Contents and Arrangement

Northern Pacific Railroad Opening and Montana Press Association Photographs, 1883-1886

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of eleven photographs from western Montana, mostly related to the opening of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1883. There are eight views from Haynes's series, "The Villard Gold Spike Excursion, Opening of the Northern Pacific Railroad, September 8, 1883." Two of these photographs show a delegation of Crow people who attended the opening activities. Images from this series include those captioned: "1541 5th Infantry Band at Last Spike"; "1542 Iron Car-horse, 'Nig,' and Tracklayers"; "1543 Independence Creek Valley, Last Spike"; "1544 During the Oration at Last Spike"; "1547 Indian Council at Last Spike"; "1548 Crow Indians at Last Spike"; "1549 First Train over the Last Spike"; and "1550 Group of Section Four at Last Spike." One has the names "Mr. & Mrs. J.H. Mills" written on the back.

There are also two uncaptioned photographs of Northern Pacific trains, one of which is a duplicate of "1549 First train over last spike," and the other is an unidentified photograph from the same event. There is also one later print by Haynes that shows a group of people and is captioned, "Montana Press Association, Yellowstone National Park, August 1886."

These photographs are personal copies owned by James Hamilton Mills (1837-1904), a Montana newspaper editor and territorial secretary. Mills is said to be standing in the rear row of the Montana Press Association photograph, 6th from the right.


Materials are arranged in the order in which they were accessioned.

Collection History


Purchased from Swann Auction Galleries in 2021 (AM 2022-056).


No materials were separated during 2014-2021 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in September 2014. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in September 2014. Finding aid updated with new materials by Kelly Bolding in February 2017, July 2019, and December 2021.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Northern Pacific Railroad Opening and Montana Press Association Photographs; Princeton University Library Collection of F. Jay Haynes Photographs, C1485, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Box B-001749