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University History Research Guide: Academics

A guide to the history of The University of Montana-Missoula.


The UM opened in 1895 with five academic departments (history, languages and literature, chemistry, physics and mathematics), and there were a total of five faculty members, including President Craig. Over the last 125 years, thousands of classes have been added and new fields of study have been created. As of 2019, the University of Montana-Missoula is comprised of six colleges and four schools. The university is also home to two libraries: the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library and the William J. Jameson Law Library. The School for Extended and Lifelong Learning provides extension and noncredit educational opportunities for professional development and personal growth. The University of Montana-Missoula also oversees two 2-year college campuses: Bitterroot College in Hamilton and Missoula College in Missoula. To learn more about the history of UM academic departments and faculty, check out the following resources.

Faculty and Staff

To learn more about the faculty and staff listed below, click on their name.
Eloise Knowles  Eloise Knowles
Morton J. Elrod Morton J. Elrod
Gertrude Buckhous Gertrude Buckhous
J.B. Speer James Speer
Frances Corbin Frances Corbin
Joesph Edward Kirkwood Joseph Edward Kirkwood
Lucille Jameson Armsby Lucille Armsby
Richard E. Juday Richard E. Juday
Emma B. Lommasson Emma B. Lommasson
H.G. Merriam H.G. Merriam
Patricia Goedicke Patricia Goedicke
Thomas Swearingen Thomas Swearingen

Online Resources

Course Catalog
Early editions of the UM Course Catalog, or Register, as it is sometimes called, are filled with information on departments and schools, including lists of degree requirements and course descriptions. The Catalog is available online via ScholarWorks.

Online exhibits created by Archives and Special Collections contain excellent images and information about UM. Check out these for information on faculty, staff, and academic departments throughout UM’s history.

Oral Histories
Oral history interviews with UM faculty and staff are great primary sources for researching the university because they contain personal stories, insights, and behind-the-scenes information about the daily workings of the university and the campus community.  Each item in the list below links to a different oral history project conducted with UM faculty and staff available via ScholarWorks.

In the Archives

Physical copies of the materials listed below are available in the Mansfield Library's Archives and Special Collections.

Campus Directory
The Campus Directory (1918-Present) is an excellent source for finding faculty and staff by name or department. For information on faculty and staff prior to 1918, try the University of Montana Course Catalog available on ScholarWorks.

Manuscript Collections and University Records
Click on the links listed below to view a guide to an archival collection available in Archives and Special Collections. Each of these collections contains UM academic department records and manuscript collections.

General Faculty and Staff University Records
Click on the links listed below to view a guide to an archival collection available in Archives and Special Collections. Each of these collections contains materials compiled by UM faculty as well as faculty and staff-related entities.

History of University Departments and Schools