Michael P. Malone papers, 1962-2000

Overview of the Collection

Malone, Michael P.
Michael P. Malone papers
1962-2000 (inclusive)
4.0 linear feet, (10 boxes)
Collection Number
2442, Collection 2442, MtBC, us (collection)
Michael P. Malone was an historian and served as president of Montana State University from 1991 to 1999. His papers consist of personal and professional correspondence, research materials, and awards and memorials.
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
Telephone: 4069944242
Fax: 4069942851
Access Restrictions

The family letters in Box 2, Folder 9 are restricted from public access until 2075.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Michael P. Malone was born April 8, 1940 in Pomeroy, Washington. He received his B.A. Magna cum Laude in History from Gonzaga University in 1962 and his PhD in American Studies (History) from Washington State University in 1966. He taught History at Texas A and M University from 1966-67. He joined the History Department of Montana State University in 1967 where he was an Assistant Professor from 1967-1970, Associate Professor from 1970-1973 and Professor from 1973-1979, serving as the Head, Department of History and Philosophy from 1976-1979. In 1979 he became Dean of Graduate Studies until 1988 when he was appointed Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. He served as the Director of the Burton K. Wheeler Center, 1987-1990. In 1991 he began his tenure as the President of Montana State University, the post he held until his untimely death in December of 1999. Malone was a prolific writer of western history with particular emphasis on Montana history and the historiography of western history. He was the author or co-author of eight books including Montana: A contemporary Profile (1997); James J. Hill: Empire Builder of the Northwest (1996); The American West: A Twentieth Century History (1989); The Battle for Butte: Mining and Politics on the Northern Frontier (1981) and Montana - a History of Two Centuries ( a standard text on the topic), over twenty articles and book chapters, and reviewed dozens of books for academic and popular journals. He presented papers to numerous learned societies and served on various academic boards. He was Review Editor for Montana the Magazine of Western History (1978-1990), and on the editorial boards of Western Historical Quarterly (1978-1980) and Pacific Historical Review (1975-1977). At the time of his death of heart failure on December 21, 1999, Malone was working on a new book tentatively titled "The Search for Paradigm in Western American History, 1930 - 2000." He married Kathleen Campbell in 1983 and was the father of two children, three step-children and five grandchildren.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Michael P. Malone papers consist of correspondence and research materials. The correspondence consists of a collection of letters between Malone and friends, colleagues and professional acquaintances, including a substantive selection of letters exchanged with prominent western historians originally deposited at Brigham Young University. Family letters, personal papers, newspaper clippings and ephemera have been arranged in a separate series. Other correspondence specifically dealing with Malone's book publishing ventures has been placed in a series of materials directly related to that activity. Particularly voluminous in this publication series is a typed draft of his book James J. Hill: Empire Builder of the Northwest. An additional series of papers and related notes Malone gathered while conducting research on his final unpublished book, "Searching for Paradigm in Western American History." These materials consist of clipped and highlighted manuscript quotes of excerpts from various books and articles about the historiography of western history with citations and editorial commentary on the strengths of the arguments presented by the authors. These quotes and citations are arranged in files as a rough layout of the intended book, and the series also includes photocopied articles from journals and newspapers Malone consulted. The Malone papers also consist of awards and plaques honoring him during his long educational career, speeches, speech notes, teaching notes, transparencies, and photographs. Audiovisual materials from both his inauguration and his memorial service are included.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Series 1 General Correspondence Series 2 Personal papers Series 3 Publication correspondence and enclosures Series 4 Speeches, teaching materials, short articles Series 5 Audiovisual materials Series 6 "The Search for Paradigm in Western American History" Series 7 Awards and memorials

Acquisition Information

The Michael P. Malone papers were donated to Special Collections by Kathleen Malone in November, 2002. They include a set of correspondence originally deposited at Brigham Young University which were returned to Mrs. Malone for inclusion into this collection. A 1973 speech delivered by Malone and formerly accessioned as Collection 2006 has been incorporated into this collection. Audiovisual materials were found in the stacks in 2023 and incorporated into the collection.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2011 November 22, with audiovisual materials added in 2023 October.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

1:  Correspondence, 1965-1999Return to Top

Letters received by Malone from colleagues and friends regarding a wide variety of topics. Many of the letters pertain to speaking engagements or special historical projects proposed by various parties such as documentary films, conference panels, and professional reviews for tenure and grant applications. Some letters include enclosure documents and a few include copies of Malone's reply. There is a selection of work related memoranda and letters scattered throughout the correspondence generated during Malone's various faculty and administrative positions at Montana State University, but the bulk of such documentation is in the various pertinent record groups of the University Archives. Correspondents include Chet Huntley, Mike Mansfield, Tim Babcock, Ivan Doig, Ted Schwinden, Max Baucus, Stan Stephens, and many prominent western history scholars.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
1 2
1 3
1 4
1 5
1 6
1 7
1 8
1 9
1 10
1984 January-June
1 11
1984 July-August
1 12
1985 January-June
2 1
1985 July-December
2 2
2 3
2 4
2 5
2 6
2 7
2 8

2:  Personal papersReturn to Top

Family correspondence, genealogy material, newspaper clippings, and ephemera collected by Malone over the course of his professional career. The genealogy materials include a manuscript history of Malone's ancestors, author unknown. The newspaper clippings are primarily about Malone and his work, although a few editorials he published are included. A folder of ephemera holds jokes, stationery samples, greeting cards, and other miscellaneous items.

The first folder in this series consists of personal family letters which have been restricted from public access until the year 2075.

