Monthly Archives: October 2011

Friends of NE Library Slate Book Sale December 2-3

Friends of the Northeast Library has announced plans for their next book sale to be held December 2-3 at the Northeast Library, 2200 Central Avenue NE.  Hours TBA.

The Friends will be collecting books for the sale beginning Friday, November 25.  Other collections dates are Saturday, November 26, Tuesday, November 29, Wednesday, November 30 and Thursday, December 1.  Drop off gently used books at the Library meeting room – Please no Reader’s Digest condensed books of textbooks.

In the week preceding the book sale Friends of Northeast Library volunteers will sort the books and organize for the sale December 2-3.

No plans for a blizzard this year – but then again we didn’t plan on a blizzard during the book sale last year either.  And still, thanks to the resilience of shoppers and Friends, we made a handsome profit to enhance the “new” library.

Questions – contact the Friends at northeast@supporthclib.org

Celebrate American Archives Month!

The very term “archives” conjures images of dust and decay accompanied by acrid aromas and tended by bespectacled history geeks.  All wrong.  And anyone who has ever explored family or house history, faced a legal dilemma, or wondered about local lore has had a brush with paper, digital or other archives.

 

October is American Archives Month, a season to be celebrated by the most tempero-centric – a time to think for a minute that those preserved photos, clippings, stories, public records and more didn’t just happen but have been collected, organized, preserved and made accessible through the deliberate and committed work of individuals and the commitment of institutions. 

 

At the time of the Minnesota Sesquicentennial I skimmed the state’s archival surface to compile a random list of irresistible lures to the world of archives.  Over the years I’ve tweaked it a bit – and was amazed to find it posted (sans attribution) on the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information website.  I have not checked to see if the original was edited by that group.

 

For some time I have wanted to share this listing and concluded that American Archives Month 2011 might be a propitious opportunity to resurface the whimsical list, slightly pruned and otherwise modified – not significantly updated because the month is just too short for a serious revision.

 

Many of the materials and descriptions here are accessible online; the print listings suggest a link to digital options. Because the digital resources offer an absolute minimum of the preserved record, we need and always will need multiple access options. Though digitization is growing at an exponential rate, its main contribution is to lure the armchair searcher into a passion to know more and to make the minimal effort to learn more.

 

This random list is absolutely arbitrary and whim-biased  with links to minute bits of Minnesota history.  Each of these guides, descriptions, stories was prepared by a Minnesotan, an organization or a state agency that cared enough about the state’s stories to collect, preserve, organize or otherwise help create the legacy.  Not everything is digitized or on the web – websites are just the most accessible right now.  These sites exemplify the ways in which Minnesotans have used the public records to plumb the depths of their particular interest or passion or legal encounter. 

 

Tending to the record of Minnesota is a collective responsibility and a public trust.  It takes personal conviction, time, talent and public support.  Without these and hundreds of thousands of other records, carefully organized and preserved, the Sesquicentennial would signify the passage of time rather than the values, the experience, the public record, and the recognition that access to information is at the very core of the democracy we share.  The challenge of today is to embrace that principle so that 21st technology enhances access to the building blocks and expands the embrace of this diverse, informed and sharing culture.

 

The disorganization is absolutely arbitrary – draw no conclusions. The omissions are legion.  Though a comprehensive and authoritative list would be a wonderful tool, the universe of possibilities is well nigh infinite and digitization is having a daily and profound impact on the possibilities. 

 

Pick a topic, probe a bit, and pause to think a bit about why and how we  preserve the data and the stories of our state.  Some places to start, bearing in mind that each of these tools reflects the commitment and labor, past and continuing, of an archivist and, in many cases, an institution:

 

Minnesota Archives, Minnesota Historical Society – MHS, along with several state agencies, is taking a lead at the national level in preserving the state’s own information digital resources.  It’s a monumental undertaking that does Minnesotans proud!  The depth of resources and the collaborative efforts of state agencies deserve an American Archives Month commendation. 

