Montana Study Research Collection, 1943-1954  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Montana Study
Title
Montana Study Research Collection
Dates
1943-1954
Quantity
3.5 linear feet
Collection Number
Collection 2448, MtBC, us (collection)
Summary
The Montana Study was a sociological project, conducted by the University of Montana under funds provided by the Rockefeller Foundation. Records include correspondence (1943-1954), conference materials, local study group records, minutes, reports, speeches and writings, and miscellany. [Photocopies of records at various institutions.]
Repository
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT
59717-3320
Telephone: 406-994-4242
Fax: 406-994-2851
spcoll@www.lib.montana.edu
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

The Montana Study was a sociological project, conducted by the University of Montana under funds provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, to use the humanities to contribute to improving the lives of people in small communities.

The project was the vision of Ernest O. Melby, Chancellor of the University of Montana System. Melby believed that by creating a common awareness of Montana's heritage the people of the state would develop a deeper devotion to the welfare of the community, state, and country. From this awareness and devotion there would come concerted action to correct community problems and to reverse some of the forces of social decay, which he saw as a threat to the democratic way of life.

In the early 1940s, Montana State College in Bozeman conducted a Rockefeller Foundation grant-funded project entitled "Northern Plains in a World of Change", which was designed to study the region, enumerate its problems, and look at possible solutions. At a faculty meeting in Bozeman Chancellor Melby met David H. Stevens, Director of Humanities for the Rockefeller Foundation. This meeting eventually led to the funding of The Montana Study by the Rockefeller Foundation.

In planning the project Melby and Stevens consulted Baker Brownell of Northwestern University, a noted authority on the problems of rural life. Brownell turned Melby's vision into a practical project by formulating specific objectives and devising means of carrying them out. His objectives for the Study were: 1) to get the University off the campus by extending its educational services directly to the people in their home towns, 2) to find ways of stabilizing the family and the small community, and 3) to study ways of raising the "appreciative and spiritual standard of living of the people of the state and thus keep a larger number of able young people in their home communities."

On July 1, 1944, Melby resigned as Chancellor and became President of Montana State University at Missoula. He was immediately made responsible for The Montana Study. He hired Baker Brownell as project director. Two half-time positions were filled by Paul Meadows, a sociologist from Northwestern University, and Joseph Kinsey Howard, an author and journalist from Great Falls. The project was supported by a state-wide advisory group the Montana Committee.

The Montana Study was conducted in three phases: a community field work phase using local community study groups, a special projects phase, and a leadership training phase. Local study groups were set up only in towns which requested them. Eventually groups met in Lonepine, Darby, Stevensville, Conrad, Lewistown, Libby, Hamilton, Victor, and two on the Flathead Indian Reservation: the Dixon group consisting of white community members, part-blood Indians, and Bureau of Indian Affairs staff and the Full Blood Flathead Indian Group at Arlee. The local study groups met to discuss the problems of their local communities, to study their local history, and to propose solutions. Several of the groups produced historical pageants as a way of raising the self-awareness of the community.

The special projects and leadership training phases did not develop to the extent that the study groups did. However, they did result in a number of studies and publications, lectures, conferences, and academic course outlines for local school teachers and community leaders.

At the end of the second year of the project Baker Brownell returned to Northwestern University and was replaced as Acting Director by Ruth W. Robinson, leader of the Conrad Study Group. Paul Meadows and Joseph Kinsey Howard also left the Study and were replaced by Frank H. Smith, an educator in community arts and recreation, and Bert B. Hansen, a Montana State University drama professor.

The Montana Study officially ended July 19, 1947, due in part to political controversy over its mildly left wing orientation and its academic "egg-head" image. However, many of the people involved in the Study continued working on the project without official funding, and the Montana Study continued to function on an informal basis into the early 1950s.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This is an artificial collection, created by photocopying records from several different institutions to gather in one place all pertinent records of The Montana Study.

Records include correspondence (1943-1954) among Baker Brownell, Bert Hanson, Ruth Robinson, Joseph Kinsey Howard, the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Montana, and others concerning the planning of the grant, the administration of the Study, and the progress of the various local study groups. In addition, there are conference materials; employee records; financial records; records of local study groups in Arlee, Conrad, Darby, Dixon, Hamilton, Lewistown, Libby, Lonepine, Stevensville, Troy, Victor, and Woodman; scattered minutes; organizational materials; reports; speeches and writings by Brownell, Hanson, Robinson, Howard, and others; and miscellany.

