The Special Collections Library on the Montana State University campus is a hidden gem for anglers.
It holds one of the world’s largest collections of books about trout and salmon, all under one roof. And now, with a donation from Fly Fishers International (FFI), it’s about to get bigger.
“It just seemed like a great fit to have a home for researchers, materials for those people interested in getting a line in Montana’s waters,” said James Thull, special collection librarian for Montana State University.
Thull is excited about FFI’s decision give the Renne Library’s special collections 2,000 – 3,000 volumes of materials for their trout and salmonid collection this year.
“We’ve been talking for years on how to maximize our efforts,” Thull said.
The collection is already impressive. They have materials dating back to 1531 and other rare gems.
“We have a book that was held by the hands of Isaak Walton, which I think is a pretty neat thing,” Thull said.
As for the collaboration between MSU and FFI, Thull says it’s a win-win.
“You have the idea that everything is stronger together, so the idea that those books here makes our collection stronger and a better resource for researchers and anglers,” he said.
With thousands of volumes of written materials, the wealth of information at the library is staggering. But the oral history collection may be the most cherished one they have — not always about the one that got away.
The collection is open and available to anybody that wants to see it Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.