Policy And Procedure Manual

Prepared by Magdalene Moccasin, Kari Smith, and Cris Paschild. Passed May 2003 by the LBHC Board of Trustees.


The Little Big Horn College Archives: Crow Indian Historical and Cultural Collection was established in 1989 as a part of the Little Big Horn College Library. The Archives is located in its own building next to the Little Big Horn river, across the street from the College in Crow Agency, Montana.

The Crow People have a precious and unique history. When lichihkbaahile (First Maker) created us and guided our first leader, Shiipdetash (No Intestines), to this place, we became a distinct people. We are still here, in this place, where lichihkbaahile wanted us to exist. Other have written about us, taken our pictures, recorded our voices. We, too, have written our words, taken our pictures, recorded our voices. The Little Big Horn College Archives sustains the history of the Crow Indian people through the collection and curation of historical manuscripts, personal papers, official reports, institutional records, photographs, and video and audio recordings. The Archives serves the Crow through the safekeeping of these cultural and historical materials. It is an institution dedicated to the Crow community as a resource of learning and memory and as a preserver and defender of historical records.

The Little Big Horn Archives is a most valuable resource for the Crow community and for the students, faculty, and staff of Little Big Horn College. Outside researchers are also welcome. This manual serves as a guide for both staff and users of the Archives. It details the policies and procedures of the Little Big Horn College Archives.

Little Big Horn College Archives Mission Statement

The Little Big Horn College Archives promotes the culture and history of the Crow Indians through the preservation of manuscripts, personal papers, official reports, photographs, and video/audio recordings on the historical and contemporary life of the Crow Indian people. The Archives acquires, organizes, describes, protects, preserves, and makes accessible this wide variety of materials to help perpetuate the culture and history of the Crow community and to assist in building self-knowledge, identity, and purpose for the Crow people.

Little Big Horn College Archives Policies

These policies cover the usage, acquisition, processing and management of the Archives and its collections.

Acquisition Policy

Acquisition Focus

The Little Big Horn College Archives is a collecting archives which gathers historical and cultural materials relating to the Crow people for the purposes of education and research. As such, the focus of the Little Big Horn College Archives is:

Copies of materials readily available elsewhere and materials not directly related to Crow culture and history may be graciously declined. The Archivist has the primary authority to accept material for evaluation and inclusion in the Archives. This is done with strict adherence to the procedures for appraisal and accessioning of collections. It must be emphasized that the Archives is not merely a storage facility. Materials must meet archival standards to be accepted into the Archives. Random materials should not be routed to the Archives without first consulting the Archivist. Due to limited resources and space, the Archives cannot house materials that are not of an archival nature.

The Archives does not purchase collections. The Archives currently does not collect the official records of the administrative departments of Little Big Horn College.

Archival Appraisal

Archival appraisal is not a monetary evaluation and appraisal. If a monetary appraisal is desired by the Donor, it must be done at his/her own expense. All materials acquired must undergo archival appraisal and be recommended for access into the Archives. The Archivist will appraise the materials and establish their value to the Archives based on standard archival characteristics:


The Archivist is given the authority to recommend that records be deaccessioned (formally removed from the Archives’ collections) and returned to the Donor, transferred to a more appropriate facility, or destroyed when they become redundant, physically deteriorated, or become outside the collecting scope of the Archives. Deaccessioning will be recommended to the Library Committee, which will give final approval. The Library Committee has the right to review all documents and materials recommended for deaccessioning.

Gifts and Donations of Materials

Materials that are potential gifts or donations will be appraised for condition, pertinence to the collecting scope, and accessibility before being accepted for permanent addition to the Archives. If the materials are determined to be outside the scope of the Archives collections or in unsalvagable condition, accession will be declined and if necessary materials will be returned to the Donor. In such cases, the Archivist may suggest a more appropriate repository or use for the materials.

It is possible for donors to place restrictions on their collections. For example, restrictions may be placed on a collection to restrict access to all or part of it for a specified period of time (five years or life of the Donor) or to a specified group of people (only for educational use by students or teachers or for the members of a certain family). However, the Archives encourages donors to leave materials free of restrictions to better facilitate management, accessibility, and research potential.