 

Minnesota Reflections, an overwhelming and growing collection of documents, photographs, maps, letters and more that tell the state’s story – a great starting point for any age.

 

James K. Hosmer Special Collections, Hennepin County Library – actually a collection of collections on topics ranging from Minneapolis history to club files to World War II and Abolition.  Much is digitized but, as always, that is but the tip of the iceberg – a tip worth checking out however.

 

Minnesota Place Names; a geographical encyclopedia, by Warren Upham.  A classic, originally published in 1920 and now available on line through the Minnesota Historical Society.   Overflowing with wonderful stories. 

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West Bank Boogie.  If you were around in the 60’s and 70’s you’ll be reminded – if not, see what you missed!  Cyn Collins is the collector and storyteller.

 

Holland, Maurice, Architects of Aviation, 1951.  William Bushnell Stout 1880-1956.  One man’s determination to record the stories of our aviation history.

 

A knack for knowing things: Stories from St. Paul neighborhoods and beyond, by Don Boxmeyer.  BiblioVault.

 

The Cuyuna iron range – Geology and Minerology, by Peter McSwiggen and Jane Cleland.

 

Ron Edwards, The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes: A Renaissance Black Man in a White Man’s World. Continued by a bi-weekly column from The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder  and a TV show on Channel 17.

 

Center for International Education (The CIE) – a self-proclaimed “media arts micro-organization” the goal of which is to “make poetic media with people of all ages from all over the world.”  Videos including interviews with Robert Bly, Tom McGrath, Jim Northrup, Frederick Manfred and documentaries on Eugene McCarthy, Paul Wellstone, Robert Bly, and much more. The world of Media Mike Hazard.

 

Alexander G. Huggins Diary and Huggins Family Photographs, Collections Up Close.  This is just one of numerous podcasts and blogs describing in depth the individual collections of the Minnesota Historical Society.  Re-live the day-to-day travels of this mission family in Minnesota 1830-1860.  Just a sample of the podcast/blogs from MHS.

 

Minnesota Tobacco Document Depository – built as part of the settlement with Philip Morris, Inc. et al.  26 million pages of documents.

 

Frances Densmore  Prolific writer and chronicler of the cultures of the Dakota and Ojibwe and other Native American Tribes.  Densmore also recorded over 2,000 wax cylinders of Native music.

 

The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies, University of Minnesota Libraries.

Ramseyer-Northern Bible Society Collection.  The largest non-seminary Bible collection in the Upper Midwest.  Donald J. Pearce, Curator.

Rhoda Gilman, historian extraordinaire,  The Story of Minnesota’s Past, just one of several books by Gilman.   “The Dakota War and the State Sesquicentennial” is a more current blog representing her ongoing contributions to preserve and elucidate Minnesota’s story.  Google Rhoda Gilman for more glimpses of her writings over the past several decades.

 

Evans, Rachel.  Tribal College Librarians Build Map Database, Library of Congress Info Bulletin, Oct. 2002

The Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature, University of Minnesota Libraries.

Perfect Porridge.  A good compilation of the TC’s Electropunk scene and lots of information about what’s happening on the broadly-defined media scene.

 

Saint Paul Police Historical Society, Saint Paul Police Oral History Project.  One man’s (Timothy Robert Bradley’s)  passion shared with the public.

 

William Watts Folwell,  Though  Folwell was best known as the first President of the University of Minnesota from 1868-1884 he moved on from that post to serve as professor of political science and continued as University Library until 1907.  The Folwell family papers, 1898-1944, can be found in the U of M Archives.

 

This Sister Rocks!  Thirty years ago Joan Kain, CSJ wrote a small book Rocky Roots: Three Geology Walking Tours of Downtown St. Paul.  The book, which  resurfaced during the 2006 International Rock Symposium, is now being edited for reissue by the Ramsey County Historical Society.

 

Lowertown, a project of the St. Paul Neighborhood Network, interviews artists who live, work and exhibit in Lowertown St. Paul.  The website also provides links to the websites of the individual arts.  A rich celebration and close-up view of this area’s art community.

