Merrill G. Burlingame Papers, 1880-1990  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Burlingame, Merrill G. (Merrill Gildea), 1901-1994
Title
Merrill G. Burlingame Papers
Dates
1880-1990
Quantity
30 linear feet
Collection Number
Collection 2245, MtBC, us (collection)
Summary
The Merrill G. Burlingame Papers are primarily research files that reflect Burlingame's lifelong history of Montana and the American West. Subjects represented are: the history of Bozeman and Gallatin County, Montana and associated individuals; the history of Montana State University and associated individuals; the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Captain Gustavus C. Doane, Second U.S. Cavalry; Montana Native Americans. There is also a small group of personal papers containing familial correspondence and genealogical information on the Burlingame family. Original documents created or collected by the William W. Alderson family, Gustavus C. Doane, and Harriette Cushman are also part of the Burlingame papers.
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

Subject file pertaining to Ray Burlingame in Series 10 has been closed for research until 2070. Permission to use any of the material in Series 13, Microfilm, must be secured from the institutions holding the original documents. No photocopies of the Doane biography drafts in Series 3, Montana and the Pioneer West, without permission from the Dean of Library.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Merrill G. Burlingame was born in Boone, Iowa on March 13, 1901, the son of Nathan and Teresa Gildea Burlingame. He attended local schools prior to receiving his doctorate at the University of Iowa in 1936. In 1929 he joined the faculty of Montana State College (now Montana State University) and became chair of the history department in 1935. Burlingame's research interests were primarily concerned with Montana and the frontier west. His books include: The Montana Frontier, (1942); A History of Montana (with K. Ross Toole, 1956); A History of Montana State University (1968); John M. Bozeman, Montana Trailmaker (1971). Burlingame also contributed articles to Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, and Montana: The Magazine of Western History. Along with Dr. Caroline McGill, Burlingame helped establish the Museum of the Rockies and was active in the Montana Historical Society, the Montana Institute of the Arts, the American Historical Society, the Christian Church, and the Masonic fraternity. He married Virginia Struble in 1936 and the couple had one son, Ray. Merrill Burlingame died in Bozeman, Montana on November 14, 1994.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Primarily research files, the Burlingame papers reflect his lifelong interests in the history of Montana and the American West. The files have been arranged in 14 series based on subject or format. Subjects particularly heavily represented are: the history of Bozeman and Gallatin County, Montana and associated individuals; the history of Montana State University and associated individuals; the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Captain Gustavus C. Doane, Second U.S. Cavalry; Montana Native Americans. Series based on format are clippings, photographs, microfilm, maps, and audiotape, all of which contain material represented in the subject series. There is also a small group of personal papers containing familial correspondence and genealogical information on the Burlingame family. Original documents created or collected by the William W. Alderson family, Gustavus C. Doane, and Harriette Cushman are also part of the Burlingame papers.

Original and photocopied correspondence, research notes, literary manuscripts, photographs, microfilm, and audiotapes created or collected by Merrill Burlingame were originally maintained by him in several four-drawer filing cabinets during the lengthy course of his career. The subject headings Burlingame assigned to the various folders were not consistent, and much repetition in these headings occurred over the years as he added to his collection. This duplication, along with Burlingame's practice of producing multiple carbon copies of his letters and notes, resulted in a great deal of redundancy in his filing system. The present arrangement represents a compromise between preserving Burlingame's original arrangement and efficiency in retrieval for researchers. Researchers should be cautioned, however, of the need to check the inventories of more than one series for pertinent material due to the difficulty in properly classifying the folder subject headings within any particular group. An asterisk (*) following a folder title indicates that material (either photographs or oversize documents) has been removed for storage elsewhere in the collection.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Subject file pertaining to Ray Burlingame in Series 10 has been closed for research until 2070. Permission to use any of the material in Series 13, Microfilm, must be secured from the institutions holding the original documents. No photocopies of the Doane biography drafts in Series 3, Montana and the Pioneer West, without permission from the Dean of Library.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box
1-6 Series 1: Biographical files
Notes, letters, printed materials, photocopied and original documents pertaining to a wide variety of historical personages, mostly connected with the development of Montana. In addition to the research notes that Burlingame created, some files contain actual manuscript materials created or collected by the biographical subject. While some of the subjects represented in this series figured prominently in the development of Gallatin County, most substantial biographical files of Gallatin County pioneers have been placed in series 2. There are also research files of a biographical nature in series 3, Montana and the Pioneer West. The materials in this series have been arranged alphabetically by the name of the biographical subject.
7-13 Series 2: Gallatin County research files
Notes, correspondence, photocopies and original documents pertaining to the history of Gallatin County, Montana and the city of Bozeman, Montana. The topically labeled folders cover a wide variety of people, places, and events associated with Gallatin County history. Original documents created or collected by the W. W. Alderson family are included with this series as are files of biographical information on many prominent local personalities. Again, other biographical files of prominent Montanans can be found in series 1, Biographical files and series 3, Montana and the Frontier West. Research materials pertaining to Montana State College (Montana State University) in Bozeman have been placed in series 7. Much of the material dealing with the Christian Church in this series pertains to Burlingame's historical research on the Bozeman congregation and original copies of the Bozeman church's newspaper. For other Christian Church materials of a personal nature see series 8 and 10.
