August 13, 2010

Caution! Researchers at Work

Summer is a busy time at the Montana Historical Society. The tables in the Research Center are overflowing and the microfilm readers are humming. Each year hundreds of researchers make the trek to Helena to do research. Some of these folks are working on family history, some are discovering the history of their homes, and some are writing dissertations and books. The Research Center promotes research and discovery of Montana history by offering two different research fellowships each year (for more information on these fellowships, please see our website at

Bradley Fellow Tashun Wisemiller researching
the history of tourism in Montana
(Photo by Tom Ferris)
This summer there are two James H. Bradley Fellows spending time conducting research in our collections. Tashun A. Wisemiller (pictured here), is a Ph.D. candidate from Arizona State University, originally from White Sulphur Springs. He is researching tourism in the region between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, from 1900 to 1950. Tash has spent a little more than a week exploring the ephemera and vertical files for information on tourism and promotion. (For a look at a Montana Dept. of Transportation pamphlet Tash examined in his research see "Headin' for the Hills," PAM 3247) Dr. Andrea Radke Moss, a history professor from BYU-Idaho, is our second Bradley Fellow and is digging into materials on Montana's involvement in the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. Andrea has spent hours pouring over the records of the Montana Board of World's Fair Managers. She is looking specifically at the women who were involved in planning and implementing the Montana exhibit.

Our patrons, no matter what their topic or how deep they are digging, help to reveal Montana's history. Although we preserve and provide access to the original books, documents and photographs, the reason we are here is to help researchers like our Bradley Fellows discover and explore Montana history.
[written by Molly Kruckenburg]