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.
The Fort Ellis and Gustavus C. Doane Collection contains papers collected by the Museum of the Rockies pertaining to both Fort Ellis and Lieutenant Doane, including: the complete handwritten report of Doane regarding the Howgate expedition of 1880; quartermaster and ordnance returns from the Second Cavalry signed by Doane and lieutenant E.J. McClernand at various posts including Fort Ellis and Fort Maginnis, Montana Territory, and the Presido, San Francisco, California; military returns from the first battalion Mississippi Marine brigade 1865-1867; prescription book from Dr. John H. Kuhle, Fort Ellis, 1876; file of correspondence by Mary L. Doane; various printed materials pertaining to military matters and the Grand Army of the Republic.
The Report of Lieutenant Gustavus C. Doane is an original handwritten exploration journal based on field notes created by Doane while leading the military escort of the Langford-Washburn-Doane expedition through present-day Yellowstone National Park in the late summer of 1870.