Long evenings leave time to learn- Some on-site and armchair options

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall —  
F. Scott Fitzgerald 

As the nation commemorates October as National Archives Month the many faces of archival work come into focus, including on the federal government scene.  In the headlines this month is the issue of preservation of White House archives. The White House, including the temporary resident, is required by law to preserve all presidential documents, including emails and other electronic records.  Because this is not happening it has been necessary for National Archives officials to express serious concerns.  A recent [10/17] POLITICO report by Josh Dawsey and Bryan Bender describes the archival challenge in detail. (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/17/national-archives-trump-documents-preserve-243888)

October 19 – 5:00-7:30 pm In Their Own Words: The Tretter Collection Transgender Oral History Project. Elmer L. Andersen Library, U of M.    Vignettes from the “In Their Own Words” project, artifacts, books and documents from the Tretter Collection.  Reservations https://www.continuum.umn.edu/reg/reservation-transgender-oral-history-project-exhibit-reception/

October 28 -UPDATE:  The Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum reports a special program appropriate to the bicentennial celebration of Henry David Thoreau.   Photographer and author Dale Schwie will be speaking at the organization’s monthly meeting. Dale will discuss his recent book, Taking Sides with the Sun, a biography of Herbert W. Gleason whose work includes a major collection of “Thoreau Country” photographs, now housed in the Special Collections of the Concord MA Free Public Library.  (https://www.thoreausociety.org/thoreau-country)   MISF and guests will meet at the North Regional Library, Lowry and Fremont Avenues North.  The library opens at 9:00; meeting at 10:00.  Ample parking.  Free and open.

The U of M Archivists continue to take a lead in the digital age.  New online from the Kerlan Collection is an amazing online exhibit, Children’s Book Art: Techniques and Media. (Z.umn.edu/techniques)   The digitized exhibit explores the ways in which artists explore today’s media to express ideas and delight young readers.  As with most children’s literature there’s no limit on age or enjoyment of the visual treats.

Bookish.com is launching BookishFirst, an early preview and review platform featuring new books and authors, pre-pub excerpts, blurbs, reviews and more.   (https://www.bookish.com)

Everybody needs a break! — There’s a new Nancy Drew TV series in the works!  http://deadline.com/2017/10/nancy-drew-tv-series-nbc-tony-phelan-joan-rater-dan-jinks-1202189328/

If Halloween freaks you out, the good people at Poets.org (https://www.poets.org) offer a National Archives Month celebration of poetry appropriate to the season.  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/halloween-poems   Do not miss John Berryman’s Halloween, read by the poet – archived by the archivists we honor this month. (https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/stanza/archive-john-berrymans-halloween-reading)

Thoughts of the Children’s Book Art exhibit, combined with the spookiness of Halloween,  focus the mind on reading and children, especially children and young people for whom books and reading offer both a challenge and a treasured opportunity.  Reading and books will help these young readers to  live the life envisioned by Charlemagne who told us that “to have another language is to possess a second soul.”

October is Bilingual Child Month

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P.S. from the Roseville Library (Ramsey County)

Fake News: a History
October 25 – Roseville: 12:30 p.m. Roseville Library – What explains the recent rise of fake news and wily accusations of “fake news”? Join University of Minnesota scholar Harshit Rathi for a different look at the news media and how we got here. Cost: Free. For more information contact them at 651-724-6022.

American Politics in the Age of Trump: A First Look at History
October 31November 7 and 14
 – Roseville: 12:30 p.m. Roseville Library – Whatever your political point-of-view, it’s time to take a first look at what will certainly be one of the major historical events of the 21st century. This series features speakers from a variety of political positions, in which will consider the first draft of a history of the Trump Presidency. For more information contact them at 651-724-6022.






Fall features archives, good reads, true facts, things to do places to go ‘before the snow flies’

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.― Henry David Thoreau

One great way to experience National Archives Month is to browse – and take time to view –  some of the YouTube videos produced by the National Archives.  Though the videos offer only a glimpse of the resources of the Archives, they are a vivid and informative presentation of events, moments and people who played a role in the nation’s history. https://www.youtube.com/user/usnationalarchives/videos.

You’ll want to learn more – and NARA has a tool for that.  DocsTeach.org (https://www.docsteach.org/digital-vaults is a guide to some 1200 documents, photographs, drawings, maps, and other materials from the Archives Digital Vaults.  To get you started the archivists have created links to some of the most popular topics, e.g. Citizenship, Presidents, First Ladies, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Immigration, Slavery and more…..

