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Special Collections: Home


Various collections have been acquired by Montana State University Billings, Library from the time it first opened known as Eastern Montana Normal School.   In 1930, we purchased sixty-six ledger drawings forming the Barstow collection.   The next large collection purchased in 1957 was Dudley White’s personal library, which contains such rare books and items as Patrick Gass’s journal, The Covered Wagon by Hough, ledgers from Virginia City and Bannack, MT., drawings by Will James, and photographs by Barry.  During the 1970’s, Mayor Willard Fraser donated his papers to us from his terms as Mayor.

  In 2003, the library acquired the research library from a well-known Western writer, Terry C. Johnston.  His collection contains approximately 750 books on fur trade, American Indians (such as Nez Perce, Apache, Sioux), American Indian Wars, Custer, general American western history, pamphlets, various and incomplete collections of journals, his research notes, and a signed manuscript. 

The University Archives contains the pamphlets, memos, meeting minutes, newsletters, yearbooks, student handbooks, directories, photos, media releases, and loose papers from 1927 to the present that are available for students, faculty, and researchers to use. The student newspapers and yearbooks have been digitized and are accessible online.

Make an Appointment to Visit the Archives

Schedule a time to visit the Special Collections & Archives room by contacting the campus archivist, Eileen Wright.

Make an appointment!

Wading in the ditch, 1931; McMullen Hall

Homecoming football game, October 1969

Checking in at Petro Residence front desk; 1987

Having fun in the irrigation ditch; May 1969

Studying in our dormitory room

Pep Rally, 1970


  • The mission is to acquire, preserve, organize and make available resources as relevant to the curriculum and research mission of the campus.
  • Program Goals for Preservation: For library resources deemed to be of long-term value preservation can be defined as the actions needed to assure enduring access to the full content of those resources.
  • Our library policy states that priority for preservation shall be given to materials currently in demand in order to keep them usable and to materials that are rare or unique.
  • Selections of materials for preservation of high use shall be accomplished as a normal function of the circulation staff in coordination with the appropriate subject specialist.  Selection of rare or unique materials for preservation will be the responsibility of the subject specialist working with the Head of Collection management and the preservation staff.