Tag Archives: Hennepin County Library

Spring thoughts of gardens, libraries & fresh ideas

Libraries are an attempt to impose order in a world of clues…They are places of redemption.  Stuart Kells

To appreciate a small selection of  library wonders, check these magnificent libraries https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/books-about-libraries-history or enjoy a virtual tour of some of the most beautiful “houses of literature here: https://twitter.com/i/moments/988539861127876608

Places to go, Things to do – a sampling

May 5 — Minnesotans will be celebrating with friends of Mexican descent the grand festival that is Cinco de Mayo.   The celebration will mean more for those who take time to learn a bit about the history and stories that shape the celebration.  History can offers an accessible primer on the how the celebration (which is not Mexico’s national holiday) came to be: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo  To learn more about happenings in this area, check this great guide to Cinco de Mayo: https://mailchi.mp/19c63e94fbfc/join-us-this-saturday-for-cinco-de-mayo

May 5 – Researching the history of your Minneapolis Home, 10;30-11:30 – Webber Park Library, 4440 North Humboldt in North Minneapolis.   An introduction to house history presented by experts from Minneapolis Central Library archives.

May 5 – Author Talk with Erik Riveness:   Dirty Doc Ames and the Scandal that Shook Minneapolis, Minneapolis Central Library, 2:00-3:00 PM

The first weekend of May explodes with energy and ideas generated by Heart of the Beast – Highlight of the celebration is the MayDay Parade, now in its 44thyear. Planners expect more than 50,000 people to fill the streets as participants and spectators.  Full details on May Day related events here:  https://hobt.org/mayday/

You know it really IS spring when it’s time for Art-a-Whirl, the celebration of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area.  For the 23rdseason AAW will be happening on every street and in every studio, library, and eatery throughout Northeast… It’s one of those events that defies description – you want to  be there, and you’ll want to tour more than once.    It’s May 15-18, open to all.  Check out the schedule of exhibits, activities and open studios as well as the logistics here: https:/emaa.org/art-a-whirl/

Starting on May 9th net neutrality activists and some sites will post “red alerts” to protest the FCC’s effort to roll back net neutrality protections.  More here: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/30/red-alert-net-neutrality-campaigners-announce-new-effort-overturn-fccs-assault-open To keep up with what’s happening on the net neutrality front, check this updated blog entry:  https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/protecting-whats-ours-on-net-neutrality-day-of-action/

Again this year the American Craft Council Library is sponsoring the popular Library Salon series of presentations. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the conversation starting at 7:00.  For more information about the Library or the Library Salon Series contact the ACC at 612 206-3100 or library@craftcouncil.org  Forthcoming presentations include

* May 9 – “Reality is only a Rorschach inkblot, you know”, presented by Seattle artist Anna Miasowsky.  The artist will discuss how the many states of glass – its mutability, transformative character, and intangible materiality – have been her “alter ego.”  Mlasowsky will lead the group through her work and discuss what a material-based contemporary practice can express about our culture and perceptions.

* June 13 – Guest presenter is Dr. Heather Akou who will talk about “Creating African Fashion Histories.” Akou is associate professor of fashion design and merchandising in the School of Art, Architecture, and Design at Indiana University.  Also from the American Craft Council – Oral History Interviews with the Potters of the St. Croix River Valley – audio recordings, transcripts and photographs.  Details at www.bit.ly/accstcroix

Looking ahead – Thursday, May 24, marks the 30thAnnual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards.  The grand celebration features keynote speaker William Kent Krueger and emcee Barton Sutter.  There’s a book fair and reception (5:00) followed by the Awards Ceremony * speaker and reception. Events take place at the Northland County Cub in Duluth.  Free and open (umn.edu/nemba or 218 726 7889)

Pew Research Center’s program on Religions & Public Life has produced and is making available a video entitled Being Muslim in the U.S. It’s a look inside the belies and attitudes of Muslims in America, based in part on data from Pew Research Centers 2017 survey as well as the personal stories of Muslims in the US.  The accompanying survey report is entitled “U.S. Muslims concerned about their place in society, but continue to believe in the American Dream.”  http://www.pewforum.org/2018/04/17/video-being-muslim-in-the-u-s/

Rise Up: The Movement that changed America, is a one-hour documentary from executive producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter.  The documentary follows the inner workings of legislative decisions that resulted, including the Montgomery Campaign, the Civil Rights and the Voting Rights Act.

