The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives was established in 1981 by ordinance to maintain the non-current records of the city-county of Butte-Silver Bow. Given the significant industrial, political, and social history of Butte in the American West, the government records and archival holdings are in great demand by scholars, authors, and genealogists. The mission of the Archives is to:
- Be the official repository for all non-current government records of Butte-Silver Bow
- Acquire, maintain, and preserve historical documents, photographs, and manuscripts pertaining to Butte history
- Provide public access to the documents and manuscript collections at the Archives
- Work with educators to enhance the classroom experience
- Provide service to the preservation community of Butte-Silver Bow
The Archives also accepts collections, manuscripts, and photographs from individuals, groups, schools, and organizations. The collections run the gamut from individual memorabilia to major historical documents donated by individuals, fraternal and sororal organizations, schools, and businesses.
The Archives provides and encourages public access to its unique holdings. People come away from the Archives with a new-found appreciation of history and the significance of preserving the documents and manuscripts that tell the story of Butte and, through its significant impact, the world.
The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives collections are comprehensive and interrelated and provide dynamic insights into the second Industrial revolution -the electrification of America-the history of copper mining and the rise of the Gibraltar of the labor movement in the American West. Butte is home of the world's largest copper deposit, once one of the most radically and ethnically diverse settlements of the West. The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives actively collects manuscripts, documents, photographs, and maps pertaining to Butte-Silver Bow. The Archives holds some 2,000 collections in its state-of-the-art building. The records and manuscripts provide essential information on a number of subjects including the history of technology, environmental history, the history of women and minority groups and industrial and labor history.
Charles Hauswirth was born in Butte, Montana in 1882 to Simon and Mary Hauswirth. In 1906 Hauswirth was a grocer at Forrest and Hauswirth Grocer, and later he owned the Western Fuel Company. In 1932 Hauswirth started the "Eye Opener," a self-published newspaper, which served as a venue for Charles to voice his thoughts on the economic troubles of the 1930s. After two unsuccessful campaigns for commissioner and sheriff he was nominated for mayor in 1935, (Republican). He was the first mayor in Butte to serve more than two terms as mayor (he served four). Hauswirth was a member of the Butte Exchange Club, Butte Lodge No. 240, BPOE, and the Masonic Fraternity. Hauswirth died at his home on April 11, 1941, shortly after winning his fourth reelection.
The Charles Hauswirth Papers collection consists of 7 volumes of the "Eye Opener" from 1932 to 1940 as well as over 100 images from the Charles Hauswirth Papers from the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives. Subjects included are the Clean-Up Drive in 1937, Fourth of July parades from 1936 to 1938, and political appearances. This collection gives insight into the struggles of the middle class during the Depression, and the tenacity of a city to band together to better their community.