The History Museum Archives

As a part of the Cascade County Historical Society, the mission of The History Museum Archives is to preserve historical documents and records important to the heritage of the area and to utilize those resources in providing educational opportunities to the public.

Plan Your Visit

Before visiting the Archives, we strongly recommend making an appointment with Megan Sanford, Archives Administrator by calling 406-452-3462 or by email: archives@thehistorymuseum.org

Please understand that our staff is limited and walk-in appointments are not guaranteed.

Request Information

If you are unable to visit The History Museum Archives, we can conduct limited research for a fee.

Research by external request is on a pre-pay basis with a $20 minimum charge. This fee includes up to one hour of research time, up to 10 photocopies, and postage. Additional photocopies are $0.25 per page and research is $20 per hour. For in-depth research requests that would demand too much time of our limited staff, we will provide names of local researchers that are available for hire. There is no guarantee that information will be found.

Archives Policies

Please become familiar with our policies before visiting the Archives.

Archival material use is restricted to the Reading Room and is non-circulating. These materials require special handling and security. Patrons will be asked to sign in and leave belongings in a locker.

Records may be fragile and must not be marked, folded, written on top of, or leaned upon.

Please preserve any existing arrangement of materials. If they appear out of order, call this to the attention of staff.

There is no charge for on-site users to conduct research.

Food and beverages are not permitted in the reading room.

Patrons wishing to visit the archives are urged to contact The History Museum prior to their visit.

The History Museum Archives Resources

Building and Site Research

Survey of original town site of Great Falls, surveys and nominations of Lower North Side Historic District, Railroad Historic District and Fairground Historic District, plus renovation information

City of Great Falls and Cascade County Records

Civil and Criminal Court Records, Voter Registration, Land and Tax Records, Business Licenses, City scrapbooks, and more

Directories

Many city and business directories from 1887 to present for Great Falls and some smaller towns in Cascade County

Homestead Records

Over 7,000 original land patent holders recorded alphabetically by name and legal description; Mapped by location

Library

Local histories for Cascade County communities and surrounding areas, Regional historical fiction and nonfiction, period reference books and textbooks

Manuscript Collections

Letters, diaries and other unpublished materials from individuals, businesses, and organizations preserved for research purposes. Finding aids are available for most collections.

Maps

City, county, state, plat maps, blueprints, architectural drawings, mining and power lines; Sanborn Insurance maps for 1890, 1900 (with updates), 1929 (with updates) and 1956

Naturalization Records

Declaration of Intention, Petition, and Citizenship papers for Cascade County residents from 1887 to 1966

Newspapers

Bound copies of the Great Falls Tribune (1893-1953), the Great Falls Leader (1888-1961), and Belt Valley Times (1893-1977, some missing); various other local newspapers also available *Bound newspapers will not be photocopied

Oral Histories

Audio cassettes indexed by speaker name and subject.

Photographs

Approximately 50,000 photographic images dating from the 1860s to the present are cataloged and organized by subject. Subject strengths include the Anaconda Mining Company refinery, the WWII era Seventh Ferrying group, and agriculture.

Vertical Files

Extensive clippings, pamphlets, brochures, and ephemera organized by subject and name for Great Falls, Cascade County, and Montana.