Mining Archives/Data Preservation


Contact the Mining Archives Office for information about accessing collections : Denise Herman,, (406) 496-4729.

Mining-Related Property Files and Map Files

This collection includes historical records related to engineering and geologic reports, pictures, correspondence, news clippings, and production information for over 4,700 mining claims, groups of claims, mining projects, deposits, mining districts and/or exploration projects from 51 Montana counties.

The contents of files related to the properties vary. They may include mineral information, production numbers, assays, mine status, claim maps, legal documents, geologic reports, surveys, correspondences, publications, and photographs. Available historic maps also vary, from surface claim boundaries to underground workings and cross sections.

These materials are accessible at our office in Butte, MT. A limited number of files are available for download through our archive search engine . However, a majority of records in the search engine provide a location of the property, but do not have associated downloadable files. These records can be made available in a variety of formats; contact the MBMG Mining Archives office for further information about accessing these records.

Mineral Museum Collection

The collection contains over 15,000 fine mineral specimens from throughout the world. Stored specimens are cataloged using the Hey system. Over 1,000 specimens are on display at the Mineral Museum on the campus of Montana Technological University in Butte, MT. The Museum is open to the public. More information is available at

Anaconda Research Laboratory Collection

The Anaconda Mining Company (ACM) compiled this collection of an estimated 80,000 specimens from 1940 through 1981. The collection includes polished study specimens and over 10,000 thin sections. Many of the rocks were collected in underground mine workings in Butte, Montana and are located on maps of the underground workings. Butte’s underground mines are now flooded, and the Anaconda Collection represents a unique set of samples from the region. Other specimens in the collection are from locations across the globe in which the ACM had commercial interests and/or evaluated for development. Samples were taken from various Montana mines. Contact the MBMG Mining Archives office for information about accessing this collection.
Stamp MillAccess to the Anaconda Collection

Aerial Photos

This collection contains over 420,000 aerial photographs from 1938 to 2007. They include projects from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Aerial Photography Program, Army Mapping Service and the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Forest Service. A searchable collection index contents is available by contacting the MBMG Mining Archives office.

Abandoned and Inactive Mines Database

In the 1990s, MBMG staff conducted a comprehensive inventory of mine sites on or possibly affecting federal land under contract with the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Sites were initially identified using the U.S. Bureau of Mines Mineral Industry Location System (MILS) database. Sites were researched and either ‘screened out,’ because of low probability of impact to federal lands, or visited, described, and sampled if there was potential for environmental impact. Water sampling results from these visits are available through the MBMG Groundwater Information Center database Reports documenting visits and findings at each study area are available through the MBMG publications catalog by searching with the key words “abandoned mines”. The AIM database can be searched via the datacenter


The Earthquake Studies Office (ESO) of the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology opened in June 1980 to operate the Montana Regional Seismograph Network. The office collects and analyzes seismic data and reports earthquake information. The ESO also collects and stores seismograms recorded in Montana by other groups and agencies.

This collection of original paper seismograms includes those recorded on MBMG seismograph stations from 1980 through approximately 2010. Each box typically contains one month of seismograms. The collection also includes paper seismograms and microfilm records recorded at the University of Montana from 1972-1978; seismograms on photographic paper from the Bozeman (BOZ) World Wide Standardized Seismograph Network (WWSSN) station from 1963-1968; the Missoula (MSO) WWSSN station from 1974-1985; and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Libby Dam network from 1970-1985. Contact Mike Stickney, Director, MBMG ESO for information about accessing these records, at (406) 496-4332 or

Continuous digital data recorded since August 15, 2001, is archived at the IRIS Data Management Center. Recent seismogram images are available from the MBMG earthquakes website (

T.T. Baker

An 18-book collection of mining claim surveys completed by T.T. Baker Company between the 1870s through the 1930s. Historical field survey books #2-124 in pencil (boxed), plus three books of folded original maps of eastern and southeastern Butte townsite extensions on linen. T.T. Baker was a civil and mining engineer; a U.S. Deputy Mineral Surveyor for Montana and Idaho. Based at 60 Silver Bow Block, Butte, MT according to the 1906 Butte city directory. Contact the MBMG Mining Archives office for information about accessing these records.

