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2019 Buchanan Award Recipient

Montana African American Heritage Resources Project

The Montana African American Heritage Resources Project provides a model for public outreach that uses interactive Web-based digital media to bring together a wealth of resources that contribute significantly to our understanding of the black experience in the west. It was directed by Kate Hampton of the Montana Historical Society and authored by Delia Hagen, PhD, in conjunction other historians, curators, volunteers, and descendants of the state’s African American Community. The culmination of years of research and field reconnaissance, the project resulted in inventory forms on over fifty properties in nine counties, and a multi-property nomination for Helena, the historic center of black life. The study identifies previously unknown, and often endangered vernacular resources and establishes a context for the documentation of potential sites in the future. Included are maps, timelines, and essays to create the context for the lives of Montana’s African American community, and lesson plans for educators. Primary documents, newspaper articles, artifacts, census records, and photographs within the archives of Montana Historical Society were digitized, and oral histories recorded. The project is also noteworthy for its broad public outreach and support at the state and national level including funding from the National Park Service’s Underrepresented Communities Program and Montana Cultural Trust.


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