And here is a challenging reading appropriate to the National Archives Month: https://www.cilip.org.uk/news/can-we-rely-archives-tell-truth

October 17 – 7:00 PM Capri Glee. J.D. Steele directs the Adult Community Choir in Concert.  Guests include the MacPhail Community Youth Choir and Mill City District Singers.  Free and open. http://thecapritheater.org/capri-glee-choirs/

October 17 – This year’s Book Week event at the University of Minnesota features Thanhha Lal, author of Inside Out & Back Again.  McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street SE.  Free and Open. http://www.cehd.umn.edu/book-week/

October 17 – For the past three years library, museum and information gurus have been delving deep into the state of the art and future of the National Digital Platform.  And now they’re eager to share.  Representatives will be meeting all day on topics ranging from “Building Equitable Digital Communities” to “Expanding Digital Cultural Heritage Capacities” to a panel discussion of “Going Forward”  https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/ndpthree-agenda.pdf.   These sessions will be live streamed.  The day ends with an open conversation accessible at #nNDPthree (external link)

October 19  5:00 – In Their Own Words:  The Tretter Collection Transgender Oral History Project.  Elmer L. Andersen Library –  https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/words-tretter-collection-transgender-oral-history-project/

October 21, 8:00 AM – Sunday, October 22 12:00 PM.  League of Minnesota Poets Fall Conference.  Hopkins Center for the Arts. https://www.facebook.com/leagueofmnpoets/

October 25 – First of two History Live! interactive video events featuring the persona of Maud Hart Lovelace in conversation with Betsy-Tacy fans.   The series is designed for students in Grades 3-6.  On October 30 fans and teachers can learn more about the Betsy Tacy series, about Lovelace and the History Live! Series here: http://education.mnhs.org/history-live

Note:  The Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award will also be announced at this session- more about the Award here: http://www.myrahome.org

October 26 – Spout Press (http://www.spoutpress.org)   and the East Side Freedom Library )https://www.facebook.com/EastSideFreedomLibrary) present Juliet Patterson, Rachel Jendrzeejewski, Brianna Johnson and the poems of J.Otis Powell read by Keno Evol (Louis Alemayehu.  7:00 pm. Free and open. (https://www.facebook.com/events/338066289976724/?acontext=%7B%22source%22%3A5%2C%22page_id_source%22%3A628054170622706%2C%22action_history%22%3A[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22page%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22main_list%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22page_id%5C%22%3A628054170622706%2C%5C%22tour_id%5C%22%3Anull%7D%22%7D]%2C%22has_source%22%3Atrue%7D)

October 28 – Don’t miss the Family History Fair at the Minneapolis Central Library.  Sponsored by Friends of the Minneapolis Central Library in collaboration with the Minnesota Genealogical Society. http://www.hclib.org/about/news/2017/september/family-history. Register at www.hclib.org or call 612 2543 8000

October 30 – One of the nation’s leaders in creative place-making is Forecast Public Art (http://forecastpublicart.org/art/placemaking/)  – more about the library/archives of Forecast in a forthcoming post. Meanwhile, Forecast is hosting a grand Pubic Art/Pub Party at Surlys.  Details here:  (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-pub-party-tickets-37856659287­ –  Since public artists think and converse a good bit about “place-making” you might want to brush up on the terminology here https://www.arts.gov/artistic-fields/creative-placemaking.  Follow up with a close-up and personal public art tour –by bike, car or on foot.  The Minneapolis Public Art Administration http://www.minneapoli/dca/ sponsors self-guided public art tours of six communities scattered throughout Minneapolis. http://www.minneapolismn.gov/dca/dca_map

November 3 – First FridaysLisa Von Drasek, Curator, Children Literature Research Collections.  Lois Hendrickson, Curator, Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine.  First Fridays is a free and open series of “intellectually stimulating talks” at the Elmer L Andersen Library.   Light refreshments at 11:45; presentation at noon.

November 15-December 9 – Kevin Kling (http://www.kevinkling.com) heads the cast of Feast of Fools, a timely offering from Interact https://www.thelabtheater.org/interact. 