A small subgroup of Secondary Materials includes a Masters thesis by Carla Homstad entitled Small Town Eden : the Montana Study (University of Montana, 1987) and a manuscript of the 4th edition of Life in Montana, as seen in Wibaux, a Small Community by John L. Schwechton and Ray Gold (1976).

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Any citation of this collection must include a credit to the source of the original. Publication of any material from the collection must have permission of source of original.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series 1:  The Montana Study Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
box-folders
1/1-11
Miscellaneous (correspondents include Ernest Melby, University of Montana, David H. Stevens, Rockefeller Foundation, Baker Brownell, Joseph Kinsey Howard, et al.)
1943-1945
2/1-10
Miscellaneous (correspondents include George Selke, University of Montana, David H. Stevens, Rockefeller Foundation, Baker Brownell, Joseph Kinsey Howard, G.M. Brandborg, Ruth W. Robinson, Frank H. Smith, Bert Hansen, et al.)
1946-1947
3/1-10
Miscellaneous (correspondents include George Selke, University of Montana, David H. Stevens, Rockefeller Foundation, Baker Brownell, Joseph Kinsey Howard, G.M. Brandborg, Ruth W. Robinson, Frank H. Smith, Richard Posten, et al.)
1947-1954
Conference Materials
Box/Folder
1/1
Conference on American Thought, Princeton, N.J.
May 1944
1/2
"First Carload Dinner for the Montana Study groups"
1946
1/3
Roundup of Regional Arts conferences
1950-1952
1/4
Rural Education and Life Conference, Helena
1946
Diaries
Box/Folder
4/5
Daily log of activities
April 1944-July 1947
Employment Records
Box/Folder
4/6
Payroll
1944-1947
4/7
Staff appointment recommendations
1945-1946
Financial Records
Box/Folder
4/8
Financial statements and budgets
1944-1947; 1950-1953
4/9
Grant-in-aid to University of Montana from Rockefeller Foundation
1944-1952
4/10
Travel authorizations
1945-1947
Local Study Group Materials
Box/Folder
5/1
Arlee Full Blood Flathead Indian Study Group (includes minutes, historical articles, stories)
1947
5/2
Conrad Study Group (includes minutes, reports, letter)
1945-1946
box-folders
5/3-4
Darby Study Group (includes minutes, report, "Darby Looks at Itself" drama)
1945
Box/Folder
5/5
Dixon-Agency Study Group (includes minutes, historical articles, general information on Flathead Reservation, resolution)
1946-1947
5/6
Dixon-Agency and Arlee Study Groups (includes "A Tale of the Shining Mountains" drama)
1947
5/7
Hamilton Study Group (includes minutes, reports)
1945
box-folders
5/8-9
Lewistown Study Group (includes minutes, historical articles, "Echoes from the Mountains" drama by Tom Moore)
1945-1947
5/10-11
Libby Study Group (includes minutes, historical articles, report on forest products industry, annual wild life report, Greater Libby Association materials)
1947-1957
5/12-13
Lonepine Study Group (includes minutes, historical articles, reports, "Lonepine Historical Drama")
1945-1947
5/14-15
Stevensville Study Group (includes land utilization report, "A Tale of the Bitter Root" drama)
1946
Box/Folder
5/16
Troy Development Association (includes minutes)
Undated
5/17
Victor Study Group (includes historical notes)
1945-1946
5/18
Woodman Study Group (includes minutes, historical articles, poems)
1946
Minutes
Box/Folder
6/1
Montana Committee Organizing Conference
February 1945
6/2
Montana Study Group
Undated
6/3
Montana Study Liaison Committee
1947
Organizational Records Box/Folder
Box/Folder
6/4
Organizational chart and program objectives
Undated
Reports
box-folders
6/5-6
"Life in Montana" Series I-II study guides
1945; Undated
Box/Folder
6/7
"Life in Western Montana" (reports of meetings in Hamilton, Darby, and Lonepine)
1945
6/8
"Memorandum to the Rockefeller Foundation" (report for grant application)
circa 1943
6/9
"Montana State College and the Northern Great Plains Region" (and related reports)
1943
6/10
"A Plan of the U.S.D.A. Council, Ravalli County, Montana for carrying out the provisions of Memorandum No. 1132, of the Secretary of Agriculture"
1948
box-folders
6/11-13
Progress reports
1944-1947
Box/Folder
6/14
"A Proposal for Continuance of the Montana Study" by George A. Selke, chancellor University of Montana (also includes related, undated, unattributed proposal)
1949; Undated
6/15
"Report of the Second Annual University Institute for Social Welfare"
1948
6/16
"R[ockefeller] F[oundation] Appropriation to Montana State University for Regional Studies, 1944-1947"
1949
6/17
"A State Takes Stock of Itself" (excerpt from Trustees Bulletin)
1946
6/18
"University of Montana Descriptive Statement of Project for which Financial Aid Is Requested from the Rockefeller Foundation"
1948
Speeches and Writings
Box/Folder
6/19
O.E. Baker, "The Conservation of the Family"
1945
6/20
O.E. Baker, "The Family, the Church, and the State (Government)"
