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HomeNewsMontana NewsResearcher receives Montana State’s Distinctive Collections Travel and Access Award

Researcher receives Montana State’s Distinctive Collections Travel and Access Award

From the MSU News Service

BOZEMAN — The Montana State University Library has awarded its Distinctive Collections Travel and Access Award to a scholar from Idaho who will use the library’s collections documenting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Greg LeDonne is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Colorado Boulder and an attorney. The $3,000 award, which is being given for the fourth time, will help fund LeDonne’s travel from his home in southern Idaho to Bozeman this summer.

LeDonne’s research at the MSU Library will support his dissertation on the concept of “rewilding” — an effort to increase biodiversity and restore the natural processes of an ecosystem which typically involves reducing or ceasing human activity. He suggests that rewilding is not a new idea in environmental history, but rather one that already informs present-day decision making by nonprofits, government agencies and individuals.

“Greg’s proposal was such a clear winner,” said Jodi Allison-Bunnell, head of Archives and Special Collections at the MSU Library. “Our many collections on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, including some very recent acquisitions, will be a strong basis for this important work.” Allison-Bunnell said the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the most distinctive collecting areas of MSU’s Archives and Special Collections.

The Merrill G. Burlingame Archives and Special Collections at MSU features manuscript collections on the West and the Greater Yellowstone, with particular strengths in agricultural history; the world’s most comprehensive collection of trout and salmonid books; select records of MSU history; area-focused books; and a substantial collection of angling oral histories. The library is open to MSU students and faculty as well as Montana citizens.

The award is a collaborative effort of MSU’s Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands and Peoples of the North American West, Archives and Special Collections at the MSU Library and the Friends of MSU Library. It is jointly funded by the Friends of MSU Library, a fundraising group formed in 1994 to help the library develop its collections, spaces, programs and community presence, and the Doig Center, which aims to help position MSU as an important site for creative scholarship across interdisciplinary fields that are dedicated to advancing knowledge about the lands and peoples of the North American West.

“We see a strong potential for LeDonne’s work to connect with MSU’s graduate students, which is one of the purposes of the award,” said Janet Ore, director of the Doig Center.

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