The Carrie Johnson Fellowship is gifted to graduate students, faculty, and/or independent scholars pursuing research on Butte, Montana or Silver Bow County history.* Fellowship awards of $1,000 – $3,000 will be made on an annual basis. Award funds are to be used for research support, including travel and lodging expenses, but not as salary. Awards are to be used for scholarly projects including preparation of seminar papers, theses, dissertations, monographs, and book-length projects.

Each recipient is expected to be in residence conducting research for the equivalent of three weeks between May 1 and October 31. Fellows are expected to make use of the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives collections and to submit a written report upon completion of the research. Recipients will acknowledge the Friends of the Butte Archives in the publications and projects produced from their residency and provide a copy of any projects created from their research.

Award criteria:

  • How clearly and persuasively does the applicant explain and justify the research question?
  • Does the project contribute significantly to the understanding of Butte, Montana and/or Silver Bow County?
  • Does the applicant clearly describe what else is written on the subject?
  • Does the applicant explain how his/her study is unique and/or important in light of existing research?
  • Does the applicant demonstrate a clear knowledge of what is available at the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives and how the research materials will help his/her research? Does he/she clearly explain how long it will take to do the research?
  • What will the final products be? How valuable and accessible will the end products be?
  • Is the budget realistic, conservative, and specific? Does the applicant explain how he/she estimated the costs (internet, travel, housing, etc.)?

Application requirements:

  • Project proposal, not to exceed 3 double-spaced pages, including specific materials the applicant intends to consult.
  • Budgeted costs of the proposed residency, providing details of expenses as appropriate.
    • The Friends of the Butte Archives will provide between $1,000 and $3,000. Include a detailed budget of how you will spend the funds. Although your research may cost more, describe only how you will use the Friends of the Archives money.
    • Provide an explanation of each budget category and how you determined the amount. If you are driving, list the number of miles and the total cost using the federal mileage rate. If you are flying, please list where you found the airfare. If you are listing lodging expenses, explain where you found the cost. The Friends of the Archives provide $20 per day for per diem.
    • The Friends of the Archives does not fund capital equipment, faculty salaries, personal salaries, childcare or other personal expenses, conference expenses, or overhead.
  • Cover letter
  • 2-3 page resume
  • Letter of recommendation

Applications must be sent electronically as one PDF document to no later than March 15. Announcement of the awards will be made in early April. Questions about the fellowship should be directed to the attention of Aubrey Jaap at

* Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives employees and previous Carrie Johnson Fellowship recipients are not eligible to apply.

About Carrie Johnson

A pillar of the Arlington community, Carrie was born April 29, 1941, in Milwaukee, WI, daughter of Carol W. Johnson and J. Cabell Johnson. She graduated from Milwaukee University School in 1959 and from Smith College magna cum laude in 1964. After graduation, she moved to Washington, DC and spent nearly 8 years on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to liberal Republicans, primarily Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr (R Md). Her best achievement there was helping to advance the bill that created the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park in 1971. In 1972, Carrie was recruited to join the Washington Post editorial board, where she stayed for 5 years. Her tenure there included articles on a variety of lesser topics, as well as helping to write speeches for Post publisher Katherine Graham.

Carrie moved to Arlington in late 1979, became a Democrat and got involved in city planning. First appointed to the Arlington County Planning Commission in 1986, she served as a commissioner and chairman until 2005, one of the longest periods anyone has served on the commission. Over the decades, her planning and zoning work helped to shape Arlington into the city that it is today. At some point, she stumbled into database management for the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC). She became affectionately known as the List Lady, helping with many local elections and providing post-election analysis and reports to the ACDC.

After moving to Arlington, Carrie continued to write freelance articles and papers, focusing on current events and history. She was increasingly drawn to Butte and Montana. There was an appeal to the history of Butte, the story of the state, and the lack of humidity in July. She purchased a house there in 2005 to facilitate her research and volunteer work with the Butte archives. Over the years, she’s produced several articles about Butte, as well as an outline for a book.

Her legacy can be seen in the telling of Butte’s story and felt in the quality of Arlington life enjoyed by its residents. She left a profound impact on the communities she called home and a hole that will be impossible to fill.