1945
6/21
O.E. Baker, "Population Trends, National, State, Local"
1945
6/22
O.E. Baker and Arthur E. Morgan list of lectures
1945
6/23
A.B. Bowman, "Summary and Brief Description of the Forest Management Plan for the Kootenai Sustained Yield Unit"
1947
6/24
Iver M. Brandjord, "An Interstate Currency Resembling Federal Reserve Currency for the United States of Western Europe"
1948
6/25
Baker Brownell, "The College--a Report on a Failure"
1945
6/26
Baker Brownell, "The College and the Community"
1946
6/27
Baker Brownell, "The Community Drama in Adult Education"
1946
6/28
Baker Brownell, "Community Drama in Montana"
Undated
6/29
Baker Brownell, "The Human Community" [excerpts]
1950
6/30
Baker Brownell, "Lonepine, Montana" [handwritten draft]
Undated
6/31
Baker Brownell, "Montana Plan [drafts and outlines]
1944
6/32
Baker Brownell, "The Montana Project"
1946
6/33
Baker Brownell, "The Montana Study"
1944
6/34
Baker Brownell, "The Montana Study Groups"
1946
6/35
Baker Brownell, "Organization and Procedures of Montana Study"
1948
6/36
Baker Brownell, "A Project in Educational Reorganization"
1945
6/37
Baker Brownell, "Social Implications of Forestry in the Inland Empire"
1946
6/38
Baker Brownell, "Tentative Outline of Montana Project in the Humanities"
1944
6/39
Baker Brownell, "Three Corrupting Principles of College Life"
1946
6/40
Baker Brownell, "The Value of the Humanities"
1945
6/41
Karl Detzler, "The Whole Town Goes to School" (re Nadeau, Pennsylvania)
circa 1948
6/42
Bert Hansen, "Community Unification through Dramaturgy"
Undated
6/43
Bert Hansen, "Darby, Montana, Looks at Itself"
1946
6/44
Bert Hansen, "An Evaluation of the Montana Study"
circa 1947
6/45
Bert Hansen, "Preliminary Notes on the San Francisco Speech"
1946
6/46
Bert Hansen, "Sociodrama in a Small-Community Therapy Program"
1947
6/47
Bert Hansen, "Sociodrama in a Speech Communication Program"
1947
6/48
Bert Hansen, "A Tale of the Bitter Root: Pageantry as Sociodrama"
1947
6/49
Joseph Kinsey Howard, "Community is Stressed in Indian Education"
1945
6/50
Joseph Kinsey Howard, "New Concepts of Plains History"
1946
6/51
Joseph Kinsey Howard, "On Montana Education: an Address"
1945
6/52
Joseph Kinsey Howard, "University Fund Allocation"
1949
6/53
Harold F. Kaufman and Lois C. Kaufman, "Toward the Stabilization and Enrichment of a Forest Community" (re Troy and Libby)
1946
7/1
Edward A. Krug, "The Public School and Community Improvement: Report on Preliminary Inquiry Carried Out by School of Education as One Aspect of the Montana Study"
Undated
7/2
Ernest Lauer, "The Emotional and Ideological Forces Active in the State of Montana"
1944
7/3
Paul Meadows, "The People of Montana: a Report to the Montana Study"
1945
7/4
Paul Meadows, "Regional Characteristics of Montana: a Report to the Montana Study"
Undated
7/5
H.G. Merriam, "Preliminary Report to President J.A. McCain on Establishing Work Leading to the PhD in the Humanities"
1948
7/6
Walter H. Meyer, "Comments on 'Toward the Stabilization and Enrichment of a Forest Community' by Harold and Lois Kaufman" (re Troy and Libby)
circa 1946
7/7
Ruth W. Robinson, "Community-Centered Education for Montana Adults"
1947
7/8
Ruth W. Robinson, "Community Study, Community Planning: the Story of the Conrad Montana Study Group"
Undated
7/9
Ruth W. Robinson, "How We Live in Montana" [school study guide]
1945
7/10
Ruth W. Robinson, "Montana Handicrafts: a 1947 Directory of Montana Craftsmen"
1947
7/11
George A. Selke, "Organization and Procedures of Montana Study"
1948
7/12
"Comments on The Montana Study" [by wide variety of people]
1944-1946
Subject Files
Box/Folder
7/13
Great Plains Studies (proposed Rockefeller Foundation grant by George Smith)
1942
7/14
Handweaving in Guatamala (Rockefeller Foundation Grant for Harriet Douglas and Mary Atwater of Montana State University)
1946-1950
7/15
Montana Project: Fairway Farms Company (Rockefeller Foundation grant for study of scientific farming)
1923-1924
box-folders
7/16-20
Northern Plains Studies (Rockefeller Foundation grant to joint United States and Canada project)
1942-1950
7/21-22
Northwestern University regional studies program (Rockefeller Foundation grant to Baker Brownell)
1946-1952
Box/Folder
7/23
Regional Studies (Rockefeller Foundation grant to Montana State University)
1943
Miscellany
Box/Folder
7/24
Bibliography from Small Town Renaissance
Undated
7/25
Book announcements for Montana Margins: a State Anthology; and Small Town Renaissance
Undated
7/26
"Joseph Kinsey Howard, 1906-1951 In Memoriam"
1951
7/27
Montana Institute of the Arts constitution and quarterly bulletin
1948
7/28
Montana Study Groups Association bulletin
1946
7/29
Proposed short courses for community leaders
Undated
7/30
University Executive Council minutes excerpts
1945-1946
Clippings
box-folders
7/31-32
The Montana Study and related topics
1944-1950