PBS will launch the Great American Read with a two-hour episode on Tuesday, May 22. The series, hosted by TV personality and journalist Meredith Viera, will introduce viewers to PBS’s list of the country’s 100 favorite novels. Learn much more about the ambitious project here: (http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/

Style note:  Atlas Obscura must have reveled in the opportunity to share the story of “girdle books.”  (now rendered obsolete by smart phones and podcasts)   Girdle books were small and light, wrapped in leather and carried like a purse. They are commonly depicted in paintings of Medieval bibliophiles.  Read more at https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-a-girdle-book)

Digital treasures:

The New York Academy of Medicine is celebrating the 20thanniversary of publication of J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by showcasing rare books and objects dating back to the 15thCentury.  The books and objects reveal the history behind many of the creatures, plants and other magical elements that appear in the Harry Potter Series.  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/these-real-magical-texts-are-straight-out-of-harry-potter_us_59504de2e4b02734df2b33e9

The Newberry Libraryhas digitized their collection of early 20th Century Lakota drawings.  It’s an open access collection that, according to creators, “tells a curious history”.  The collection includes drawings by Sioux Indians, all images from the Edward E. Ayer Digital Collections.  Learn much more here: https://hyperallergic.com/438554/collection-of-early-20th-century-lakota-drawings/

Kudos:

Daniel Gullo, Eileen Smith, and David Calabro from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library are recipients of the 2018 Minnesota Academic Innovators Award.  The trio have developed a method to establish new authorities for under-represented communities not commonly found in LC and VIAF authority files – e.g. authors and titles from early modern and medieval Eastern Christian and Islamic writers. The award is sponsored by several library associations’

The Library of Congress has announced that author E. Annie Proulx has been named recipient of the LC Prize for American Fiction.  Proulx is author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountainhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/annie-proulx-wins-library-of-congress-prize-for-american-fiction/2018/05/01/fb6b3da6-4ca1-11e8-84a0-458a1aa9ac0a_story.html?utm_term=.d73ed5758b7a

Concerned that your carefully crafted turns of phrase will die aborning? Consider the story of “late bloomer” Zora Neale Hurston.  A mere 87 years after Hurston penned her novel The Last Black Cargo, Hurston, , who died in 1960, would no doubt be pleased to know that her masterpiece has been published, now renamed Barracoon (in some editions, The Last Black Cargo).  See “A long-unpublished book by Zora Neale Hurston” by Casey N. Cap, New Yorker, May 14, 2018 and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/05/02/zora-neale-hurston-87-years-after-she-wrote-of-the-last-black-cargo-the-book-is-being-published/?utm_term=.ceb3f5178faat   

Forecast is turning 40!   In its four decades Forecast has emerged as pioneer in a growing movement of which Forecast is a powerful leader.  Public Art Review, published by Forecast, stands alone.  The 40thanniversary celebration will continue throughout the year, including a June TC’s Public Art Tour, Launch of Forecast’s Public Art Consulting Training Program and a 40thanniversary party and awards ceremony to be held next Fall.

The American Library Association has tapped Minnesota librarians Trent Brager (University of St. Thomas), Amy Mars (St. Catherine University), and Kim Pittman (University of Minnesota Duluth) for its 2018 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS) Innovation award. The trio developed 23 Framework Things, an “academic librarian-focused, self-paced program [that] encourages participants to read, reflect, and respond to prompts and big questions surrounding the implementation of the [Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education] at their institutions.”  According to ALA, the program currently has “more than 300 registered participants from 42 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, along with nine countries outside the United States.”

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

 

 

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

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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/

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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

Northern Lights & Insights: Conversations Come Alive as Videotaped Interviews Go Digital

Obsolescence never meant the end of anything, it’s just the beginning.

