The hands-on history footlockers are designed for use in elementary schools, but they are easily adaptable for middle, and high school classes, as well as senior citizens groups and other organizations. They contain reproduction artifacts; photographs; cassette tapes, video tapes, PowerPoints and/or DVDS; reproduction clothing; and replicated tools related to the specific footlocker topic. Footlocker User Guides can be found online, in Adobe Acrobat format, to help teachers prepare for utilizing this resource in the classroom. These Guides contain: historical narratives; a bibliography; compliance with Montana Standards for Social Studies and Indian Education for All Essential Understandings where applicable; and lessons. In the User Guide you will also find many tools to assist you in teaching with objects and primary sources.

No rental fee is charged for the use of footlockers. However, schools are responsible for the cost of shipping the footlocker to the next venue via United Parcel Service (UPS). Footlockers must also be insured for $500.00 each (shipping and insurance varies by weight and location). If a school fails to insure the footlocker and it is lost in transit, the school will be responsible for replacement costs. Out of consideration for your fellow teachers, please note that footlockers shipped on Friday do NOT always arrive the following Monday, so plan accordingly.


Booking: To reserve a footlocker, please submit the Online Reservation Form. In order to get the materials that you seek at the times you prefer, please book early. Many teachers order the footlockers or slide units during the spring semester proceeding the school year in which they wish to use it. Call the Society's Education Office at (406) 444-9553 if you have any issues, comments or concerns with online booking.

Note: Footlockers are reserved on a first come, first served basis. In order to ensure the broadest possible access for educators statewide reservations are limited to four (4) footlockers per teacher per school year. If you feel that you need to exceed this limit please contact Katie White at or 406-444-9553 to see if an exception is possible.

Optional Evaluation Forms Now Available!!!

Chinese lantern and wall hanging, from East Meets West

Architecture: It's All Around You - Explores the different architectural styles and elements of buildings, urban and rural, plus ways in which people can preserve buildings for the future.

Cavalry and Infantry: The U.S. Military on the Montana Frontier - Illustrates the function of the U.S. military and the life of an enlisted man on Montana's frontier, 1860 to 1890.

Coming to Montana: Immigrants from Around the World - Showcases the culture, countries, traditions, and foodways of Montana's immigrants through reproduction clothing, toys, and activities.

Contemporary American Indians in Montana - Highlights the renaissance of Montana's Indian cultures and tribal efforts to maintain their identities and traditions.

Discover Lewis and Clark - Traces the Corps' journey through Montana and their encounters with American Indians. Includes grizzly bear hide, trade goods, a sextant, books, and more!


East Meets West: The Chinese Experience in Montana - Explores the lives of the Chinese who came to Montana, the customs that they brought with them to America, how they contributed to Montana communities, and why they left.

From Traps to Caps: The Montana Fur Trade - Gives students a glimpse at how fur traders lived and made their living along the creeks and valleys of Montana, 1810-1860.

Gold, Silver, and Coal Oh My!: Mining Montana's Wealth - Chronicles the discoveries that drew people to Montana in the late19th century and how the mining industry developed and declined.

The Home Fires: Montana and World War II - Describes aspects of everyday life in Montana during the 1941-1945 war years. Illustrates little-known government projects such as the Fort Missoula Alien Detention Center and Civilian Public Service Camps.

Inside and Outside the Home: Homesteading in Montana 1900-1920 - Focuses on the thousands of people who came to Montana's plains in the early 20th century in hope of make a living through dry-land farming.

Land of Many Stories: The People and Histories of Glacier National Park
Focuses on the commemoration of the centennial anniversary of Glacier National Park. It is thematically tied to the MHS' exhibit The Land of Many Stories: The People and Histories of Glacier National Park. It examines the human experience in the area now known as Glacier National Park, from pre-contact to the recent past, focusing on human-environmental interaction.

Lifeways of Montana's First People - Emphasizes the various tribal lifeways of the people who utilized the land we now know as Montana in the years around 1800.

Montana Indian Stories Lit Kit - Immerses students in storytelling and the oral tradition with seven class sets of Montana Indian stories collected for the Indian Reading Series (1972) and reprinted by the Montana Historical Society Press. The lit kit includes animal puppets and User Guide. NOTE: Out of respect for the storytelling customs of many Montana Indian people, this kit will be made available for use in the winter months (November through March.)

Montana Place Names Mini Footlocker - Consists of ten copies of the book, Montana Place Names: from Alzada to Zortman, and the lesson plan “Mapping Montana, A to Z.” Teachers will need to order classroom sets of Montana maps separately from Travel Montana or by calling 406-841-2870.

Montana State Symbols - Provides students the opportunity to explore hands-on educational activities to gain a greater appreciation of our state's symbols and their meanings.

Oral History in the Classroom Mini Footlocker - Includes eight Sony IC Audio Recorders, batteries and chargers, useful reference material, and detailed lesson plans for creating a classroom-based oral history project.

Original Governor’s Mansion: Home to the Stewart Family in Turbulent Times, 1913-1921 - Investigates life and politics, 1913-1921, as well as the history and architecture of a magnificent building.

Prehistoric Life in Montana - Exposes Montana prehistory (10,000-12,000 years ago) and archaeology through a study of the Pictograph Cave site in eastern Montana.

Homesteading kitchen tools, from Inside and Outside the Home

Stones and Bones - Uncovers the earliest evidence of Montana's human history through a study of casts and reproduction stone and bone tools, including replica artifacts from the Anzick collection found in Wilsall, Montana. Explore our new complementary lesson, Making an Atlatl, which provides detailed instructions on how students can make atlatls and darts while learning more about the physics behind this ancient technology and the tremendous skill it took to hunt large games in the pre-contact era.

To Learn A New Way- Through a child's voice, as much as possible, this footlocker explores the late 1800's and early 1900's time in which Montana Indians were moved to reservations, experienced allotment and boarding schools - all of which resulted in dramatic changes in their lands, languages, and way of life.

Tools of the Trade: Montana Industry and Technology - Surveys the evolution of tools and technology in Montana from late 1700s to the present. Explore our new complementary lesson, Making an Atlatl, which provides detailed instructions on how students can make atlatls and darts while learning more about the physics behind this ancient technology and the tremendous skill it took to hunt large games in the pre-contact era.

Woolies and Whinnies: The Sheep and Cattle Industry in Montana - Reveals the fascinating stories of cattle, horse, and sheep ranching in Montana, 1870 to 1920.