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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

[Interviews and lectures]

Repository: Montana Historical Society

Collection Description (CRHP): The following recordings contain materials related to black freedom struggles in Montana, but (for the most part) are not part of larger oral history projects:

OH124 Montana History conference proceedings, 1976. According to a handwritten summary, Tape 3 Side 1 of 1976 Montana History Conference session on "ethnic immigration" records (white) Professor Glen R. Barth (1926-2004) discussing "his experience as chairman of the Black Studies Review Committee at the University of Montana where he attempted to assess the university's needs and obligations vis-a-vis Black studies. Conclusions reached by the committee included efforts to increase the number of Black teachers and students at the University of Montana. Minority committee report played down importance of importing Blacks to a state that did and does not have a large Black population and suggested that Black Study courses lack academic content. Minority rejected majority position that race be a criteria for scholarship and appointing faculty. Faculty Senate accepted majority report, however Black studies program was never funded."

OH 1044 Lena Slausen Interview. Miles City resident Lena Slausen (b. 1917) assesses: African-American life in Butte; discrimination; her involvement in the Butte Women's Club; her membership in the Pearl Club. Interviewed by Mary Murphy, Dec. 2 1987, Miles City, as part of the repository's Women as Community Builders Oral History Project. 2 tapes, 1 hour, 35 min. This collection was used in Laurie Mercier's 1987 book, "Molders and Shapers: Montana Women as Community Builders; An Oral History Sampler and Guide."

OH1772 Mother Amata Dunne interview: Mother Amata Dunne discusses her life, including religion and being a nun, and her experiences as a teacher, including teaching Black children. 1 tape (1 hr.) Interviewed by Patricia O'Connell ca. 1968 in Polson, Mont.

OH1772 Alan M. Thompson public presentation: Alan Thompson, descendant of a pioneering Montana African-American family, gave a presentation at the Montana Historical Society on November 19, 1997, on Black cowboys Jim Brooks and Adrian Wilson. His paper explores African-American cowboy traditions on the northern range by discussing aspects of the lifestyles of Joe H. Proctor, his daughter Sarah Proctor Beebe, Sam and Adrian Wilson, and Jim Brooks, five individuals who used horsemanship and cowboy skills to make their living in southeastern Montana. 1 tape (1 hr.)

OH1812 Mary Duncan Colley interview:
2 tapes (1 hr., 40 min.), Summary 4 pages, Transcript 27 pages. Colley discusses growing up in Butte, Mont., in the 1930s and 1940s as part of an African American family; her father's work as a podiatrist and as editor of New Age, an African American newspaper in Butte; her mother's volunteer work including membership in the Montana Federation of Colored Women's Clubs; her parents' hosting students of color from Montana School of Mines in Butte; how her community sheltered her from racism; differences between her experiences with race and that of her brothers and sisters; making transition from all-white culture of Butte to an all-black women's college; and her views on why the African American community dwindled in the years following World War II.

Date(s): 1968-1999

Digital Status: No

Extent: audio tapes

Language: English

Interviewees: Lena Slausen, Amata Dunne, Mary Duncan Colley

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American cowboys
African American doctors
African American newspapers
African American women--Societies and clubs
African Americans--Montana
Black studies
Montana--Race relations


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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