The words of Marshall McLuhan, guru of an earlier time, came to mind when I learned that Northern Lights and Insights, a library of videos produced in an earlier time, has been added to Minnesota Reflections, the Minnesota Digital Library collection. http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm/search/collection/p16022coll38

Conversations with Minnesota writers, political leaders, publishers, athletes, activists and more are now accessible to researchers, readers, students and Minnesotans who just want to know more about their heritage. There are interviews with Bill Holm, Carol Bly, with Evelyn Fairbanks, resident historian of the Rondo neighborhood, and with Genny Zak Kieley, chronicler of all things Northeast Minneapolis. Patrick Coleman chats with Governor Elmer L. Andersen while Freya and Frederick Manfred interview each other. Jon Hassler enjoys a lively exchange with J.F. Powers. Preserved in digital format are conversations with Will Weaver, Kay Sexton, Julie Schumacher, William Kent Krueger, Anne Bancroft and Eugene McCarthy – plus dozens of other Minnesotans of today and yesterday.

The saga of Northern Lights and Insights is long and occasionally bumpy, marked by changes in technology and provenance of the project. Begun by cable advocate and pioneer Dave Carlson, then on staff at Hennepin County Library, NL was originally taped in the well-equipped studios of the HCL; tapes were distributed and cablecast on local systems throughout the County and on the Metro Cable Network, the regional system carried on all metro area cable systems.

When HCL discontinued cable production, NL was adopted by Metronet/Minnesota Center for the Book where Dave Carlson joined the staff and continued to produce episodes into the early 21st Century.   Lacking production facilities, Dave and his equipment went on location, met interviewees in their homes or offices, or found a quiet after-hours interlude to record in the Metronet office. In the late 1990’s the Legislature funded a program to distribute videotapes of selected interviews through the state’s regional public library systems.

Enter the digital age… Video formats were rendered obsolete, production and playback equipment languished, and Northern Lights video interviews were yesterday’s news.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota History Center retained its archival collection of the irreplaceable tapes. Tapes were cataloged, annotated and made accessible to users who still had video equipment in working order… It is the tapes from the Minnesota History Center collection that have now been digitized and made accessible through the Minnesota Digital Library.  

And it is through the diligence and generosity of a committed chain of willing interviewees and interviewers, producers, sponsors, funders and archivists that the taped conversations have stood the test of time.

Thought for a perfect winter afternoon:  Reserve time to browse the collection from the comfort of a favorite armchair, read the annotations, remember the personalities of the interviewers and the interviewees and the accomplishments of both. Slow down to appreciate the legacy captured in the conversations.  Then select one or two of the interviews, sit back, click on the “view” icon, remember, reflect and make a plan to read or  re-read the work of a favorite writer.

 

 

Northeast Minneapolis Honors a Great Librarian

One of the things I learned in library school is that when people have an information need they’ll always ask people they know before they ask a librarian.  The trick is making sure that librarians are some of the people they know.  Jessamyn West

If any community ever got to know its librarian, it’s the Northeast Minneapolis neighborhood .   The community gave witness to that fact last week in a moving and heartfelt tribute to librarian Lois Profiri who is moving on from her position as senior librarian at the Northeast Library.  Hennepin County Library has reassigned her to a parallel position at a suburban outpost.    Everyone knows Lois – and Lois knows everyone, it seems.

The tribute to our community librarian was sponsored by the neighborhood association ,  testimony to  the role of this librarian in this community.  The scene was Sen Yai Sen Yak, a popular neighborhood eatery which an attendee dubbed the Cheers of Northeast.  Tears were shed, most by the library patrons  grieving the loss of a beloved librarian and friend.  Stories were told – everyone had one.  Elected official showed up – and stayed the evening.  Management from the local co-op were there – and stayed the evening.  Avid library users and Friends of the Library showed up – and stayed the evening.  There were kids everywhere – though the teen crowd was reduced  because there was a Viking appearance a block away at Edison High School where they were celebrating their 90th anniversary.  No matter, the teens would be back at the library the next day – they’re always there. There was a presentation of a beautiful ceramic plaque created by a Northeast neighborhood artist.  There was abundant Thai food,  animated conversation about the neighborhood, politics, the changing demographics of Northeast – and the role of the librarian woven throughout.

Just the way it ought to be.  Sometime midst the muck of technology, the expansion of bureaucracy and the lust for what one guest called “WalMart think” we’ve lost sight of the basic fact that it is librarians, not bricks and mortar that make things happen.

