For more information or to donate or preserve mining-related materials, please contact:
Program Administrator for Data Preservation
1300 W. Park Street
Natural Resources Bldg.,
In 1919, the Montana State Legislature established the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG). Located in Butte, Montana, site of the world class Butte mining district, the legislature directed the Bureau to collect drawings, maps, reports, minerals, and models of the mining industry from across the State. As a result, the Bureau now possesses a tremendous collection of mining-related data for properties across the state of Montana. The collection contains an irreplaceable wealth of information about Montana's mineable resources.
The collection has grown over the years, thanks to the generous donation of information from private and commercial contributors. Presently, MBMG houses almost 7,000 mining-related maps and nearly 5,000 files containing mining-related information for Montana properties. The information ranges from a variety of engineering, geologic, and historical reports to pictures, correspondence, and some production information.
Unfortunately, each year this type of useful and important information is being lost, destroyed, or simply discarded by people who do no longer want or need it, are unaware of its value, or do not know what to do with it. Recognizing the importance of such information, the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology renewed its legislative mandate by committing resources to gather, preserve, and make mining and mineral information available to the public. MBMG's commitment parallels the Department of Interior's creation of the National Geologic and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) that provided some funds to catalog and preserve geoscience data and materials. Administered by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the NGGDPP has partnered with State geological surveys to promote data preservation and provide a consistent collection and archival framework. The State of Montana also provided one-time-only funding during the 2015 biennium to support the Mining Archives continued development..
Montana’s mining heritage is as rich and interesting as the minerals it produced. Preserving the maps, data, pictures, and reports that document Montana’ remarkable mining history will provide an important resource for generations to come.
In 2013, MBMG expanded its Mining Archives program to:
- complete digitization of its current holdings,
- property files
- mining and geologic maps
- geophysical well logs
- aerial photos
- select, out-of-print, historical publications
- make electronic copies of its holdings available to a broad constituency on the Internet,
- educate the public about the MBMG's data collection and preservation efforts,
- encourage the preservation and/or donation of information to the MBMG's archives, and
- develop a data repository site to accept and process donated mining-related materials.