Native American Populations in Montana

Native Americans in front of teepee

There are hundreds of books, manuscript collections and maps in Archives and Special Collections (ASC) with content about Native Americans and their experiences in what is now Montana. In many cases these accounts were written by, and photographs taken by, non-Natives.

Information about relevant photograph and manuscript collections can be found in the Native American Populations in Montana Collection List and by keyword searching or browsing in the Archives West database. Collections with particular depth include the papers of US Representatives and Senators, the papers of author Frank Bird Linderman and ethnographer Fred Voget, the photographs of Edward Boos. Also noteworthy is the unique work of ledger art by Brulé Lakota artist Walter Bone Shirt.

ASC holds approximately 450 books that are part of the Paul C. Phillips Collection. Phillips’ two major collecting areas were the fur trade and Native Americans. Particularly noteworthy in his collection is the complete set of Edward S. Curtis’ The North American Indian. (The set has been digitized by Northwestern University and is available online.) All books in Archives and Special Collections, including those from the Phillips collection, have been cataloged; records are available via the Mansfield Library's OneSearch.