May 29, 2013 8:47 PM by Katy Harris - KXLF News
A well-known Butte photographer documented history through the photograph lens, and the Butte Silver Bow Public Archives received a grant to help purchase those photos.
C. Owen Smithers was a Butte photojournalist.
He documented every major event in Butte from about 1915 up until 1980.
Smithers was also a collector of photographs prior to that time frame.
The Butte Silver Bow Public Archives wants to purchase his photos and place them in the public domain.
Today the archives formally accepted a $50,000 check from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation with the help of Montana Resources to help purchase the collection.
"This collection documents our history from about 1860 up until the current time between C. Owen Smithers Sr. and Jr.," said Ellen Crain, Manager, Archives Department. "It's a very important collection and we are thrilled to have this grant and be able to move towards the acquisition of the collection."
Crain says the archives will continue to raise the balance of the funds to purchase the collection.
The staff hopes other granting agencies will endorse their support.
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