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
2 9
Family letters
Access restricted until 2075.
2 10
Genealogy material
2 11
Newspaper clippings
2 12

3:  Publication correspondence and enclosures, 1973-1999Return to Top

Publication correspondence regarding works edited by Malone, written by him, or reviewed by him on the request or contractual agreement with various publishers. Most of the letters are from the publishing houses or individual authors on whom Malone was reviewing or editing, although some collaborative author correspondence is included. Rough drafts and revisions of works have been included where available. The materials have been arranged by publisher's name and, where appropriate, the name of the published works.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
3 1
University of Oklahoma Press
University of Oklahoma Press, James J. Hill, manuscript draft
3 10
University of Washington Press
3 11
University of Washington Press
3 12
Montana Historical Society Press
3 13
American World and Geographic Publishing
3 14
Oxford University Press
3 15
Oxford University Press
3 16
Oxford University Press, chapter on Politics and Government
4 1
Falcon Press
4 2
Falcon Press
January-March 1997
4 3
Falcon Press
May-June 1997
4 4
Falcon Press
July 1997-1999
4 5
University of Nebraska Press
4 6
University of Nebraska Press

4:  Speeches, teaching materials, short articlesReturn to Top

Manuscript drafts of speeches, and associated notes and transparencies, for various presentations conducted by Malone. One folder pertains to a special seminar Malone taught for the Unviersity of Wyoming School of Extended Studies in 1990.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
4 7
4 8
Class notes
4 9
Mining and the West
4 10
Montana as a Third World State
4 11
Montana's Frontiers, Past and Present
4 12
My Turn: The Crisis of American Liberalism
4 13
Notes for various speeches
4 14
Review of Burlingame's Departmental History
4 15

5:  Audiovisual materials, 1991-2000Return to Top

Personal portraits and snapshots of Malone, his family, friends and professional colleagues. Video recording of his inaguration. Audiotapes of his memorial and student tributes.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
4 16
9 1-3
Audiotapes of memorial service and student recognition
3 items
9 1
Inauguration of Malone
Inauguration ceremony including remarks by Ivan Doig.

6:  "The Search for Paradigm in Western American History", 1997-1999Return to Top

Notes, chapter outlines, bibliography, and research materials gathered by Malone in preparation for work on his final book, a work that he never finished. This series includes correspondence with the intended publisher, Yale University Press, quotations and commentary notes arranged in the chronological presentation Malone intended for the book, and a selection of photocopied journal articles and book chapters used in research. The photocopied journal articles and book chapters were gathered by Malone at specific periods of time between 1997 and 1999 and maintained by him by the dates he reviewed the material. As such, the folders containing these photocopies are given the Malone review date noted on the individual pieces, and many bear marginalia of passages he found particularly helpful. The contents of any given folder contain articles widely separated by publication date, authors, and journal titles.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
5 1
Yale University Press correspondence
5 2
5 3
Master bibliography
August 1988
5 4
Quotations and commentary
5 5
Quotations and commentary
5 6
Quotations and commentary
5 7
Quotations and commentary
5 8
Quotations and commentary, New Western History
5 9
Quotations and commentary, General
5 10
Quotations and commentary, General
5 11
Quotations and commentary, Montana
5 12
Quotations and commentary, Frederick Jackson Turner
5 13
Quotations and commentary, Epilogue
5 14
Photocopied articles
5 15
Photocopied articles
January-March 1998
5 16
Photocopied articles
April-May 1998
6 1
Photocopied articles
June 1998
6 2
Photocopied articles
July-September 1998
6 3
Photocopied articles
October-November 1998
6 4
Photocopied articles
December 1998
6 5
Photocopied articles
January 1999
6 6
Photocopied articles
February-March 1999
6 7
Photocopied articles
April-May 1999
6 8
Photocopied articles
June-August 1999
6 9
Photocopied articles
September 1999
6 10
Photocopied articles
October-November 1999
6 11
Photocopied articles

7:  Awards and memorabilia, 1962-2000Return to Top

Malone gathered numerous honors over the course of his career and this series contains a small selection of certificates, awards, and citations, along with copies of his original bachelor's thesis and doctoral dissertation. A scrapbook from his memorial celebrations completes the series.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
7 1
Washington State University Outstanding Centennial Alumnus
7 2
Gonzaga University Alumni Merit award
7 3
Washington State University, College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni award
4 4
National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges appreciation certificate
7 5
Big Sky Conference, appreciation certificate
Great Falls Chamber of Commerce award, 1999
8 1
Montana Award in the Humanities
8 2
Merriam Award in Regional Literature
8 3
Oscar O. Winther Award, Western History Association
8 4
Inaugural greetings, George Dennison, University of Montana
8 5
Honorary doctorate, Montana University System
8 6
Montana: The Magazine of Western History 50, 1
Malone dedication
(Spring 2000)
8 7
Memory book signed by MSU employees at Malone's inaugural
8 8
Washington State University Alumni Achievement award
8 9
University of Buffalo lapel pin
8 10
Western Association of Graduate Schools appreciation
8 11
Undergraduate thesis, Gonzaga Unviersity
8 12
Doctoral dissertation, Washington State University
Memorial scrapbook

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • College presidents--Montana--Bozeman (Mont.)
  • Historiography
  • Historiography--West (U.S.)--History
  • History
  • History teachers--Montana--Bozeman
  • Presidents
  • Railroads
  • Teachers
  • Universities and colleges--Faculty

Personal Names

  • Hill, James J. (James Jerome), 1838-1916
  • Malone, Michael P.--Archives

Corporate Names

  • Great Northern Railway Company (U.S.)
  • Montana State University--Bozeman--Faculty
  • Montana State University--Bozeman--Presidents

Geographical Names

  • Montana
  • Montana--History
  • United States, West
  • West (U.S.)--Historiography
  • West (U.S.)--History

Form or Genre Terms

  • Archives
  • Archives


  • Historians--Montana--Bozeman