 

Park Genealogical Books are this community’s specialists in genealogy and local history for Minnesota and the surrounding area.  Their list of publication includes how-to’s on genealogy, research hints and unique assists for anyone working on Minnesota genealogy, records and archives.  The life’s work of Mary Bakeman.

 

Fort Snelling Upper Post is a labor of love on the part of Todd Hintz.  Todd offers an historical timeline, a description of the current situation, wonderful photos by Mark Gustafson and an intro to related resources.  Great for anyone who cares of preservation of Fort Snelling.

 

Minnesota Historical Society, Oral History Collection.  Pioneers of the Medical Device Industry in Minnesota.  A sample of the rich oral history collection of the MHS.

 

Scott County Historical Society, Stans Museum.  Minnesota Greatest Generation Scott County Oral History Project.

 

Haunted Places in Minnesota.  Scores of deliciously spooky sites you’ve probably visited – but never will again – without trepidation.

 

Minnesota Museum of the Mississippi. Postcards and lots of memorabilia that tell the story of the river.

 

Special Libraries Association.  MN SLA: Early Chapter History (1943-1957)

 

Land Management Information Center – zillions of maps and mountains of data, plus people to help.

 

Minnesota Legislature, Geographic Information Services – maps of legislative and congressional districts, election results, school districts and much more.

 

Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Library.  Maps and Atlases – great guide to government produced maps and atlases

 

Minnesota Public Records Directory.  A commercial listing of Minnesota’s public records sources.

 

Minnesota Senate Media Coverage – live and archive coverage of Senate floor sessions, committee hearings, press conferences and special events.

 

Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes – statutes, indexes, rules, drafting manuals and more.

 

Minnesota State Law Library, Minnesota Legal Periodical Index.  A practical guide prepared by the state’s law librarians.

 

Minnesota Historical Society Press, Minnesota History.  Quarterly publication featuring original researched articles, illustrations, photographs and other treasures from the MHS.

 

The Civil War Archive – more than you ever needed to know about the Union Regiment in Minnesota.

George, Erin.  Delving deeper: Resources in U’s Borchert Map Library, Continuum 2007-08. description of the massive resources of the U of M’s Borchert Library.

Shapiro, Linda.  Art History Goes Digital..   Description of the digitizing initiatives of the University of Minnesota’s collections.

 

Drawing: Seven Curatorial Responses.  Katherine E. Nash Gallery.  Curators’ perspectives on the challenge of organizing and make accessible this one art format.

 

The Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums.  A forum for peer assistance among over fifty county, city and other local historical societies.

 

Minnesota Historical Society Collections Up Close.  Beautifully illustrated podcasts about what’s new at the MHS.  Regularly updated.

 

The Tell G. Dahllof Collection of Swedish Americans, University of Minnesota Libraries.  The collection encompasses American history seen from a Swedish perspective, the history of Swedish emigration to America, Swedish culture in America, and general descriptions by Swedish travelers to America.

 

University of Minnesota Media History Project, promoting media history “from petroglyphs to pixels.”

Ten Years of Sculpture and Monument Conservation on the Minnesota State Capitol Mall, compiled by Paul S. Storch, Daniels Objects Conservation Laboratory, Minnesota Historical Society.  Just one of dozens of similar conservation studies you’ll find at this site.

Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records.  Live access to federal land conveyance records for the public land states.  Image access to more than three million federal land title records for Eastern public land states issued between 1820 and 1908.  Much more!

Minnesota History Topics, a list of Minnesota-related topics to get you thinking about exploring Minnesota history.

 

Minnesota Government, an excellent guide to state government information sources compiled by the Saint Paul Public Library.

 

Minnesota History Quarterly.  Publication of the Minnesota Historical Society Press.  Available as subscription or with membership.  This one sample will give you the flavor, but there are lots more where this came from!