When materials are accessioned by the Archives, donors will be asked to sign an Archives and Records Transfer Agreement (Deed of Gift) or, in the case of taped interviews such as oral histories, an Oral History Release. Material accessioned by the Archives becomes the property of the Little Big Horn College, to be administered according to Little Big Horn College Archives policies. Little Big Horn College is a non-profit organization and holds all copyrights for its accessioned collections unless otherwise specified by the Donor.

Access Policy

The Archives will make available to researchers all open archival records. All users of the Archives have the same rights and must follow the posted rules and approved policies. Collections are available for use on a first come, first served basis with no favoritism. Please note, however, that the Archivist has the authority to enact any precautions necessary to protect the integrity of the collections and to prevent physical deterioration.

The materials may not be used when the Archives is closed or the Archivist unavailable.

In the absence of an Archivist, the Archivist will assign archival responsibilities to a qualified person. This person will collect, arrange and describe the archival records that come into the Little Big Horn College Archives. This person will protect the integrity of the collections and will help to insure, to the best of his or her ability, against their defacement, alteration, theft or other physical damage.

Usage Policy

The materials held by the Archives are unique and precious to the Crow people; therefore it is of the utmost importance that all users treat them with respect and care. Unlike a library, materials in the Archives do not circulate. They may be used in the reading room of the Archives during open hours . They may never be taken out of the Archives building. Neither researchers nor people working in the Archives will be allowed to remove material from the Archives and take it off the Archives premises without the negotiation of an official institutional loan through the Archivist.

All users and visitors to the Archives must sign the Register on a daily basis, noting the date, his /her address, and collection used.

Researchers must submit to the Archivist a Researcher Application identifying themselves and specifying the collections to be used. For unprocessed materials, the Archivist may require up to two days prior notice for access.

In order to protect the materials only pencils and word processors may be used to take notes while using the collections. It is against the Archives Policy for anyone, including researchers or people working in the Archives, to deface, alter, damage or destroy archival records. Purses, backpacks, binders, folders or personal belongings of any kind are to be left in the Archives office area.

Inventories and Finding Aids

As collections are processed a box listing and inventory is made. As resources allow, finding aids are created. A finding aid gives the history of the collection, describes its scope and content, and gives a detailed listing of drawer or box contents down to the folder level. Existing indexes, folder listings and finding aids are available for researchers to use as a starting point for their work.

The Little Big Horn College Archivist is also an excellent informational source for all the collections and will gladly answer questions and help guide research when available.


Photocopies can be made on the premises of the Archives at a charge of 5 cents per copy for Little Big Horn College staff, students, and faculty and 10 cents per copy for patrons not affiliated with the College. Copies or reproductions of archival materials, audio/visual recordings, photographs, or slides will be made if there are no restrictions placed on the requested materials by the Donor and if the Archivist has determined that no risk is posed to the materials. Items subject to restrictions by donors will not be copied.

The Archives can offer digital rendering of such materials which researchers may subsequently manipulate into formats suitable for computer monitor display, paper prints, or web-based presentations. Of course, any such manipulation of Special Collections materials is subject to the standard copyright restrictions of Title 17, U. S. Code, and in some cases, special fees will be charged for use permission. Before any publication of Archival material, conventional or digital, researchers should formally request permission from the Archivist.

For digital copies of photographs or textual images, researchers must complete and sign a request form indicating the specifications for the scanned data. Unless otherwise requested, standard setting are 600 dpi at 8 bit grayscale or 24 bit RGB for color, and storage as a TIFF file. The fee for scanning is $2.50 per file/image, with an additional charge of $2.00 for a blank disk (floppy or CD) if such is desired. Shipping and handling for mail orders require a $3.00 charge as well. All orders for scanning will be taken by the Archives, scanned, transferred to floppy disk or CD ROM, and then shipped if necessary. The image files can also be sent by e mail if such will not be an undue burden on LBHC computer network resources or bandwidth.

The Archives cannot assume responsibility for producing photographic quality prints from raw data. It is the responsibility of the researcher to take the raw data on the disk and render it into the format they require.

