The City of Helena was incorporated in 1881, and the Helena City Council began meeting and recording minutes detailing the actions of the mayor and alderman in establishing the framework and continuance of their municipal government. The information in the minutes included the date, time, and location of the meeting as well as elected officials, businessmen, and members of the public present. Council minutes are an invaluable resource providing insight to the development and growth of the Helena community.
In 2013, the city began a project to digitalize the city council minutes to preserve the information. By creating a digitized, accessible copy of these records, the original documents can be preserved and maintained. Additionally, digitizing the physical documents ensures that minute books are not stolen, damaged, or otherwise compromised. Records from 1881 through 1921 had already been digitized, and the Montana History Foundation funded the City of Helena in 2016 to digitize records from 1921 through 1936.