From Cigar Boxes to Web Files


Montanaiana Regrant Project
  This project, "Montana in Black and White" was funded by the Montana Library Network, Montana State Library in the year 2000 as part of the Montanaiana Regrant Project.  Tim Urbaniak, MSU-Billings College of Technology Instructor and Paula Duffy, Librarian at MSU-Billings wrote a grant to fund the digitization of photo images owned by the MSU-Billings Library.  The project was supported by federal LSTA money and supported with in-kind assistance by the Montana State Library in Helena and Montana State University-Billings. 
 The project's goal is to increase public access to information and materials owned by Montana libraries.  The D. White Collection contains images taken or owned by Dudley White.  Although not a professional photographer, Mr. White's photographs capture the people and places of mid-twentieth century Montana. These images are a snapshot of people and places with many now only existing in photographs or books. 
Project Components
  Dudley White kept his photographs not in frames or albums, but cigar boxes.  When the photographs were acquired by the Library, the photographs remained in the original cigar boxes.  Because cigar boxes are not the best method for storing old photographs, the original photographs will be transferred to acid free boxes and the scanned images of the photographs on this website will allow researchers from any part of the world to view the images.  The photos were scanned and converted into digital images to allow access to the public, researchers, and students who want to view these historical photos from the late 1800s  to the mid-1950s.  
  The photos have been grouped into the following categories: historical landmarks and sites, genealogy, people and culture,  landscapes, and wildlife. These photographs reflect Dudley's interests and what he believed to be important markers of Montana history and culture.  Other photographs include, personal images of family and friends.  Some of the photographs may be the only images available today of towns and other points of interest in Montana, Wyoming, north Dakota, and other locales significant to Dudley white.
  On the verso or back of the photograph were often handwritten notes.  In the searchable database, the information on the back of the photographs has been included.  This information has not been edited. The words used to describe certain images reflect Dudley White's views of the image portrayed.  Although some words used are not acceptable to society today, these words reflect at least one man's views of the time.  The descriptive information associated with each photo was entered into a database, so searchers could search for photos by title, subject, geographic location, and date. 
  Tim Urbaniak has for many years taken photos of the Montana landscape.  For comparative purposes, contemporary photographs of selected locations were taken in order to show the changes growth and development  have had on the Montana landscape.        
  These photographs give 21st century Montanans a glimpse into the past--through Dudley White's eyes.  Costumes, buildings, landscapes are preserved at a moment in time.  These photographs not only document places "that have been," but also make it possible for people to view human impact on the Montana landscape. 
  Undergraduate  student, Ricki Ann Ketterling spent many hours scanning the photographs.  College of Technology Instructor Tim Urbaniak was on the road several weeks in summer 2000 taking contemporary photographs of selected historical landscape sites.  Paula Duffy developed the photo database for this project and assisted with web page content.  MSU-Billings staff who contributed time in support of this project include:  Tim Urbaniak, Paula Duffy, Ricki Ann Ketterling, Cale Handran (photo database assistant), Jane Howell (MSU-Billings Library Director), Kathy Perusich (Library Administrative Assistant) and Janna Myers (MSU-Billings Web Coordinator).
  If you would like additional information about this project or have comments about web page content, please contact  Tim Urbaniak (