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James Kipp Featured In New Historical Society Book

James Kipp Featured In  New Historical Society Book James Kipp Featured In  New Historical Society Book


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 those collections in his new book Montana: A Paper Trail.

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

Minckler’s decades of researching and contextualizing items in this 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 builder of Upper Missouri River fur trading posts.

It also includes photos of the legendary Ferdinand Hayden’s Yellowstone Expedition in 1871 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In addition, the collection includes outstanding unpublished material of Granville Stuart, Teddy Blue Abbott, C.M. Russell, Thomas Meagher, Father Pierre DeSmet and George Armstrong Custer.

Published by the Montana Historical Society Press, Montana: A Paper Trail will be released during a book launch event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, in the Community Room at the Billings Public Library.

Diana Di Stefano, editor of the Montana Historical Society Press said, “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.”

Montana: A Paper Trail

can be ordered through the MTHS bookstore at mhs. or call 406-4442890.

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