Montana’s Carnegie Libraries Exhibit

The Missoula Public Library is pleased to welcome a traveling exhibit on Montana’s Carnegie libraries for the month of November. The exhibit on Level Four is part of a celebration of the libraries in connection with the book The Best Gift: Montana’s Carnegie Libraries. Copies available in the Friends Store on Level One.

Residents are invited to come learn more about the history of Montana’s 17 Carnegie libraries, which were built across the state at the turn of the 20th century with the help of funding provided by Andrew Carnegie. Missoula’s Carnegie Library opened to the public in 1904 and served as the community’s library for nearly 70 years. The Carnegie building has since been home to the Missoula Art Museum since the mid-1970s.


In The Best Gift: Montana’s Carnegie Libraries, author Kate Hampton brings each of the libraries’ stories to life, showing how they impacted communities. Captivating photographs by Tom Ferris transport us to the libraries’ doorsteps and within. New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford of Great Falls provides the forward, sharing his memories on the role libraries have played in his life. The traveling exhibit highlights the importance of libraries, the financial contributions Carnegie made to help build them, their individual architectural styles and the significant role of Montana women.

This exhibit is made possible by The Montana History Foundation, with generous funding provided by Tom and Barbi Donnelley (The Donnelley Foundation) and BNSF.

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