Requests for conventional or electronic reproductions of photographs, slides, and audio/visual recordings must be submitted through the Archives’ Request for Reproduction. Orders with insufficient information will be returned. All orders should be double-checked by the patron; there will be no refunds once an order is filled. Advance payment is required for all reproduction orders. Prices and time in which orders will be completed vary. Please consult with the Archivist for applicable charges and time frames. In the case of photographic copy prints, because Little Big Horn College does not have a photo laboratory, materials must be transported to Billings and duplication fees will include charges for travel expenses. The Archives does not accept cash payments for reproduction orders. Payments should be made to Little Big Horn College and appropriate receipts should accompany all orders. The Archivist will be happy to answer any questions regarding reproduction procedures.


Research may be performed by the Archivist at a flat fee plus expenses. Please contact the Archivist for further information.


As stated above, Little Big Horn College is a non-profit organization and holds all copyrights for its permanent collections unless otherwise specified by the Donor. Patrons are responsible for following Copyright Law when making copies of the materials held by Little Big Horn College Archives. If patrons have any questions regarding the re-use of copied materials, the Archivist should be consulted.

Citing Archival Materials

When quoting from materials from the Little Big Horn College Archives in a paper, article or other publication, the Archives must be credited. The proper citation is:

(collection name)
(date of access to materials)
Little Big Horn College Archives
Crow Agency, Montana

Little Big Horn College Archives Procedures

The following procedures detail the steps that should be followed in the use of the Archives collections and in the accessioning of new materials by the Archives. Consistent completion of the required forms will facilitate efficient record keeping and collection control and management, allowing the Archives to better serve its community and protect its materials.

Usage Procedures

Standardized usage procedures are essential for assuring fair, equal, and safe access to the Little Big Horn Archives resources. All users are expected to adhere to these procedures it they wish to utilize the Archives materials.

  1. All users must agree to follow the rules of the Archives as detailed under the Little Big Horn Access Policies section of this manual. Rules are posted in the Archives building and should be reviewed by all users.
  2. All on-site users must sign the log every day including address, date, and collection used.
  3. To request access to materials, researchers should fill out the Researcher Application and submit the form to the Archivist. Keep in mind that some materials may require up to two days prior notice. If possible, it is recommended that researchers contact the Archivist prior their visit to assure that the materials will be available at that time.
  4. Photocopies of materials may be made on the premises of the Archives if the Archivist deems that no damage is posed to the selected materials. Photocopies are 5 cents a page for Little Big Horn College students, faculty, and staff and 10 cents for non-affiliates of the College.
  5. To obtain copies of photographs, slides, audio/video tapes, etc., users must fill out and submit to the Archivist a Request for Reproduction. If there are no restrictions on the reproduction of the desired materials, the Archivist will then determine cost and time on a case by case basis.

Accession Procedures

The Little Big Horn Archives focuses on collecting and preserving original materials of interest and value to the Crow Indian community. It is particularly important that collections coming to the Archives be properly assessed and accessioned following the outlined procedures due to space and resource limitations. Collections not properly accessioned can pose difficulties for archival management and control and can severely hinder processing. If the Archivist is not available to perform the accession procedures, a responsible representative of Little Big Horn College may do so with the Archivist’s consent and guidance.

  1. Interested donors should contact the Little Big Horn College Archivist to discuss their potential gifts and donations. The Archivist will help evaluate the materials to be donated and determine if they fall within the parameters of the Archives’ collection policies. Examples of materials the Archives may decline include books in print that are available through the library system and photocopies of materials that are readily available elsewhere and are not an integral part of a Donor’s research process. The Archivist may suggest alternative repositories or uses for materials if they are not suited for the Little Big Horn College Archives collection.
  2. If the Donor and the Archivist decide to proceed with the donation, an Archives and Records Transfer Agreement (Deed of Gift) should be completed and signed by both parties. If the donation is a taped oral history, an Oral History Release should be completed and signed in place of the Transfer Agreement.
  3. An accession number should be assigned to the collection immediately.
  4. Using information from the Donor and any other necessary research, the Archivist should complete a Provenance Statement.
  5. The Archivist should complete the Collection Data Sheet, including as much of the requested information as possible.
  6. The collection should be examined and evaluated in regards to its physical condition and a Conservation Assessment should be filled out noting specific conservation needs.
  7. Once the above steps are completed, copies of each form should be placed in a file folder labeled with the collection’s name. A Collection Information Checklist should be completed and placed in the folder as well.
  8. Using the information from the file folder contents, the collection should be added to the Little Big Horn Archives inventory sheets.
  9. The collection should be prioritized for processing and conservation needs.
  10. Upon completion of any processing or conservation tasks, the Collection Information Checklist and the Little Big Horn Archives inventory sheets should be updated.

