Baucus Donates Official Papers to UM

Engstrom says donation advances goal of building a University focused on leadership, distinct opportunities


Categories: Alumni , Campus , Academic , History , Research

More than 1,000 boxes of former Senator and current Ambassador to China Max Baucus’ papers recently were donated to UM.

On August 4, a semitrailer containing 1,008 boxes from the Washington National Records Center arrived at UM—its contents chronicling forty years of work on behalf of the state of Montana and its residents. Former U.S. Senator Max Baucus, Montana’s longest-serving senator, donated his official papers to Archives and Special Collections at UM’s Mansfield Library.

“This was a proud day for the University of Montana,” UM President Royce Engstrom says. “This donation advances our goal of building a University focused on leadership and distinct opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff. Senator—and now Ambassador—Baucus’ contributions will form a strong basis for education and scholarship in the decades to come.” 

Donna McCrea, head of Archives and Special Collections, says the Baucus papers will be an important addition to the library’s holdings. The papers include his speeches and press releases, his voting record, research related to legislation that he both supported and opposed, letters from constituents, thousands of photographs, and a variety of other material, including a terabyte of electronic data.

“The significance of this acquisition cannot be overstated,” McCrea says. “When combined with our existing collections, it brings together more than 100 years of U.S. congressional history at UM and makes it all available for students, faculty, staff, and national—even international—scholars. We are thrilled by his generosity.”

Baucus, who now serves as the U.S. ambassador to China, donated a remainder of his campaign funds—$850,000—to UM to help pay for the archiving process. According to McCrea, it was important to Baucus that the materials be professionally managed and made available to the public.

During the next few years, a political papers archivist will review the contents of every box and electronic file, organizing and preserving the collection so it can be accessed for future research.

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