Paula Poundstone put a human face on libraries when she wrote “libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy, and community.  Librarians have stood up to the Patriot Act, sat down with noisy toddlers, and reached out to illiterate adults.”   This gathering demonstrated as words alone cannot that our librarian, Lois Profiri, is a leader in this community – as she will continue to be for the community served by the Maple Grove library.

Thank you,  Lois, and thank you to the neighbors of Northeast who know, love and honor a really fine librarian who has had a lasting impact on an evolving community.

One Minneapolis-One Read Selection Offers Stories of the Impact of U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures – Ralph Waldo Emerson

In this 150th commemoration of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 Minnesotans struggle to unravel the facts and, even more, to internalize the reality of a War so near at hand, so close in time, and so unknown to 21st Century Minnesotans.

The Minnesota Historical Society has launched a massive multi-faceted program to uncover, interpret and share the facts and forces that led to, infused and flowed from the War. Through the exhibit at the History Center, public discussions, a guide to historic sites and more, MHS has focused Minnesotans’ attention on a piece of Minnesota history long overlooked – because it is just too difficult to face.

Minneapolitans who dip into fiction for a better understanding of the 1862 tragedy are already deep into Diane Wilson’s Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past, the book chosen by the Minneapolis City Council as this year’s One Minneapolis One Read Minneapolis choice. The book explores Wilson’s Dakota Indian ancestry over generations. The story begins with the U.S-Dakota war, then follows Wilson’s family members through five generations life in South Dakota and Nebraska.

The One Minneapolis One Read initiative launches early this fall. A host of organizations and institutions are involved, all focused on encouraging local community explorations of the themes posited in the “one read.”

Spirit Car, published by the Minnesota Historical Society, is widely available in area libraries and bookstores and at MHS Press. The book can be downloaded from the Hennepin County Library and is also available in e-book format from commercial vendors.

Readers will find additional information about the book and resources about the Dakota War through the Minnesota Historical Society Press and at the MHS website. There is also a discussion guide prepared by the Minnesota Book Awards/The Friends of the Saint Pubic Public Library.

Librarians at Hennepin County Library have created a great website for readers who want to explore other writers’ perspectives on the War and its implications. The website lists a generous reading list of fiction and nonfiction titles related to the Native American experience in Minnesota along with comments from other readers. All of the titles listed are available for reserve and check-out from the library.

This is the second year of the One Minneapolis One Read program. Hundreds of Minneapolitans took part in community discussions of last year’s book, the Grace of Silence, written by NPR host and Minneapolis native Michele Norris. Rebroadcasts of One Read Week events are available on Comcast on Demand. Follow One Minneapolis One Read developments on the website, on Facebook or on Twitter. Email oneread@minneapolismn.gov.

Librarian Dan Marcou Promotes Street Lit as He Serves His Patrons at Correctional Faqcility

A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a senseof wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. 

 These words of Robert Frost paint a visual image familiar to students in Dan Marcou’s poetry class at Hennepin County’s Adult Corrections Facility (ACF).  Marcou, the corrections librarian from Hennepin County Library visits residents of the facility weekly, toting recreational books, responding to residents’ research requests, and teaching creative writing.

The results of his work with the temporarily incarcerated learners have now been published in a volume entitled Poems from the Inside.  Marcou coordinated the project and edited the volume of poetry.  The publication is supported with funds provided by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, Coffee House Press and the Friends of Ridgedale Library.

“Writing programs in correctional settings have produced dramatic results for those who experience them,” Marcou told professional colleagues when he spoke at the annual conference of the American Library Association meeting in Anaheim last month.

Marcou’s creative writing compilation builds on the shoulders of his predecessors.  Past publications include Creative Minds: Our Right to Write (2007), Words from Within (2008), Set Me Free (2009) and free to dream.

One of Marcou’s unique initiatives is development of the Freedom Ticket program which educates inmates on how libraries can help them transition to the life outside the facility.  The program includes job resource workshops and a website with information on programs and resources to support residents after their release.  It was the Freedom Ticket program that earned Marcou a special commendation from the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners.

Summarizing the impact of his work with the ACF residents Marcou reflects that “respect carries a lot of weight inside a facility.  I give the residents the same level of customer service I would in any other library I’ve worked in.  I want them to have a positive library experience because this is the first time many of them have ever used a library, and if they enjoy it on the inside, the chances are better they will use a public library after their release.”


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.