 

Revisor’s Office Duties – publications duties.  The Office of the Revisor of States covers many bases, particularly during the legislative session.  This list of publications offers a good overview of the Revisor’s domain.

 

New!!  Library Search, now in beta test phase.  A web interface for locating print (including articles), databases, indexes, electronic, and media items. Try it out and offer your unique feedback!

 

Geographic Information Services, State of Minnesota.  Includes scores of interactive maps of population, election results, school districts, legislative districts and more.

 

Children’s Literature Research Collections (Kerlan Collection), University of Minnesota Libraries, Special Collection.  A unique and inspiring collection of books, illustrations, manuscripts, notes and other records of children’s writers and illustrators.  The Kerlan also offers a robust series of presentations by children’s authors, writers and critics. 

 

Family History Centers in Minnesota.  One small component of the massive resources of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints.

 

Historic Museums in Minnesota.  Prepared by the Victorian Preservation of Santa Clara Valley.  An amazing resource with tons of information and in incredible wealth of links.  They offer this self-deprecating introduction:  “This is all pretty high tech for a bunch of people living in the past, but then you probably know our valley by its other name, Silicon Valley.”

 

Minnesota History Along the Highways, compiled by Sara P. Rubinstein.  Published by the Minnesota Historical Society.  Locations and texts of 254 historic markers, 60 geologic markers, and 29 historic monuments in all corners of the state.

 

Ramsey County Historical Society, the officially-recognized historical society of Ramsey County.  The Society’s two primary programs are the Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life and the quarterly magazine on Ramsey County history and St. Paul.

 

The Regional Alliance for Preservation, formerly the Upper Midwest Conservation Center at the Minneapolis Art Institute.

 

Minnesota HYPERLINK “http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/index.html” Lakefinder, sponsored by the DNR, provides in-depth information about 4500 lakes and rivers in the state – surveys, maps, water quality data and more, including a new mobile app for the water or ice-based fisher.

 

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral History, a database including 2,162 authors and approximately 100,000 pages of information re. immigration to America and Canada, 1800-1850.  Produced in collaboration with the University of Chicago by Alexander Street Press.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Finding Aids to Collections Organized by Topic in the Archive of Folk Culture, compiled by Ross. S. Gerson. Minnesota Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture.  Library of Congress.   Sound recording in various formats.  You won’t believe the recordings they have preserved. The American Folklife Center

 

Minnesota Spoken Word Association, formed to create an alliance among spoken word artists and a resource center. Emphasis on youth.

Seniors Catch the Surfing Wave

Recognizing that retirees and others “of an age” did not enjoy the advantage of on-the-job computer training a number of state and local agencies are working together and with public agencies including libraries to provide learning opportunities for seniors. Senior Surf Day at the St. Anthony Library is just one example of the opportunities available for seniors who want to know more about the web, search engines, senior-oriented Internet sites and more.

There’s a Senior Surf Day scheduled for 12:30-2:30 p.m. Thursday, October 27, at the St. Anthony Library, 2941 Pentagon Drive in the St. Anthony Village shopping center. This session is sponsored by the library in collaboration with Senior LinkAge Line, the Minnesota Board on Aging and MSMP. There will be another Senior Surf Dday at St. Anthony on November 17. Questions? Call 612 543 6075.

This session is one of scores of similar training sessions scheduled for seniors throughout the region and the state. For more information contact any one of the sponsoring organizations.

Dolly in Northeast — It’s So Nice to Have You Back Where You Belong!

Morris Park Players are celebrating their 100th production with one of America’s perennial favorites, Hello, Dolly! Beginning Friday, October 28, Dolly will strut her stuff on stage at the Edison High School Auditorium, 700 22nd Avenue Northeast. Performances continue through mid-November with 7:30 performances continuing on November 4,5,10,11 and 12 and 2:00 matinee performances on October 29 and November 6.

