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Montana group digitizes newspapers on, near tribal lands

A stack of newspapers
Kayla Desroches
Yellowstone Public Radio
A stack of daily papers from the Billings Gazette.

Newspapers newly archived online include those published on the Blackfeet, Flathead and Fort Peck Indian Reservations

Thousands of pages from historical newspapers near and on tribal nations in Montana are now available and searchable online through the Library of Congress.

The Montana Historical Society recently finished a two-year project where they archived more than 100,000 newspaper pages dating back to the early 1900s.

Library manager Dan Karalus says those include for the first time pages from the communities of Browning on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Harlem by Fort Belknap, Hot Springs on the Flathead Indian Reservation and Poplar on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

“Newspapers that might have more native news, might have more coverage of tribes,” said Karalus. “And then those towns were also just kind of underrepresented in terms of our digital holdings.”

Karalus says he noticed that many of the pages published in Browning on the Blackfeet Nation contained more news related to the Tribe than the other additions.

The Montana Historical Society received $263,000 from the Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities for the project.

The archived pages and more are accessible online and will also be available at the Montana Historical Society’s building next year in Helena after construction wraps up.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.