Montana Historical Society

Big Sky ~ Big History

Museum and research center closed for renovations. For more info, call (406) 444-2694.

Digital Projects

The Montana Historical Society offers a myriad of online resources. Here are some of our most significant digital projects.

Appropriate, Curious, & Rare: Montana History Object by Object Objects from the past comprise the heart and soul of the Montana Historical Society. Individually, these items provide fascinating glimpses into the lives of earlier generations of Montanans. Together, however, the stories told by the hundreds of thousands of items that the Society holds in trust intertwine to form a rich tapestry illustrating our shared history. This online exhibit features only a few “appropriate, curious, and rare” gems from the Society’s vast collections. While each item is, in its own unique way, somehow outstanding, when considered together they help us better understand who we, as Montanans, are today, and how we got here.

Montana and the Great War Created to commemorate the centennial of the U.S. entry into World War I, this site provides resources to investigate the war’s transformative and complicated legacy in our home state, including two lesson plansstory maps, digitized articles, and a World War I scavenger hunt.

Montana's African American Heritage Resources is a gateway for exploring this understudied aspect of Montana history. Select the For Teachers tab to find a PowerPoint presentation and script, Profiles of African American Montanans, and two model lesson plans for ways to use the site with your students: Overcoming Prejudice (grades 4-6) and Creation of a Community (grades 7-9).

African Americans in Montana and the West Montana The Magazine of Western History Digital Issue, Summer 2020
Black history matters. This special digital issue of Montana The Magazine of Western History focuses on African American history in Montana and the diversity of Black experiences in the West. We draw attention to this history with a selection of articles from the past twenty-five years of Montana The Magazine of Western History, excerpts from two MHS Press books, and a new essay from Herbert Ruffin II on the state of the field.

Montana Historical Society Museum Collections Online Explore selected objects and artwork held in trust by the Montana Historical Society, including the Charles M. Russell Collection.

Virtual Tours If you can't make it to Helena, consider taking a virtual tour of the Capitol or the Original Governor's Mansion.

Digitized Newspapers Explore a small fraction of the Montana Historical Society's newspaper holdings through two, freely accessible resources that offer almost 700,000 full-text pages from over 125 newspapers. 

Montana History Portal The Montana Historical Society has added many photographs, documents, books, maps, audio, and other historical materials to this statewide project, including livestock brand records, military enlistment cards, and hundreds of photographs by esteemed eastern Montana photographers Evelyn Cameron and L. A. Huffman.

Women's History Matters Created by the Montana Historical Society as part of a commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage in Montana, Women’s History Matters promotes an increased appreciation and understanding of the role of women in the Treasure State’s past.

Historic Montana is a website and mobile app to help you discover Montana’s rich cultural resources. Curated by the Montana Historical Society, Historic Montana shares the history and architecture of selected buildings, neighborhoods, and cultural sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the nation's official list of cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. 

Montana Place Names Explore this zoomable map to learn the origins of Montana place names, from Alzada to Zortman.

Relationships, Agency, and Power Dynamics: Photographers of the US West and Their Photographic 'Subjects' (The Bud Lake and Randy Brewer Collection) Explore this online exhibit featuring photographs of the Northern Cheyenne and Crow people taken from over a thousand images donated to the Montana Historical Society. The entire collection is available to view through the Montana History Portal. Exhibit creator Jacey Anderson also created a scavenger hunt for your students as a Google Form. If you wish your students to complete the scavenger hunt, MAKE SURE TO SAVE YOUR OWN COPY of this form--otherwise, you will not be able to access your student answers. (If you have problems accessing or saving the scavenger hunt, email