Welcome sign of the times:  Generous funding from Knight Foundation and Democracy Fund will expand the capacity of MuckRock to access public records.  The $440,000 grant will expand the subscriber base, sponsor new training opportunities and fashion a plan to support FOIA requests. http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/10/with-440000-in-funding-muckrock-is-expanding-its-mission-to-improve-access-to-public-records/

Journalist’s Resource is an excellent tool for lovers of true facts.  The project is sponsored by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.    Though the name suggests the site is targeted to journalists, it is accessible and of great help to many.  A recent article entitled “Fake news and the spread of misinformation” is a good example: https://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/internet/fake-news-conspiracy-theories-journalism-research

From the Frankfurt Book Fair – Markus Dohle, Penguin Random House CEO, spoke on the “Renaissance” of Print Books:”   https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/international/Frankfurt-Book-Fair/article/75024-frankfurt-2017-dohle-highlights-stability-of-the-book-business.html

From the Columbia Journalism Review, “Making Media Literacy Great Again, by Michael Rosenwald: https://www.cjr.org/special_report/media-literacy-trump-fake-news.php

November is National Novel Writing Month

October 10, 11:00 AM. Great Decisions: Nuclear Security.  RKMC Meeting Room, Central Library. Minneapolis Central Library https://hclib.bibliocommons.com/events/598ceb5e28df814000cc2c1f

October 12, 7:00 PM, Dale Schwie will be reading from his book, Taking Sides with the Sun:  Landscape Photographer Herbert W. Gleason: A Biography. Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave, Mpls. Free and open.

October 18, 5:30-8:30 PM.  Author Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried)  and filmmaker Lynn Novick  (The Vietnam War) discuss  The Power of Storytelling.  Macalester College, Kagin Commons.  $10-$20. Reservations required. Limited seating.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tim-obrien-lynn-novick-on-the-power-of-storytelling-tickets-37709865222

October 15-22 – Food Week of Action.  The week is sponsored b host of global organizations.  Each day is specifically designated for a cause, e.g. October 15 is International Day for Rural Women,( http://www.un.org/en/events/ruralwomenday October 19 is a national calla to action on minimum wages identified as Union Day of Action (http://unitehere.org/oct19/)  Check here for more about the initiative and the sponsors and the themes, operating principles and daily themes: (https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/compassion-peace-justice/hunger/food-week-action-and-world-food-day/)

October 21, 7:00 PM – Beyond Bars: Voices of Incarceration.  Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.  Hamline University, Klas Center, 1537 Taylor Avenue, St. Paul.  Readings followed by brief Q&A.  Free and open.  Info@mnprisonwriting.orgOctober 24

October 24 11:00 AM –  Great Decisions: Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Minneapolis Central Library, RKM Meeting Room

October 25 – In conjunction with October’s designation of National Archives Month the National Archives is hosting a Virtual Genealogy Fair. It’s a virtual Fair via webcast.  Participants will be able to interact with presenters and other family historians during the live event on YouTube.  All of the session videos and handouts will be available free of charge.  For more information about YouTube access, and details about the program and handouts, click here: https://www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair

October 26 through May 2018.    Friends of the Hennepin County Library  Pen Pals series. – Several speakers are already sold out – check the website for speakers and present status.  https://www.supporthclib.org/calendar-events

October 28, 9:00 AM-3:00 PM Family History Fair, Free and open – registration required  Click here for the packed agenda of speakers and exhibits: http://www.hclib.org/about/news/2017/september/family-history


Behind our Eyes, an organization of writers with disabilities, is a unique initiative with a story to share.  The organization has published a second anthology of essays, poetry and fiction written by authors whose disabilities have not curbed their creative energies.  To read the history, written by DeAnna Quietwater Noriega, click here: http://www.behindoureyes.org/wp/a-brief-history-of-behind-our-eyes

Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s 18-hour film, The Vietnam War, sparked national and local discussions that have been suppressed for decades.  The Story Wall, is part of Minnesota Remembers Vietnam (www.mnvietnam.org),  reminds Minnesotans to recall and share stories, express their reasons for dissent, honor bravery and foster understanding around the lasting impact of war.   The project is sponsored by Twin Cities PBS in collaboration with MNPUS Plus http://www.pbs.org/video/Minnesota-Remembers-Vietnam-The-Story-Wall-30260/

First Draft is a nonprofit coalition committed to raise awareness and address challenges relating to “improving skills and standards in the reporting and sharing of information that emerges online.”  The coalition provides practical and ethical guidance on how to find, verify and publish content sources from the social web. https://firstdraftnews.com/about/

@ @ @

American Archives Month, celebrated every year in October, is designated as an opportunity to explain and highlight the role of archives and the work of archivists.  Learn more – and contribute ideas – here: https://www2.archivists.org/initiatives/american-archives-month-the-power-of-collaboration. See October25th virtual event.

