Mining Archives/Data Preservation

Stamp Mill

Mining-Related Property Files and Map Files

Files are organized alphabetically by county and then by property name. File contents vary and may include reports, correspondence, forms, maps, surveys, sketches, pictures and miscellaneous notes pertaining to a single mining claim, group of claims, mining project, deposit, or an exploration area. Maps are organized alphabetically by county, then by mining district referenced on the map and finally by common property name.

The files and maps are in the process of being scanned and optimized. Completed electronic files and maps are available through our archive search engine.


The collection consists of over 250,000 paper seismograms recorded prior to 1989 on drum recorders using pen and ink, or heat pen and heat-sensitive paper. It also includes paper seismograms from August 1999 through July 2000, the only source of continuous seismic data for the Montana Regional Seismic Network. Continuous digital data recorded since August 15, 2001 is archived at the IRIS Data Management Center. Daily electronic seismograms may be accessed by the general public through the ESO’s website at

Mineral Museum Collection

The collection is estimated to contain over 15,000 fine mineral specimens from throughout the world. Stored specimens are catalogued using the Hey system and maintained in a secure specimen storage room. Over 1,000 are on display at the Mineral Museum on the campus of Montana Tech of The University of Montana. The Museum is open to the public. More information is available at

The Anaconda Collection

The collection was compiled by the Anaconda Mining Company (ACM) and contains an estimated 80,000 specimens including polished slabs and over 10,000 thin sections created from 1940 through 1981. Sample locations from the Butte mines are plotted on min-level maps (scale 1 inch = 400’) at 100-foot intervals from the surface to the 4600 level. A significant amount of specimens were taken from the underground mines in Butte, Montana. The underground mines at Butte are now flooded and the Anaconda Collection represents a unique set of samples that probably can never be duplicated. Other collection specimens are from locations in which the ACM had commercial interests or were evaluated for development. Contact the MBMB Mining Archives office for further information at 406-496-4381.
Stamp MillAccess to the Anaconda Collection

Aerial Photo Collection

The collection contains over 420,000 aerial photos.  Photos date from 1938 to 2007. They include projects from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Aerial Photography Program, Army Mapping Service and the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Forest Service.  A searchable collection index contents is available.

Further information is available through our MBMG Data Center. MBMG's databases are continually updated with new data from driller's logs, MBMG research projects, and research projects from other agencies.

Butte Hill circa