Tag Archives: Minnesota History Center

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

MINNESOTA NEWSPAPERS – RESOURCES

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

http://sites.mnhs.org/library/content/newspaper-collection

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

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…0.0.0.183480.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0….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

RELATED RESOURCES –  Examples

http://www.loc.gov/ndnp/
National Digital Newspaper Program
A partnership between the Library & the National Endowment for the Humanities

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/about

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

INTERNATIONAL RESOURCES – EXAMPLES ONLY

http://www.onlinenewspapers.com – international

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

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

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Autumn Options #IV

Though we haven’t got down to the “precious few” yet, the days are visibly dwindling down.   We need to choose with care from the lure of learning options that wrap up the summer – and prime the mental pump for what’s to come.  Just a few of the opportunities waiting to be explored:

September 23 – April 22, 2018. Renewing What They Gave Us.  On exhibit now at the Minnesota History Center are the fruits of labor of participants in the Native American Artists-in-Residents program.  The exhibit includes beadwork, birch bark and textile artworks by five contemporary American Indian artists including Jessica Gokey, Pat Kruse, Denise Lajimodiere, Gwen Westerman and Holly Young.  Details here: http://www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/exhibits/renewing-what-they-gave-us

September 27-October 1.  Twin Cities Arab Film Festival. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/festival-director-shares-stories-of-twin-cities-arab-film-festival-2017/.  Even if you can’t make it to the Film Festival, take time to view the delightfully informative interview with Mizna staffer Michelle Baroody who is responsible for All Things Film Festival.  The link to that interview is embedded on the earlier post. UPDATED SCHEDULE: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15ebe301851de3d9

September 28, 7:00 PM –  Peter Breen of The Bolt Weevils will host an open mic and Tom Kingstrom will play a featured set at Eat My Words, 215 13th Avenue NE in Participants will have a max 10 minutes of stage time. (note new location)  http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com/events/2017/9/28/eat-my-words-open-mic

September 28, 7:30 PM and October 1, 2:30 PM – Elision Theater’s production of Goblin Market by Polly Pen and Peggy Harman.  The performance, a musical adaptation of Christina Rossetti’s 1859 narrative poem, features the artwork of Omar Rayyan. To further explore the connections between the musical, the original poem, and the historical contact, the October 1 matinee will include a discussion facilitated by Andrew Elfenbein, Chair of the U of M English Department.  Crane Theater, 2303 Kennedy St NE, Minneapolis  https://www.facebook.com/TheatreElision/?fref=mentions

Much happening during coming weeks at East Side Freedom Library: 

  • September 28, 7:00 PM – Closing event in the Women from the Center Series: A harvest reading by Native Writers including Diane Wilson (host) with Colleen Casey, Pauline Danforth, Ruth Denny, Rosie Peters, Tayah Reyes, and Kim Wensaut. An opening song provided by the Asiginaag Singers with music by JG Everest.  Free and open. info@eastsidefreedomlibrary.org or 651 230 3294.
  • September 30, 1:00–4:00 PM “Against Labor: A book discussion with the authors of a new collection.” Participants include David Roediger, Elizabeth Esch, Chad Pearson, Tom Klub, Rosemary Feurer, and Peter Rachleff.

September 29-30 – Don’t miss this rare and wonderful opportunity to Illuminate the Locks.  Once again the 49-foot tall chamber of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam will be “re-purposed” – now as a canvas for an experiment in art.  Andrea Carlson’s creative work, entitled “The Uncompromising Hand” is a hand-crafted animation based on six photographs of the island during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.  The artwork will be accompanied by text in Dakota and Ojibwe.  http://parkconnection.org/event/illuminate-lock-uncompromising-hand/

The Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), an ever-simmering cauldron of ideas and energy, whets your learning appetite with these options. Check out the NEMAA website to get seriously informed – and engaged. https://nemaa.org/events

  • October 5 – Overcoming Writer’s Block and Growing from Criticism
  • October 21-22 – Ever tried a rigid heddle? Design your own project at this intriguing workshop

October 14 – Grand Reopening of the Water Bar.  Check out this earlier post. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4157&action