14-27 Series 3: Montana and the pioneer west
Notes, correspondence, photocopies and original documents pertaining to the history of Montana and the pioneer west. These topically arranged folders cover a wide variety of material that documents Burlingame's research interests in Montana's past other than Gallatin County and Bozeman. Original documents created or collected by Captain Gustavus C. Doane and his wife, Mary Hunter Doane are included in this series, along with drafts of an unpublished manuscript biography of Doane written by Burlingame in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Some material on Montana Native Americans is included in this series, usually in the context of the Indian Wars and the frontier military. More complete research in this area is represented in series 6, Indians.
28-29 Series 4: General correspondences
Letters written to or by Merrill Burlingame on a wide variety of research topics and matters of personal interest. Unlike correspondence found in the other series, these letters were maintained by Burlingame as a separate file regardless of their subject content. As a result much of the information contained within the letters pertains to subject files listed elsewhere. Most files are quite scant, containing few reference queries or brief replies from Burlingame. An important exception are the letters of W. J. "Duke" Ellington, an employee of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and administrator at the Rocky Boy reservation in the 1940s. The folders have been alphabetically arranged by the title Burlingame assigned them.
30-35 Series 5: Montana Place Names
Primarily research notes and summary forms documenting a comprehensive list of Montana place names created or collected by Burlingame. Material explaining the origin of the particular name is included in some files along with pertinent correspondence from interested individuals.
36-40 Series 6: Indians
Notes, correspondence, photocopies and original documents pertaining to Native American tribes. Montana groups predominate, but some of the files are of a general nature. Some of the files were created while Burlingame conducted research for court cases involving the Crow, Salish, Kutenai, Blackfeet and Gros Ventre tribes during the 1950s and early 1960s.
41-52 Series 7: Montana State College/Montana State University
Notes, correspondence, photocopies and original documents pertaining to the history of MSU and selected administrators, faculty, and staff. Much of this material was gathered by Burlingame while preparing his book, A History of Montana State University (1961) and The Montana Cooperative Extension Service; a History, 1893-1974 (1984). Classroom lecture notes and syllabi for courses taught by Burlingame are also included. Original manuscripts created or collected by Harriett Cushman have been placed in this series as well.
52-57 Series 8: Organizations
Notes, correspondence, photocopies and original documents pertaining to various organizations of which Burlingame was a member or was interested in as a research topic. Most organizations are Montana related and include the Christian Church, the Montana Historical Society, the Masonic fraternity, and the Museum of the Rockies.
58-68 Series 9: Newspaper Clippings
Newspaper clippings gathered by Burlingame pertaining to a wide variety of subjects represented in other series. These clippings are stored separately due to preservation considerations.
69-70 Series 10: Personal papers
Primarily materials created or collected by Burlingame dealing with his personal life, finances, family genealogy, religious topics, awards and commissions, and memorabilia. This series includes speeches that Burlingame gave to community groups on historical and other topics. File on Ray Burlingame has been closed to research until 2070 by request of the donor.
71 Series 11: Photographs
Original and copy photographs taken or collected by Burlingame on a wide variety of subjects represented in other series. Topics include: Merrill Burlingame and the Burlingame family; Montana biographical subjects; Montana communities; Bozeman and Gallatin County; the Bozeman Christian Church; Indians and related archaeology; Gustavus C. Doane; Harriette Cushman; and Montana views. The photographs have been arranged topically and have been sequentially numbered. Available negatives have been placed in folder.
72 Series 12: Maps
Printed and manuscript maps collected or created by Burlingame in association with his research interests. The maps have been organized according to the issuing agency and are either exclusively Montana or the American West. Some of the manuscript maps were created for Burlingame's book The Montana Frontier. Box 72 also contains oversize materials removed from previous series.
73-134 Series 13: Microfilm
Microfilmed primary source materials collected by Burlingame from various institutions in the United States and Canada pertaining to a wide variety of historical subjects and persons. Institutions from which the microfilm was ordered includes Harvard, Yale, New York Public Library, Missouri Historical Society, and the Manitoba Archives. Permission to use any of this material must be granted by the institutions holding the original documents. Information in brackets has been taken from the order form Burlingame filled out for some institutions and may refer to that institution's control number of the documents that were duplicated. Film in boxes 101-134 appear to be "home made" by Burlingame himself from original documents whose origin cannot be determined.
135 Series 14: Audiotapes
Recordings made or collected by Merrill Burlingame on a wide variety of research topics. Among the interviewees are Malcolm Story and Harriette Cushman, along with Burlingame himself. Tapes 1 through 20 are on audiocassette. Tapes 21-30 are audiotape reels.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Frontier and pioneer life-West (U.S.)
  • Historians-Montana-Bozeman
  • Indians of North America-Montana-History
  • Names, Geographical-Montana
  • Personal Names :
  • Burlingame, Merrill G. (Merrill Gildea), 1901- 1994-Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Montana State University--Bozeman-Faculty
  • Montana State University--Bozeman-History
  • United States-Army-Cavalry, 2nd
  • Family Names :
  • Alderson family
  • Alderson, William W. (William White), 1831-1906-Family
  • Burlingame family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Bozeman (Mont.)-Biography
  • Bozeman (Mont.)-History
  • Gallatin County (Mont.)-Biography
  • Gallatin County (Mont.)-History
  • Montana-Biography
  • Montana-History
  • West (U.S.)-History
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Alderson, William W. (William White), 1831-1906 (creator)
    • Cushman, Harriette Eliza, 1890-1978 (creator)
    • Doane, Gustavus Cheyney, 1840-1892 (creator)
    • Family Names :
    • Alderson family (creator)
    • Burlingame family (creator)