The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives has a variety of genealogical resources. Whether you live in Butte or are just passing through, you are welcome to visit the Archives. You may perform your own research at no charge, and assistance is provided if needed. The Archives are located at 17 West Quartz Street (Quartz and Main Streets) in "uptown" Butte.
The Archives willingly accepts and preserves printed documents,
photographs, and other material of historical significance that
may be donated by individuals, organizations, and businesses.
For complete information, visit the official site of the
Butte Archives at http://www.buttearchives.org/
The Archives provides extensive services to the genealogist. Many of the records are wonderful sources of family information, and genealogy inquiries are welcomed.
|The Polk City Directories from
1885-1990, listing all the working people and businesses in Butte. Entries include name,
occupation, and residence.
Index from 1880-1980, listing all people buried in the cemetery by inscription of
headstone (date of birth, date of death).
|Obituary File of funeral notices.
|Early Marriage Licenses from
|Mortuary Records listing those who
died from 1901-1917. Entries include family name, cause of death, address, occupation,
length of stay in Butte, funeral director, and cemetery.
|Birth Books listing children born in
Butte from 1906-1920. Entries include name, parents name, nativity residence, mothers
maiden name, and father's occupation.
|Great Registers, the official voting
register for the City of Butte, 1885-1914. Entries include individuals name,
address, occupation, and place and date of naturalization.
|Library Resources, including the
Daughters of the American Revolution Library as a genealogy library.
|High School Annuals and Early School
Records from 1900-1989, listing students.
|Coroner's Registers from 1894-1973,
listing all deaths not witnessed by a physician and deaths by accident or crime.
|Early Telephone Books
|Census from 1880, 1900, and 1910.
The Butte Archives has these items on microfilm, but is no longer able research them because their microfilm reader is broken. However, they may be obtained from most local Family History Centers or through interlibrary loan. People are encouraged to access the materials in this manner.
|Government Records with indexes.
The Archives has an extensive collection of area newspapers, published between 1896 and 1962. Most are hard bound volumes. The Butte Miner/Montana Standard are indexed by subject. The collection includes the following papers:
The Butte Miner
Butte Daily Post
The Montana Standard
The Butte Intermountain
The Anaconda Standard
The Butte Evening News
The Archives has the following miscellaneous papers:
The Montana American
The New Northwest
Montana Free Press
The Butte Independent (Irish), 1910
Butte Bulletin, W.F. Dunne, Editor
The Smeltermans Voice
The Eye Opener
History of Montana, 1929, 1934
The Archives has a variety of area maps including mining claim maps, city plat maps, and topographical maps. The most widely used are the Sandborn Fire Insurance maps, 1884-1952. These are a wonderful resource for the study of Butte's Historic Landmark District.
The Archives maintains a multi-volume library of monographs and reference books devoted to the history of Butte-Silver Bow and Montana from the 1890s to the modern day. Many rare books are available to researchers. Contact the Archives for complete list.
The Archives government records collection contains records from 1879 through 1990 and includes minutes of the City Council meetings, petitions, correspondence to the city government, and documentation on every aspect of public administration in the local government. The minutes of the Health Department for the flu epidemic of 1918 are complete and display how public administrators responded to crisis at that time.
The Archives maintains Naturalization Records, Petitions for Naturalization, and Declarations of Intent from 1881-1960 for persons who were naturalized in Silver Bow County only.
The Archives has the complete collection of records for the Butte-Anaconda and Pacific Railroad (B.A.&P.R.R.). This short line railroad was established in 1892 to haul ore from the Butte mines to the smelter in Anaconda, Montana, and held the distinction of being the first electrified railroad in the United States. The collection contains all business regarding the operation and history of the B.A.&P.R.R., including personnel records, payroll and business vouchers, right-of-way maps, and architectural drawings of various railroad structures at the turn-of-the-century.
There are 18 organizational collections, which include membership lists, minutes, scrapbooks, histories, local and national correspondence, and exhibit items. Among the holdings are the records of the following organizations:
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows
The Knights of Phythias
Ancient Order of Hibernians
Butte Professional Women's Club
Marian Whites Arts and Crafts
West Side Shakespeare Club