Series 2:  Secondary WorksReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Writings
Box/Folder
8/1
John L. Schwechton and Ray Gold, Life in Montana, as seen in Wibaux, a Small Community, 4th revision
1976
8/2
Carla Homstad, Small Town Eden: the Montana Study (University of Montana M.A. Thesis)
1987

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Community education
  • Community education -- Montana
  • Humanities -- Study and teaching -- Montana
  • Humanities -- Study and teaching
  • Rural conditions
  • Social history
  • Sociology, Rural
  • Sociology, Rural -- Montana
  • Personal Names :
  • Brownell, Baker, 1887-1965
  • Brownell, Baker, 1887-1965 -- Correspondence
  • Hansen, Bert B. -- Correspondence
  • Hansen, Bert B.
  • Howard, Joseph Kinsey, 1906-1951
  • Howard, Joseph Kinsey, 1906-1951 -- Correspondence
  • Robinson, Ruth W. -- Correspondence
  • Robinson, Ruth W.
  • Corporate Names :
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • University of Montana (System)
  • University of Montana (System)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Arlee (Mont.)
  • Conrad (Mont.)
  • Darby (Mont.)
  • Dixon (Mont.)
  • Hamilton (Ravalli County, Mont.)
  • Lewistown (Mont.)
  • Libby (Mont.)
  • Lonepine (Mont.)
  • Montana
  • Montana -- Hamilton (Ravalli County)
  • Montana -- Rural conditions -- 20th century
  • Montana -- Social conditions -- 20th century
  • Montana -- Arlee
  • Montana -- Conrad
  • Montana -- Darby
  • Montana -- Dixon
  • Montana -- Lewistown
  • Montana -- Libby
  • Montana -- Lonepine
  • Montana -- Stevensville
  • Montana -- Troy
  • Montana -- Victor
  • Montana -- Woodman
  • Stevensville (Mont.)
  • Troy (Mont.)
  • Victor (Mont.)
  • Woodman (Mont.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Records and correspondence