Honoring the Carnegie Legacy in Montana
- Between 1893 and 1919, Andrew Carnegie granted funds to construct nearly 1,700 free public libraries across the United States. City officials, women’s clubs and businesses joined together in seventeen Montana communities to meet the requirements and successfully build those libraries. Fifteen Carnegie Library buildings survive in Montana today. Nine are still public libraries.
- One-hundred years after the last Carnegie Library was built in Montana, the History Foundation is collaborating with librarians and other community members to preserve and interpret Andrew Carnegie’s important legacy.
- The History Foundation is creating a book that will capture the rich Carnegie Library history in Montana. This book will be available to the public in Summer 2019.
- Book proceeds will be contributed to preservation projects specific to restoring the fifteen remaining Carnegie Libraries in Montana. Original architectural components and materials are expensive to reproduce and repair; effective operation and maintenance of these century-old buildings is daunting; physical obstacles like lath and plaster walls can hinder interior upgrades and retrofitting.
How you can help:
Your gift of any amount will help preserve the Carnegie legacy.
- $20,000 will help produce an illustrated history of the libraries
- $10,000 could fund a traveling exhibit about Montana’s Carnegie libraries
- $5,000 will restore original windows and other historic features in the Carnegie libraries
- $100-500 will help fund interpretive signs in each of the fifteen Montana Carnegie library buildings honoring Andrew Carnegie’s vision and the community’s commitment to education and literacy
Surviving Carnegie Libraries in Montana:
|Community||Current Purpose (2017)||Year Awarded by Carnegie|
|Big Timber||Sweetgrass County Public Library||1911|
|Bozeman||Cok Kinzler PLLP [law office]||1902|
|Chinook||Bear Paw Co-Op [education center]||1918|
|Dillon||Dillon Public Library||1902|
|Fort Benton||Chouteau County Library||1916|
|Great Falls||Demolished 1960s||1901|
|Hamilton||Bitterroot Public Library||1914|
|Hardin||Big Horn County Library||1916|
|Havre||Old Library Gallery [closed]||1913|
|Kalispell||Hockaday Museum of Art||1901|
|Lewistown||Lewistown Public Library||1905|
|Livingston||Livingston-Park County Public Library||1903|
|Malta||B&B (under renovation)||1917|
|Miles City||Miles City Public Library||1901|
|Missoula||Missoula Art Museum||1903|
|Red Lodge||Red Lodge Carnegie Library||1914|