The museum’s publications program is an outgrowth of the research program and extends the museum’s mission beyond its walls. Since its inception, the museum has had a remarkably active publications program. In 1955 it cooperated in the publication of The Northwest Gun, a monograph about the weapons regularly sold to Indians by fur traders. It sponsored the research for The Plains Rifle in 1960. The publication in book form of other important museum research on such topics as Hawken rifles, the journals of fur trader David Adams, and the history of G. K. Warren’s explorations in the West have added significantly to our knowledge of the frontier and the fur trade.
A primary purpose of this institution is to provide useful and accurate information about the fur trade to the public. The museum has supplied thousands of photographs and provided research to hundreds of individuals and museums, but especially to publishers, including Time-Life, Reader’s Digest, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. We receive about 3,000 pieces of mail, hundreds if not thousands of emails and hundreds of questions each year from our on-site visitors. The staff does its best to answer them. If a response requires photography, extensive research, or the examination of an artifact, the museum requests payment of an hourly fee to offset costs. Members receive a discount on this fee as part of their benefits.