories in the Western United States, including Montana, Idaho, Utah, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Examples of primary source materials held in archival collections include letters, diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, business records, oral histories, official papers of senators and congressmen, and the records of organizations.

After you search by keyword you can limit your search to content held by a specific institution, such as the University of Montana.


What We Have


There are more than 25,000 books located in A & SC, including nearly 20,000 available for browsing in the Montana Room. Our books have been included in the Mansfield Library Catalog. They have also been included in WorldCat.

Although A & SC primarily collects material about Western Montana and its people, the rare book collection in particular includes a range of unique and/or valuable non-Montana items.

Archival and Manuscript Collections

A & SC holds over 800 manuscript collections (primarly unpublished materials created by individuals, organizations and businesses) focusing on events and activities in Montana. We also hold the records of several University of Montana departments and entities.

Information about the majority of our manuscript and archival collections can be found using the Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA) database. Records for our processed collections are also available in WorldCat.

Regional and Historic Maps

More than 7,000 regional and historic maps are housed in the Montana Room of A & SC. Maps in this collection can be found using the Mansfield Library Catalog. (Note: In the 'Additional Limits' dropdown option select 'Maps.')

Several hundred of our maps have been digitized for online access:


A & SC has nearly 100,000 historic images, in a variety of formats, dating from the 1860s to the present. The majority of the photographs document people, places and activities in western Montana, including the Missoula area and the University of Montana campus.

Photocopies of more than 20,000 images are located in cabinets just outside the A & SC room and are available for browsing.

Nearly 6500 of our photographs have been digitized for online access:

Oral Histories

Over 2,500 oral history recordings are available from A & SC. The majority of our oral histories are included in the Mansfield Library Catalog. Tapes and transcripts for the majority of our oral histories are located in cabinets just outside the A & SC room and are available for checkout from the library.

Your Librarian

Donna McCrea
Head of Archives & Special Collections / Professor

Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library

(406) 243-4403