Preserving Montana’s Environmental History

In spring 2023, students in Visiting Professor Eric Zimmer’s U.S. Environmental History class collaborated with the Montana Natural History Center (MNHC) and the Mansfield Library Archives & Special Collections to plan and execute a class project surveying the Gabriel Collection at the MNHC. William “Bill” Gabriel was a UM alum (PhD 1976), longtime advocate of wild places, and noted nature photographer. His estate recently donated a collection of around 70,000 35 mm photograph slides. These images document Montana’s wildlife and landscapes from the 1960s to the early 2000s. The students surveyed over 80 archival containers and made strategic recommendations to the MNHC about how to house and utilize the collection over the long term. They gained hands-on experience in public history consulting, archiving, and museum collections.

Read our more detailed press release here and in the Montana Naturalist story “Hands-On History: UM Students Take the Reins on MNHC Archives Project.”