A Narrative History of the Montana Heritage Project

School/Museum Collaboration to Create an Archives

Tim Schaff
Dale Alger

Roundup High School


Roundup students have begun the arduous task of archiving hundreds, perhaps thousands of photos. The photos were located in the basement of the Mussellshell Valley Historical Museum in grocery boxes and file folders. As with any big undertaking, it was hard to know where to begin so the students just picked a box and got to work. They used a copy stand to create negatives and print copies of historically significant photos, they scanned each original to create a digital copy for public viewing to minimize handling originals, the digital copies were thumbnailed to create an internet catalogue and a searchable database was created so both the museum and community library patrons could access the collection. Students also debated what made a photograph historically valuable and which photos should be copied? After lengthy discussion, students decided that all the photographs should be catalogued, scanned and stored properly, but only those that had a donor or identified subject should have a negative made at this time. By the end of the year, the class had sorted by theme and donor over 300 photos.

To print a final report for the year-end binder, click here.
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2000 Montana Heritage Project
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