Background Sources for Montana

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This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
Montana sil.png
the Montana Family History Research series.
History of Montana
Montana Vital Records
Census Records for Montana
Background Sources for Montana
Montana Maps
Montana Land Records
Montana Probate Records
Montana Court Records
Montana Tax Records
Montana Cemetery Records
Montana Church Records
Montana Military Records
Montana Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Montana Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Montana Immigration
Montana Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of Montana
Montana County Resources
Map of Montana

The Montana Historical Society publishes books that can be valuable historical works. Their 'Main Street' series is exceptional in taking one community and recounting its history. In this series towns include historic Virginia City (vol. 1), Glendive (vol. 2), Lewistown (vol. 3), Hamilton (vol. 4), Kalispell (vol. 5), and Missoula (vol. 6).

  • Burlingame, Merrill G. and K. Ross Toole, eds. A History of Montana. 3 vols. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1957. Volumes one and two are a history of Montana. Volume three provides valuable biographical sketches.
  • Brown, Mark H. The Plainsmen of the Yellowstone: A History of the Yellowstone Basin. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1961. A history of the Yellowstone Basin, it includes early maps of the area and maps of the Crow and Cheyenne reservations.
  • Fritz, Harry W., Mary Murphy, and Robert R. Swartout. Montana Legacy: Essays on History, People and Places. Helena: Montana Historical Society, 2002. Celebrates the diversity of Montana with articles ranging from the fur trade to more modern issues such as power deregulation.
  • Hamilton, James McClellan. History of Montana from Wilderness to Statehood. 2d ed. Edited by Merrill G. Burlingame. Portland, Ore.: Binfords and Mort, 1970. A state history with illustrations, maps, portraits, and references.
  • Koury, Michael J. The Military Posts of Montana. Bellevue, Nebr.: Old Army Press, 1970. Introduction to the army posts of Montana, including Camp Cooke, Fort C.F. Smith, Fort Shaw, Fort Ellis, Camp Baker, Fort Logan, Fort Benton, Fort Custer, Fort Keogh, Fort Missoula, Fort Maginnis, and Fort Assiniboine.
  • Merrian, Harold Guy. 'Ethnic Settlement of Montana,' Pacific Historical Review (June 1943). A brief overview of the immigration of foreign-born settlers into Montana.
  • Richards, Dennis L. Montana's Genealogical and Local History Records, A Selected List of Books, Manuscripts, and Periodicals. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1981. One of the best guides to history and genealogical works. Lists historical and genealogical sources for the territorial and state periods of Montana.
  • Spence, Clark C. Montana: A Bicentennial History. States and the Nations series. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1978. History of the state with illustrations, maps, and photographs.
  • Swartout, Jr., Robert R. and Harry W. Fritz. Montana Heritage: An Anthology of Historical Essays. Helena: Montana Historical Society, n.d. A collection of articles from the Montana Magazine of Western History concerning little-considered topics such as women, American Indians, and various immigrant groups.
  • Wolle, Muriel Vincent Sibell. Montana Pay Dirt: A Guide to Mining Camps of the Treasure State. Denver: Sage, 1963. Contains maps, illustrations, and a selected bibliography.