Little Big Horn Collections

The Little Big Horn College Archives is a cultural research center for the Crow people and other interested researchers.

The types of materials in the Archives include:

The following are some of the main areas for collection in the Archives. The Archives’ holdings are being added to and are continuing to grow. Many of these collections are still in the process of arrangement and description. Collection areas will be added to the Archives as necessary. The following are descriptions of the current collection areas. Please note that these topic areas may consist of several individual collections. This is not a comprehensive listing of all individual collections. Please consult with the Archivist for more detail regarding specific collections or to inquire about new additions to the Archives’ holdings.

Catholic Collection

Crow Catholic Research Collections. Series include: religious education, Bureau of Catholic Indian missions, general missions, Crow Parish materials, conferences, child raising, newsletters, scrapbooks, calendars, cultural events, photo albums, slides, audio tapes (interviews and bible translations), Crow ministry lessons, Crow Clan system, livestock, legislation and government, handgame list of “best guessers,” Oregon province archives, Great Falls diocesan archives. Date span is 1904-1980's. On loan from Catholic Church in Lodge Grass. The collection is open for use by the Crow people. Permission must be obtained from the Catholic Church in Lodge Grass for reproduction rights.

BIA-Soil and Range Resources Collection

Aerial photo maps and land descriptions (beginning and ending of properties).


The collection contains 41 large (book) folders. Topics include: land use; compliance documents; proposed mining; modification of mines; hydrology, geology and soil; meteorology and air quality; wildlife; vegetation; antiquities; and legal summary. 1999 acquisition.

Crow Bilingual Language Collection

Records from the Bilingual Program, Crow Agency. Date span is 1988-1991. Correspondence, program administration records, Montana Teacher Training Program administration and program records, Crow stories of the Crow Tribe, translated by Henry Old Coyote and Barney Old Coyote; pedigree chart and misc. papers; Univ. of Wyoming brochures, Richard Throssel (photographer); Peggy Albright (#7); pictures LBHC (#8); Crow celebration, memos, May Childs, Quanitta Big Shoulder, Curtis Burgess material (#11), “After the Buffalo Days” (book); Burgess papers II.

Crow Legal Collection

Papers of Tribal lawyers relating to general court cases of the Crow Tribe. Pending authorization of use to public, these papers are closed.

NARA Microfilm Collections

National Archives and Records Administration records on microfilm. They are all Crow related documents.

Oral Histories (audio)

These are primarily oral histories of Crow people as told to different interviewers by various informants. The collection includes histories of people, ceremonial histories, and cultural histories. They are in the Crow language and are available for research. A limited number of the oral histories have been transcribed in English. They are stored on cassette tapes.

Research Document Collection

This consists of several individual collections of researchers and scholars whose work has pertains to Crow history, culture, ceremonies and people. The materials are kept in the original organization of the Donor and include articles taken from various sources including magazine and article journals; original papers; manuscripts; and outlines. This collection includes Frederick Hoxie’s research papers for his book, Parading through History. This collection has been partially processed and will continue to be processed in the coming years. Full inventories are also available for the collections of Eloise Whitebear Pease, Joseph Medicine Crow, and Robert Summers Yellowtail. These collections are accessible for research.

Film and Video Collection

The Archives has over 1,000 video tapes. The videos are about contemporary Crow life. The major collection areas are ceremonies (tobacco dance, warriors society, seasonal dances), handgame, Crow Fair, parades, Tribal inaugural speeches, classes at LBHC and taped interviews of elders. This collection is available for research and is being catalogued during 2000.