Though Morris Park Players have a long history in Minneapolis their move to Northeast is more recent. The troupe began as the Morris Park Father Singers in spring 1952. Over the years, the group transformed and expanded its repertoire, first changing in 1968 to the Morris Park Singers, and again in 1981 to its present name, Morris Park Players.

For many years Morris Park Players performed at Folwell Middle School in South Minneapolis. Over the past 55 years they have mounted some 100 productions, a fact they are celebrating with the ever ebullient Dolly!
The intent of the Morris Park Players is to provide quality musical theatre to the community as well as many opportunities for individuals to contribute and develop their talents. The move to Edison continues their partnership with the Minneapolis Public Schools and establishes their position “ in the midst of the vibrant arts community in ‘Nordeast’.
Tickets for Dolly are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors. Groups of ten or more should call 612 724 8373. Tickets may be purchased online at morrisparkplayers.org – or find the Players on Facebook or Twitter. There’s a special Alumni Night and celebration of the 100th production on Friday evening, November 11 – details online.

All Politics Are Local – In Windom Park at least

An historic 111 Windom Park residents braved the chill to show up on the monthly meeting of Windom Park Citizens in Action on Tuesday, October 18. Judging from the early exodus of several newbies one might conclude that the draw was a hotly-contested neighborhood vote on a proposed liquor store at Stinson Marketplace, in space recently vacated by Rosacker’s.. A proposal to oppose the liquor store initiative went down to defeat in what seemed to many a confusing vote.

When the dust settled the remaining residents grappled with a wide range of major issues affecting Northeast in general, Windom Park in particular. One that received short schrift at this meeting was the issue of revamping/closing the I35 exit ramp at Johnson/Stinson/New Brighton Boulevard. That discussion was deferred till public discussion sponsored by Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis and MnDot. That discussion is October 25, 5-7 p.m. at the Northeast Recreation Center, 1615 Pierce Street NE.

Much more time was spent in exploration of the proposals relating to riverfront development. That discussion, led by Representative Diane Loeffler, covered a wide range of options and issues including environmental, fiscal and development implications. Loefler pointed out the input periods on a wide range of proposals is brief and that the time to learn and to act is immediate. Action on multiple fronts has profound implications for development of the neighborhoods East of the river, including Windom Park. The issue deserves and demands far deeper research and opportunities for resident participation.

The annual meeting of Windom Park Citizens in Action is set for November 15, 7:00 p.m. at Pillsbury School, 2251 Hayes Street NE. One item on the agenda for that meeting is election of Board of Directors.

Additional information at info@windompark.org or http://www.windompark.org.

Author Event at St. Anthony Library

If the recent visit of the Norwegian Royals got you thinking about your Norwegian heritage or the impact of Norwegians on our history, you won’t want to miss the next Author Event at St. Anthony Library.

Speaker will be noted academic, editor and author Dr. Lloyd Svendsby who will be discussing his recently published book I Paid All My Debts: A Norwegian-American Immigrant Saga of Life on the Prairie of North Dakota. The book depicts the struggles of two families homesteading on the prairie during the early 1900’s, the Dust Bowl years and the Great Depression. The promotional material for the book gives a glimpse of the story Dr. Svendsby relates:

The prospect of 160 acres of free land enticed thousands of Norwegians to immigrate to America, with high hopes for a better, more prosperous life. Those who settled in North Dakota never expected they would need several times that amount of land, nor did they imagine the high costs involved in meeting the homestead requirements. This is a story of two families for whom the promise of America miscarried. As they reached a point of borrowing money to move their dream forward the depression hit, as did a drought on the prairie. But the family spirits never died, and the immigrants never wished to be elsewhere.

Dr. Svendsbye has served as editor-in-chief at the former Augsburg Publishing House; a member of the Church Council of the American Lutheran Church; as president of Luther Northwestern Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota; as academic dean of St. Olaf College, Northfield Minnesota; as president of Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is affiliated with a number of Norwegian-American organizations.

The Author Event is Monday, October 24, 2011, 6:30 p.m. at the St. Anthony Library, 2941 Pentagon Drive Northeast in the St. Anthony Village Shopping Center. 612 543 6075.

