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Grant number: PG-52229-14

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University of Montana (Missoula, MT 59801-4494)
Donna E. McCrea (Project Director: May 2013 to present)

Conservation Consultation for the University of Montana's Audiovisual Collection

The hiring of a consultant to conduct a preservation assessment of the library's audiovisual collection, which includes over 400 films on various formats and thousands of audio recordings. The films cover a diverse range of Montana's history beginning in the 1920s. A collection of early 20th-century home movies documents local activities such as logging, fishing, and horse shows, as well as national and state parks, including Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, and the National Bison Range. Other films in the library's collection include footage of U.S. Congressman Mike Mansfield from 1956 to 1987 and promotional material produced by the Northern Pacific Railway. The latter films, produced between the 1920s and early 1940s, portray the Rocky Mountain West and Pacific Northwest as the "Old West," while offering insight into the marketing techniques that, for example, employed American Indian greeters and promoted company-owned dude ranches. An extensive collection of 3,100 oral histories conducted over the course of 400 projects covers a wide range of topics including the Depression in Montana, fur trapping, the history of smokejumping, and the University of Montana.

This project proposal requests $6000 to hire a consultant to survey, assess, and provide written recommendations for conservation of and access to the moving image and sound recording collections held by the University of Montana's Mansfield Library. These collections, which are part of the Library's Archives and Special Collections Department, are used by students, scholars, businesses and the general public for their personal and professional research. The collections have significance to the humanities because they provide primary source documentation of the people, events and activities of Montana and Montanans from the 1920s to the 1990s. A large portion of these materials, including home movies and oral histories, are held uniquely by the University of Montana.

Project fields:
American Studies; U.S. History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2014 – 7/31/2015