October is also Disability in Employment Awareness Month https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/index-2017.htm  The annual commemoration is sponsored by the Office of Disability Employment Policy in the U.S. Department of Labor.  Attached is a link to the blog post from October 2016; update to follow. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/disability-employment-awareness-month-tips-and-tools/

 If we are to achieve a richer culture, we must weave one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.” Margaret Mead

Newspapers + Archives = Access

National Newspaper Week cannot be crammed into just seven days.  The deeper you delve, the more resources come to the surface. National Newspaper Week is also co-terminus and a propitious link with American Archives Month commemorated in October.

During this week we celebrate the symbiotic relationship. Newspapers and archives are links in an information chain on which our search for truth depends.  Newspapers determine and share the stories; archivists assure that the words, the statistics, the opinions are accessible over time.

Though newspapers and archives create and preserve the record it is the skill and commitment of those who do the work of each institution that we honor.  Now, more than ever, our focus is on the information chain as an interconnected whole – even more, we focus on the evolving and expanding role of journalists and archivists who work in tandem to facilitate the free flow of information and ideas that fuel this democracy.

To underscore the collaborative role of these institutions, on Day #7 of National Newspaper Week and as we look ahead to National Archives Month the focus is on newspaper archives.

Clearly, the digital age has transformed the process of archiving of newspapers.  As a result, strategies are in flux; at times there is duplication; at other times there are gaps. The challenge for professionals and the public is to remain positive and persistent.  Above all, information seekers need to know that the intellectual process of preserving the record and making it accessible is a human endeavor. Archivists, librarians, scholars, and others are on hand or online to guide the individual search.

Some starting point for searching newspapers – Please note that these are starting points only – guides to other resources


MN Historical Society Newspaper Hub – the starting point which will identify and link to relevant files: http://www.mnhs.org/newspapers/hub



Minnesota Newspaper Directory:  http://mnnews.com/index.php/mn-newspaper-websites/

Minnesota Newspaper Association. (mna.org)  Membership organization that maintains listing for member organizations http://mna.org/newspaper-directory/

Listing of local newspapers (incomplete) https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&tbm=lcl&q=newspapers+minnesota+local&oq=newspapers+minnesota+local&gs_l=psy-ab.12…….0…1..64.psy-ab..0.0.0….0.ujHrTkXHq8c#rlfi=hd:;si:;mv:!1m3!1d1055050.836006896!2d-94.0380186!3d44.591910049999996!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i635!2i557!4f13.1;tbs:lrf:!2m1!1e2!2m1!1e3!3sIAE,lf:1,lf_ui:1


National Digital Newspaper Program
A partnership between the Library & the National Endowment for the Humanities


University of Minnesota Libraries – Archives http://archives.lib.umn.edu/search utf8=&op%5B%5D=&q%5B%5D=minnesota+newspapers&limit=&field%5B%5D=&from_year%5B%5D=&to_year%5B%5D=&commit=Search


http://www.onlinenewspapers.com – international

https://www.thenews.com.pk  –   International

https://elephind.com –   historic digitized newspaper archives













Twin Cities Book Festival – Where the “right words” rule

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. ~~ Mark Twain

The Great Minnesota Get-Together 2017 is history, and yet the Fairgrounds will come alive October 13-14 as bibliophiles gather from far and wide to celebrate “the right word.”  It’s the annual Twin Cities Book Festival.   (http://www.raintaxi.com/twin-cities-book-festival/

Sponsored by Rain Taxi, the free and open tribute to the book is the call for “word people” to meet and learn from bibliophiles who write, publish, read, edit, sell, and otherwise shape and share the “right words.”  It’s a time to refresh the mind and soothe the soul of the faithful who cling to the idea that the right words not only read well but speak truth.

The agenda for TC’s Book Festival is robust, overflowing with exhibits, speakers, opportunities to meet and greet – the Festival calls for serious preparation!  If, perchance, you can’t attend, the website itself offers a great read and reminder of the many faces of the state’s book world!  The online guide to the Festival includes authors of every genre, publishers, booksellers (new and used) along with myriad options, including but not limited to food vendors — Be sure to save time to experience the Poetry Bus! (http://www.raintaxi.com/twin-cities-book-festival-poetry-bus/)






Community newspapers serve and create relationships

National Newspaper Week (October 1-7. 2017) is far too little time to learn and think about the robust range of newspapers on which we daily depend but occasionally take for granted.  To characterize the genre characterized as “community newspapers” is an overwhelming task.  In general community newspapers are either targeted to a specific geographic area or to a community of interest.

