Lucile Speer Interview, February 17, 1981


Lucile Speer


Diann Wiesner



Download Audio Interview (88.7 MB)

Download Transcript of Lucile Speer Interview, February 17, 1981 (777 KB)


Lucille Speer details the relationship between the University of Montana Teachers Union (then Montana State University Teachers Union) and the American Association of Professors (AAUP). She discusses Phillip O. Keeney’s firing, the grievance committee’s involvement in that situation, and how membership in the Teachers Union dropped due to faculty fearful of losing their jobs. Speer details how Missoula downtown interests, headed by C.H. McLeod and the Missoula Mercantile, influenced the firing of professors and the appointment of UM presidents during that time, particularly President George Finlay Simmons. Speer recalls the history of the University of Montana Library (then Montana State University Library). She describes being hired by Gertrude Buckhous in 1922 and reminisces about her introduction to the library profession, having first taught freshman English in Kalispell, Montana, before accepting an apprenticeship at the UM Library from Winifred Feighner. Speer discusses her wages, schooling, and how the profession was referred to as “Library Economy.” She mentions Phillip O. Keeney’s hiring as the head librarian, the improvements he made to the library, and how he dealt with a budget crisis.

Document Type

Oral History


University of Montana Teachers Union; American Association of Professors (AAUP); George Helikar; Phillip O. Keeney; Charles H. McLeod; Missoula Mercantile; Montana Farmer-Labor Institute; Gertrude Buckhous; Mary Craig; Winifred Feighner; Library science; Library economy; University of Montana librarians; University of Montana Library budget; Sidney Cox; The Frontier

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Lucile Speer Interviews Oral History Project, OH 046, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 046-005, 006

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassettes (02:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (17 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:16:20 minutes

Local Filename

OH_046_005_006.mp3; OH_046_005_006.pdf

Lucile Speer Interview, February 17, 1981