The Montana Historical Society’s staff are making great strides toward reopening the galleries, Museum Store, Research Center and Original Governor’s Mansion, after being shuttered during the past month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Steve Bullock made it abundantly clear that the safety of Montana’s employees and visitors is paramount when considering reopening, and MHS couldn’t agree more. Yet our heritage also is important to share. The governor provided an option for museums to reopen on May 15, but only if we can adhere to strict guidelines. We are close, but not there just yet.
In particular, the Montana Historical Society can’t open the doors until sanitation supplies, which are on back order, arrive. When that happens, new protocols including a variety of safe distancing tactics for staff and visitors, will be in place.
Upon reopening, no more than 50 visitors will be allowed in the Montana Historical Society building at any given time. Groups are limited to 10 people, and tours with docents are on hold. MHS will ask visitors to wear masks, and staff will too when in public areas. MHS also will ask visitors for contact information in case we learn of a COVID-positive test and need to do contact tracing.
MHS may have reduced hours to allow for cleaning between visitors; details are being worked out.
The Montana Historical Society encourages people interested in touring the galleries to call 406/444-2694 for reservations. Visitors to the Research Center should call 406/444-2681 2694 for reservations. If possible, all entrance fees and purchases should be made using credit or debit cards.
In the meantime, check out the mhs.mt.gov website and click on the “Stay Connected” button to see a list of online resources available right now. Take a survey to share today’s stories with future generations. Watch the MHS YouTube channel to catch up on our programs you might have missed. Read some of the 1 million-plus pages of newspapers online.
And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact a staff member. You also can call the Montana Historical Society at 406/444-2694. Hope to see you soon.