How to Become a Tommie – November 15 at Edison

Once again Thomas Edison High School is throwing open its doors to the community.  “How to Become a Tommie” is the theme of the open house, designed for prospective students.  The open house is set for November 15, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Edison, 700 22nd Avenue NE.

 

Potential students are invited to meet staff, students, families and community members, to learn about the curriculum, community partnerships and scholarships.  There will be musical performances by Edison students, arts theatre performance by the Morris Park Players and a chance to meet Superintendent of Schools Bernadeia Johnson.

Those who can’t make the November 15 open house may check out the school at the Northeast showcase, representing all eastside Minneapolis Public Schools, Pre K-8, on Saturday, November 12, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

For more information contact Pamela Vertina 612 668 1310.

Family History Fair at Minneapolis Central Library

Frequently I have extolled the virtues and tried to described the sheer delight of working in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library.  If you haven’t had the time or the inclination, think about participating in the Family History Fair next Saturday, October 22, 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  The free and open Fair is will be in Pohlad Hall, second floor of the Central Library at 300 Nicollet Mall.

 

Participants will have an opportunity browse special interest and ethnic tables, to connect with genealogy experts, learn how to embark on a family history project, and to participate in a broad range of information sessions including gathering family stories, finding ancestors in other countries and discovering family history in your attic or around the dinner table.  There will also be an opportunity tour the Genealogy Resources of Minneapolis Central Library.

 

Register for the free event online (www.hclib.org) or call 612 543 8000.

Windom Park Neighbors Deliberate Weighty Options

Today’s Star Tribune points to a city-wide issue with Windom Park implications.  The issue is  where to put the next liquor store.  That’s the top item on the agenda for the Windom Park Citizens in Action meeting on Tuesday, October 18, 7:00 p.m. at Pillsbury School, 2251 Hayes Northeast.

 

Bob Anderson and Partners is proposing a “wine, craft beer and quality spirits store” to locate in the former Rosacker’s store at Stinson Marketplace.

 

A vote is expected to be taken at the meeting regarding whether or not to support the project or whether to seek potential conditionals.  Neighborhood residents, property owners and business representatives are allowed to vote.

 

Another item of intense community interest at the WPCIA meeting is the proposal to permanently close the Northbound Interstate 35W Stinson/New Brighton/Highway 88 ramp and reroute traffic via the Johnson Street ramp.  The controversy has reminded long time local residents of an earlier community dispute re. the aborted I-335 freeway through Northeast.

Lighting the Parkway

Picture of two men working on installing wiring on the boulevard

Stinson Parkway Work Crew Installing Wiring for Streetlights

Walkers and gawkers want to know – What’s happening on Stinson?  The heavy equipment, the incessant noise, the flock of city employees digging up the boulevard – worth a check.  And so I did.

It’s a good story of progress and collaboration.  The workmen who are Minneapolis city employees are working to improve the street lighting system, not only on Stinson but throughout the 61 miles of parkway that shape the city.  They will string new safer wiring underground, then construct new foundations for each of the street lights.  Safety is the first concern since the wires they are replacing are 30-40 years old and showing the inevitable results of an aging infrastructure.

The Park Board didn’t have the heavy duty equipment, especially the borer, that the job required so, though the parkway system is under the control of Park and Recs, the City is doing the work.

The challenge is to get the job on Stinson done before the ground freezes.  We can only hope that the weather cooperates – we know the workers are going full speed, even if it doesn’t always appear that way.  When I talked with the workers this morning they were probing in a small hole they had dug in what seemed to be an arbitrary spot.  Turns out they were actually trying to locate the gas line into a house along the Parkway, a line they had to find before they could get into serious digging.  They were not, one workman assured me, merely “playing in the mud.”

Though progress may be noisy, messy, and confusing to the gawker, the interruption is a small price to pay for a safe lighted Parkway that serves neighbors and commuters especially through the dark days of winter.