AMVETS Post #5: Photographs by Xavier Tavera. Now on exhibit at the Minnesota History Center the powerful exhibit features color portraits that document the lives of Mexican and Mexican-American military veterans who now live on St Paul’s West Side. The photographs represent the artistry of Xavier Tavera who was born in Mexico City and has lived in the Twin Cities for the past two decades. http://www.minnesoahistorycenter.org/exhibits/amvets-post-5

 

 

 

ADA at 26: The celebration – and the challenge – continue

I don’t need easy. I need possible. ~ Bethany Hamilton

It was just a year ago we were celebrating the 25th anniversary of passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s time to rekindle and repeat the celebratory spirit – and to remember that the movement for inclusion and equality is not a sprint but a marathon. (https://www.minnpost.com/minnesota-blog-cabin/2015/04/celebrating-impact-ada-embracing-challenges-remain) Happily, the disabilities community is joining forces again this year to recharge us all

“Celebrating Diversity in Our Community” is a grand public event set for Tuesday, July 26, at the Minnesota History Center, 345 West Kellogg in St. Paul. The celebration begins at 3:00 with a keynote address by Ken Rodgers, Chair of the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities.

Beginning at 6:30 the focus is on fun! That fun includes a chance to get to know Angelique Leie, 2015 Miss Wheelchair Minnesota and to enjoy the artistry of members of the Young Dance Company. Then enjoy an evening featuring the classic rock & roll music of Tamarak.

Learn more about the very talented Angelique Leie and about the Miss Wheelchair Minnesota program here: http://blog.easystand.com/2015/04/ms-wheelchair-minnesota-2015-pageant/

Get to know the unique Young Dance Company here. http://www.youngdance.org/company-overview

Learn and listen to Tamarak here: http://www.tamarak.iwarp.com)

Accommodations for the evening include ASL interpreters, audio description and CART – and food will be available for purchase. The event itself is free and open to all.

 

 

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.

 

 

Historians Make History as They Gather in St. Paul

Though history’s always in the making in St. Paul the saintly city is more than ever abuzz this week with curators, archivists, preservation and conservation experts, scholars, digitizers, funders and dedicated historians of every stripe.   It’s impossible to categorize, much less describe, the thousand-plus committed attendees at the annual conference of the American Association for State and Local History meeting this week at the Crowne Plaza on the banks of the Mississippi (if you don’t count the Kellogg Boulevard speedway….)

“Greater than the Sum of Our Parts” is the intriguing theme of the conference. A few hours in the exhibits gives meaning to the phrase – the exhibitors reflect the diverse and interdependent functions that comprise the complex world of these stewards of the narrative of the nation’s towns, states and regions. The robust agenda includes programs and tours on corporate history, museums, archives, court and legal history, classrooms, interpretive centers, historic homes, military history, religious history and more.

The keynote speakers for the conference suggest the diversity of the themes and participants — Garrison Keillor keynoted today followed tomorrow by Marilyn Carlson Nelson, CEO of Carlson and more.   Speaker at Friday’s awards banquet is Dr. Anton Treuer, Executive Director of the American Indian Resource Center at Bemidji State University and editor of the Oshkaabewis Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language.

There are tours and more tours – of St. Paul’s brewing history “from Pig’s Eye to Summit”, a farm tour of the Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life and the Oliver Kelley farm, tours of the mighty Mississippi, the Alexander Ramsey House, several farmers’ markets and corporate museums. And there are sessions on services for people with disabilities and one session that caught my eye, a discussion entitled “Memories Matter: Our Historic Resources to Help Those with Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases.”

The exhibits range from high tech digital archives to art conservationists determined to preserve art and objects as “primary sources”, reflected but not replaced be digital reproductions (or paint-by-number replications) of the original.

Squadrons of Minnesota museum mavens, clad in sky blue water t-shirts, are everywhere welcoming the visitors, pointing out the area’s sites and eateries, telling the stories, and having the strength to get up and do what needs to be done to guarantee that the 2014 American Association for State and Local History will go down in history!

 

 

 

 

 

Hail American Archivists – October is American Archives Month

Over the last few millennia we’ve invented a series of technologies – from the alphabet to the scroll to the codex, the printing press, photography, the computer, the smartphone – that have made it progressively easier and easier for us to externalize our memories, for us to essentially outsource this fundamental human capacity.                                                    Joshua Foer

 October 2013 is American Archives Month – a time to take note that Minnesota is “The Land of (nearly) 10,000 Archives.”   In case you haven’t visited your county historical society, public, government agency, corporate headquarters or university library, gallery or other citadel of learning lately, you might be surprised what’s happening behind the scenes in archives.   In countless institutions and communities archives are facing the challenges of the digital age.