A good way to get a sense of the character and scope of Minnesota’s community newspapers is to dip into the Minnesota Newspaper Association listing for  “special interest newspapers: http://mnnews.com/index.php/special-interest-newspapers/   If you don’t find what you’re looking for, try this listing: http://www.usnpl.com/mnnews.php   You will no doubt  be surprised at the diversity of newspapers and of the communities they inform, entertain and to whom they give voice.

Community newspapers meet the interests of more than 150,000 of us who read one or more community newspapers on a regular basis.  We read to get a feel for the opinions of our neighbors or members of a shared interest group, to follow our elected officials, to understand a shared history, to shop for bargains, to find out what’s playing at the local theater, musical venue or athletic facility or just to follow the garage sales.

Community newspapers have played a major role in the nation’s editorial history.  It all began on September 25, 1690, when Benjamin Harris published Publick Occurrences: Both Foreign and Domestic.  And therein lies a short history with heavy free press implications: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Harrison

The history of what we now characterize as “community newspapers” reflects the nation’s growth and diversity – social, religious, geographic, and political.   Though today’s community newspapers may be digital rather than paper, the content remains targeted to a special readership. And many community newspapers can still be found at the newsstand, primed to be read on the bus or by the millions of Americans who prefer print or lack access to broadband….

Bottom line, as long as our right to a free press, our commitment to independent thinking, our inclination to connect with like-minded folk, and our freedom vote remain unfettered we celebrate the powerful role that community newspapers play in our communities and in our democracy.

 The bigger the information media, the less courage and freedom they allow. Bigness means weakness – Eric Sevareid, The Press and the People






Minnesotans honor Indigenous People’s Day

Although we are in different boats you in your boat and we in our canoe we share the same river of life. Oren Lyons

The second Monday in October presents a dilemma for some Americans.  In some states and cities  — and with advertises – the day continues to be commemorated as Columbus Day, a federal holiday.  For Minnesotans,  Monday, October 9, 2017, is officially commemorated as  Indigenous People’s Day.   The historic designation resulted from protracted deliberations about the inconsistency of celebrations of Columbus Day.  St Paul and Minneapolis were early adopters of the change; eventually the State of Minnesota declared that the second Monday in October officially honors the heritage of the indigenous people whose lives and wisdom are imbedded in the culture of the state.

To learn more about the evolving day of recognition, Wikipedia offers further clarification: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_Peoples%27_Day.  MPR offers a recap of the decision here: . http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/04/27/307445328/minneapolis-renames-columbus-day-as-indigenous-peoples-day

Since the first celebration of Indigenous People’s Day communities throughout the state have sponsored a variety of commemorative events that have helped Minnesotans to learn about our heritage and to appreciate the refocus of the feast.   Some sample local initiatives:

For those of us who continue to struggle with our knowledge of the state’s history, the State of Minnesota Indian Affairs Council helps to fill the gap with this informative and readily accessible background piece: “Overview of Indian Tribes in Minnesota.” https://mn.gov/indianaffairs/tribes.html

In recent months, the Minnesota History Center has hosted a major program and exhibit that shares the talents and artistic work of American Indian artists who have been in residence at MHC for several months.  The exhibit is currently open at the History Center. http://www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/exhibits/renewing-what-they-gave-us

Also from the vast resources of the Minnesota History Center staff members have suggested a few books of particular relevance to Minnesotans’ commemoration of Indigenous People’s Day:

Towns, cities and community throughout the state will join in a host of programs and activities on Indigenous People’s Day 2017.  Some examples of the many planned activities:

You cannot destroy one who has dreamed a dream like mine. (Gaa wiin daa-aangoshkigaazo)   


ADDENDUM:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/10/06/christopher-columbus-no-monuments-murderers

August 9 – The United National also sponsors the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People – Learn more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_of_the_World%27s_Indigenous_Peoples

November 4 – Native American Family Day at the Minnesota History Center – Noon-4:00.  Free admission, featured speakers and artists from local Native American community.  “Renewing What They Gave Us” exhibit of original beadwork, birth bark and textile pieces by American artists from the Upper Midwest.