Photograph Collection

The Photograph Collection is comprised of both original photographs and duplicate photographs from major museums throughout the United States. It provides a photographic record of not only Crow people, but also of people from other tribes, and dates from the mid 1800's to the present. The collection also includes photographs documenting Little Big Horn College. The collection is not currently processed but is open for research.

Newspaper Collection

Microfilm of the Billings Gazette and the Hardin Herald.


Appendix A

Researcher Application With Rules (PDF)

Appendix B

Request for Reproduction of Photo and Audio/Video Collections (PDF)

Appendix C

Archives and Records Transfer Agreement (Deed of Gift) (PDF)

Appendix D

Collection Data Sheet (PDF)

Appendix E

Provenance Statement (PDF)

Appendix F

Conservation Assessment (PDF)

Appendix G

Collection Information Checklist (PDF)

Appendix H

Oral History Release (PDF)

Appendix I

Little Big Horn College Archives Rules

The materials held by the Archives are unique and precious to the Crow People. For their safety, we request all visitors observe the following rules:

  1. Eating, drinking, and smoking are not permitted in the archives reading room.
  2. All users must sign the log daily.
  3. Only pencils and word processors may be used to take notes. No pens or ink of any kind are allowed while examining the materials.
  4. Coats, briefcases, backpacks, handbags and other personal property must be left with the archives staff.
  5. All collections must be used on the archives premises. Archival materials may not leave the building. The archives reserves the right to inspect all personal belongings before a user leaves the archives
  6. Please handle all materials with care. It is against the archives policy to mark, fold, crease, bend, or alter materials in any way. The original order of the materials as they are presented to the user must be retained.
  7. The archivist must be consulted before any photocopies are made
  8. All users assume full legal responsibility for observing copyright, libel, privacy, and property rights laws.
  9. Thank you for your cooperation.

Appendix J

A Glossary of Selected Archival Terms

The definitions of the following selected terms are from A Glossary for Archivists, Manuscript Curators, and Records Managers by Lewis J. Bellardo and Lynn Lady Bellardo (Chicago: The Society of American Archivists), 1992.

1. The formal acceptance into custody of an acquisition, and the recording of such an act. 2. An acquisition so recorded.
accession number
The unique number assigned serially to an accession.
An addition to the holdings of a records center, archives, or manuscript repository, whether received by transfer under an established and legally based procedure, by deposit, purchase, gift, or bequest.
acquistion policy
An official statement issued by an archives or manuscript repository identifying the kinds of materials it accepts and the conditions or terms which affect their acquistion. It serves as a basic document for the guidance of archival staff and organizations and persons interested in depositing their records or papers.
The process of determining the value and thus the disposition of records based upon their current administrative, legal, and fiscal use; their evidential and informational value; their arrangement and condition; their intrinsic value; and their relationship to other records.
container list (also known as box list and box inventory)
A listing of materials by container, meant to facilitate retrieval. A container list normally includes the title of the series or file, the portion of the file contained in each container, and the inclusive dates of the materials contained therein.
current records
Records regularly used for the conduct of the current business of their creator and that, therefore, continue to be maintained in office space. Current records are also known as active records.
The process by which an archives or manuscript repository formally removes material from its custody. An archival institution may deaccession material because the material has been reappraised and found to be unsuitable for its holdings, the legal owner has requested permanent return of the materials, or the institution has agreed to transfer the materials to another repository.
finding aid
The descriptive tool, published or unpublished, manual or electronic, produced by a creator, records center, archives, or manuscript repository to establish physical control and intellectual control over records and or archival materials. Basic finding aids include local regional, or national descriptive databases; guides; inventories; registers; location registers; catalogs; special lists; shelf and container lists; and indexes.
Personal and family (and estate) documents as distinct from the documents of organizations called records.
The activities of accessioning, arranging, describing, and properly storing archival materials.
1. The organization or individual that created, accumulated, and/or maintained and used records in the conduct of business prior to their transfer to a records center, archives, or manuscript repository. 2. Information regarding the origin and custodial history of documents.
provenance (principle of)
The principle that records/archives of the same provenance must not be intermingled with those of any other provenance.
A document created or received and maintained by an agency, organization, or individual in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.