In this information age, everyone expects to find information at the click of key.  Whether genealogical research, stories of the town or neighborhood’s history, the accomplishments of state leaders, business mergers or house history, we want to know what’s gone before.   The urge to dip into history, to build on what’s gone before, to understand our roots, is great.  The more we catch a glimpse the more we find ourselves lost in the pursuit of more information, stories, pictures, data, graphics, audio and visual recordings – our thirst for information is never quenched.

What’s often lost is recognition of what goes into the process of making that wealth of information accessible.  Because we see the technology on the output end of the information chain we credit the app, as if an inert tool can magically locate the needed crumb of information, then present it in living color on a hand-held device.

In fact, it is the unstinting work of archivists who, from the beginning of time, have identified, preserved, and organized the record of human kind, regardless of format, assuming that their meticulous efforts will bear fruit some day in the future.

What’s happening today is that, even as they continue their traditional role, archivists are meeting unprecedented challenges, including these:

Expectations – The challenge to archivists is to establish standards then design and introduce appropriate technologies to digitize and organize materials so that the record itself reaches the user at the moment of need.

Format – Information comes in an ever-expanding range of formats that require new standards and procedures for storage and portability, organizing principles and massive examination of archival basics.

Security/privacy – As everyone must know by now, when information is ubiquitous and the flow of data is fluid, it’s a new world for archivists.  Ask NSA.

Ownership – Information has become a commodity with economic value.  Archivists face unparalleled issues that have major implications for who owns what, who pays for and who gains from value added to raw information.  Access issues are particularly problematic for archivists whose purview is information that is classified as “public.”

Outreach – The work of archivists of no value unless and until the information they identify, organize and preserve is put to use.  Increasingly, the public wants to know how to get the records they know, or suspect, are out there somewhere.  [ One example that piques the imagination is the recent release of thousands of FBI files, files that divulge buckets of delicious tidbits collected by the zealous FBI on issues and individuals ranging from Hollywood stars to war protesters to college professors.  Somewhere someone had to decide how or if to inform the voyeuristic public of the release and the points of access.]

The Midwest Archives Conference met this past week in Green Bay.  A quick scan of the agenda for that meeting offers some ideas on what’s on the minds of archivists in September 2013.   These are the conference sessions:  User-centered design; Website analysis on a budget; Designing for hand-held devices; Crowd-source transcription; Leveraging Wikipedia; Using Omeka for web-based exhibit; Scan-on-demand reference and research services.

For another glimpse of today’s archives, check the October 25 meeting of the Twin Cities Archives Round Table (http://tcartmn.org/2013/09/23/twin-cities-archives-round-table-fall-meeting-2/) Archivists from a wide range of institutional settings will be meeting at the Red Wing Shoe Company (yes, corporations are important pillars of the archives community).   Archives of every stripe will share their combined skills and experience to assure that the record of each institution is preserved and made accessible to users, whether corporate, academic or the public at large.

Celebrate American Archives Month by taking a few minutes to view some starting points – this is a quick list of a very few of the state’s archives – don’t stop here!

 

 

 

Armchair Access to Minnesota’s Past

Members of the Minnesota Legislature will be back in their districts this week.  If you have a chance you might want to ask your member just which Minnesota Constitution they propose to revise this session.  There are two, you know.

The mystery of Minnesota’s two Constitutions is just one historical quirk told in digital format on podcasts produced and posted by the Minnesota Historical Society.  There is a library of podcasts and slideshows within arm’s reach of history buffs and Minnesotans with a mere scintilla of curiosity about their state’s history.

To unravel the curious facts about the two Constitutions, click here.    Are you curious about government interference in citizens’ morality?  Check The Road to Prohibition podcast.  If you’re more interested in corporate Minnesota  you’ll enjoy learning about How Minnesota Changed Breakfast or Don’t Say Underwear, Say Munsingwear.

There’s something for everyone.  Click here for a digital Introduction to the MHS podcast collection.  Then settle back in your favorite armchair and plan to spend way too much time engrossed in the podcasts and the paths they’ll lead you into the riches of the Minnesota Historical Society.