Our Instruction philosophy centers on cultivating both undergraduate and graduate students' abilities to think critically and to contextualize, investigate, and authenticate historical and cultural documents. Engagement with primary sources can transform the educational experience and improve student success. Our faculty and staff work closely with teaching faculty to develop collaborative sessions that promote and encourage these outcomes.

Instruction can include, but is not limited to, a general orientation to the department's resources, guidance on navigating the department's website and databases, understanding finding aids, and developing search strategies. We will customize instruction session around a particular subject area or pick materials out ahead of time that help students complete an assignment. Additionally, we work with faculty or instructors to create assignments.

Please plan on making time to have a consultation visit with an archivist or librarian to go over what materials we have and what goals or assignments you have in mind for your class.


  • Instructor will be a present collaborator during the sessions.
  • Archival and/or visual literacy skills will be reviewed.
  • Instruction sessions must be requested at least 2 weeks in advance; short term requests cannot be guaranteed due to availability.
  • Instruction sessions can correspond to a specific research assignment or project.
  • Instruction may be limited to one session or can be more fully integrated into the syllabus and involve multiple visits.



Archives Staff can give basic departmental tours to groups of 10 or more.


Archives is committed to promoting the use of its manuscript and archival collections. We also encourage a flexible, collaborative approach to engaging students and the local community. If your group is interested in learning more about special collections or wishes to collaborate on a project, please contact us.

Past Outreach Examples

  • Ivan Doig Archive - Projects and Exhibitions
    • Ivan Doig Archive Exhibit: Voices and Vistas (Big Sky County Fair)
    • Exploring Ivan Doig: A Discussion Series (Country Bookshelf)
    • Doig in the Classroom (Writing Program, History, American Studies)
    • Makerspace Exhibit (Belgrade High School's Library)
    • Research and Symposia (Ivan Doig Center)
  • Reading Room Exhibits
  • Continuing Education Presentations (Wonderlust: Forum on Yellowstone)
  • Symposia and Activities (Memories and Legacies of World War I: Commemorating the Armistice)
  • Trout and Salmonid Lecture Series

Contact Us

Archives and Special Collections
Montana State University, Centennial Mall
232 Renne Library
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT 59717-3320


(406) 994-4242

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