Montana: A Paper Trail, by Thomas E. Minckler

By Thomas E. Minckler, with a foreword by Brian W. Dippie. Hardcover with dustjacket, 458 pages, 10" x 12". 2nd edition
Availability: In stock

Collector and historian Thomas Minckler spent a half century gathering 19th and early 20th century letters and documents, vintage photographs, rare books, and paintings. He’s sharing these collections in his new book Montana: A Paper Trail.

Veteran Western Americana specialist Nathaniel Des Marais wrote of the 10,000-plus items: “Make no mistake, this is the finest gathering of Montana source material ever brought together.”

Minckler’s decades of researching and contextualizing items in his collection uncovered innumerable valuable insights on Montana history. Each artifact’s unique paper trail reveals a journey that contributes to the fascinating story of Montana.

The wide-ranging collection includes the sole image of James Kipp (1788-1880), the iconic builder of Upper Missouri River fur trading posts. It also includes photos of the legendary Ferdinand Hayden’s Yellowstone Expedition in 1871 taken by Bozeman photographer Joshua Crissman, who produced the first images of Yellowstone Park and the only known photo of the Expedition’s wagon train. In addition, the collection includes outstanding unpublished material by Granville Stuart, Teddy Blue Abbott, C.M. Russell, Thomas Meagher, Father Pierre DeSmet, and George Armstrong Custer. 

“In this sumptuous book, Tom lays his treasures out before our eyes, and provides the context necessary to understand the claim each holds on his attention,” said noted historian and author Brian Dippie. 

Diana Di Stefano, editor of the Montana Historical Society Press said it’s an amazing book. “Rarely does a private collection of this caliber become accessible to the public; even rarer is to have the objects so skillfully and enjoyably explained, as Minckler does in Montana: A Paper Trail.” 

Hardcover with dustjacket, 458 pages, 10" x 12".

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