Charles M. Hauptman

This collection contains information compiled by Charles M. Hauptman during his career as a geologist. It contains mining- and geology-related publications, correspondence, maps, sketches, and reports about various mining properties in eastern Montana. Contact the MBMG Mining Archives office for information about accessing these records.

J.T. Pardee

Joseph T. Pardee’s interest in geology began in Philipsburg, MT and grew into a 32-year career with the U.S. Geological Survey. Documents in this collection (aerial photos, collection administrative documents, and maps) pertain to Pardee’s work, which ranged from glacial deposits to gold deposits, from mine sites to dam sites. Pardee’s career in the northwestern U.S. included an emphasis on the geology of Montana. Documents can be accessed through our archive search engine using the search term ‘Pardee’.

Personal papers (not geologically related) include mementos, photographs, diaries, newspaper clippings, and documents collected by Joseph T. Pardee and family, including Ruby S. Pardee (spouse), Mary Pardee Kelly (daughter), and Ralph R. Kelly (son-in-law). Contact the MBMG Mining Archives office for further information about accessing these records.

John W. Taber

The John W. Taber collection describes the Crystal Mountain Mine, in Ravalli County, which was one of only two fluorspar mines in Montana. Taber directed the mineral potential evaluation, development, production, and closure of the mine. The collection contains documents and maps related to mine geology, engineering, development, and production. Specimens include drill core samples, logs, and thin sections. Contact the MBMG Mining Archives office for information about accessing this collection.

Virgil Chamberlain

The Virgil Chamberlain collection contains numerous oil and gas well reports, photographs, mineral specimens, and publications related to locations throughout Montana. They are representative of Mr. Chamberlain’s career, from about 1938 to the early 1990s, working in mines and oil fields. Contact the MBMG Mining Archives office for information about accessing this collection.

Lloyd Furer Cross Sections

After 20 years in the oil industry, Lloyd Furer was hired by Indiana University and taught surface geology for 10 years at the Indiana Field Station near Cardwell, Montana. Since retiring, Lloyd has spent decades correlating subsurface formations based on his knowledge of surface geology and from thousands of geophysical logs across Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. This collection of over 50 cross sections represents a portion of Lloyd Furer’s correlation work in Montana.

Montana Geological Society (MGS) maps and cross sections

This collection of maps and cross sections were recovered from the Montana Geological Society’s storage facility in Billings, MT. The interpretive maps and cross sections were produced by several petroleum geologists, past members of the Montana Geological Society (formerly Billings Geological Society). Most depict various aspects of geology related to oil and gas prospects. Some may be published in Montana or Wyoming Field Conference Guidebooks; others are unpublished.

MBMG Industrial Minerals and Sapphires Research Collection

During his 50 year career with the MBMG, Dr. Richard (Dick) Berg studied building stone, zeolites, barite, talc, bentonite, potash, vermiculite, and sapphires, in addition to geologic mapping. This research collection represents a diverse and unique primary source related to Montana’s industrial minerals.

The Industrial Minerals and Sapphires Research Collection includes approximately 40 boxes of specimens and thin sections, more than 100 field books, and a file of field maps. Materials relate to studies primarily about building stone, zeolites, barite, and talc conducted by Dick Berg from about 1966 through 2018. This collection supplements 94 MBMG publications and 46 external publications authored or co-authored by Dr. Berg. Digital copies of the field notebooks can be accessed through our archive search engine using the search word ‘Berg’.

New World Project

This collection contains information related to environmental assessment of the proposed New World Mine, adjacent to Yellowstone National Park in Park County, Montana. The proposed mine created substantial public concern and, in 1995, a public trust purchased the property and withdrew it from mining development. The collection contains over 53,000 pages of geologic, hydrogeologic, and geophysical data, and 1,217 related maps. These materials were amassed during mine development and environmental review processes; it represents the most comprehensive extant data set related to this world-class Eocene epithermal gold deposit.

Materials in the collection have been digitized and are available by contacting the MBMG Mining Archives office.

Bureau Location Map

Further information is available through our MBMG Data Center . MBMG's databases are continually updated with new data from driller's logs, MBMG research projects, and research projects from other agencies.