MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library announces a new online collection showcasing artwork and artifacts from Mike Mansfield’s archives. Mansfield was a Butte miner who went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1943 to 1952, the U.S. Senate from 1953 to 1977, and as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1977 to 1988.

Kumihimo lobsters, in red and gold, representing long life and happiness. (UM Photo)

  Mansfield received many gifts throughout his time in government service, including artwork, needlework, musical instruments, political cartoons and ceramics. He and his wife, Maureen, also purchased artwork during their travels through Latin America and East Asia.

“Mansfield donated these pieces to UM in the 1970s, along with his personal archives, to be made available to the residents of the state,” UM Archivist Donna McCrea said. “Some of the artists represented in the Mansfield collection have since become very well known.”
UM’s online repository, ScholarWorks, currently has 168 Mansfield items available to view. The entire collection has more than 700 items.
    “I’m very excited to include representations of these 3-D artifacts in ScholarWorks, as they’re both visually interesting and historically important,” said Digital Initiatives Librarian Wendy Walker, who manages ScholarWorks. “This is the first collection in our repository that really encourages you to zoom in on detail and to spend time exploring each object. I’m hopeful that it will inspire and support research, as well as simple curiosity.”
The collection will continue to be updated as more artifacts are digitized, McCrea said.