The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives will continue its Brown Bag Lunch series on Wednesday, June 26, with a presentation and book signing by Brian James Leech. Leech is the author of The City That Ate Itself: Butte, Montana and Its Expanding Berkeley Pit, an exhaustively researched and passionate account of the history of Butte and its dramatic relationship with the Berkeley Pit. Leech provides a social and environmental history using oral history interviews and archival finds to explore the lived experience of open-pit copper mining in Butte. As open-pit mining nibbled away at ethnic communities, neighbors faced new industrial hazards, widespread relocation, and disrupted social ties. Although the Berkeley Pit gave consumers easier access to copper, its impact on workers and community members was met with celebration, protest, negotiation, and resignation.
Brian Leech is Associate Professor of History at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where he also serves as Coordinator of its First-Year Inquiry Program. He is currently Secretary of the U.S. Mining History Association. His award-winning research has been published in places like Montana: The Magazine of Western History and The Mining History Journal.
The presentation will begin at noon and run about an hour at the Archives, 17 W. Quartz. Guests are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. Coffee and water will be provided.
Brown Bag Lunches are held the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. Upcoming lectures will focus on topics of local interest. For more information, contact the Archives at 782-3280.