Robert Levinson was a noted scholar of the Jews of the American West. He is best known for his book The Jews in the California Gold Rush. Julius Basinski was a Jewish merchant in Montana and proprietor of Basinski Brothers. Born in Bromberg, Germany (now Poland), Basinski immigrated to the United States in 1866 and arrived in Helena, Montana in 1870.
The collection consists of Robert Levinson's research materials on the life of Montana Jewish merchant Julius Basinski. Materials include correspondence, notes, interview materials, and an article Levinson wrote on Basinski entitled "Julius Basinski: Pioneer Montana Merchant" (published in volume XIV of the Yivo Annual of Jewish Social Science in 1969).