Item of the Day

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Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future


The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

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Item of the Day

Snow pants

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 9, 2018

These nylon snow pants were used by Ann Bancroft during the 2000-2001 Bancroft-Arnesen Expedition to Antarctica.

See them in Collections Online.


Voyageurs National Park

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 8, 2018

With support from former governor Elmer L. Andersen and Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., President Richard Nixon signed the law creating Voyageurs National Park on this day in 1971.

See images of Voyageurs in Collections Online.

Ice: Great Moments in the History of Hard, Cold Water

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 5, 2018

There was a time in the early 2000s when subjects we think of as everyday or mundane received their own study and subsequent book. Salt, dust, cod, and walking are just a few examples that come to mind. 

This is a perfect addition to that group. Published by MNHS and in our Library Collection, it details the story of frozen wastelands, visionary explorers, shimmering castles, and more. Cultural historian Karal Ann Marling weaves together fantastic and fascinating topics related to “hard, cold water.”

It is available for purchase here or in our Library Collection.

Cold Night

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 4, 2018
painting of winter farm

This watercolor painting of an agricultural landscape is titled "Cold Night." It was created by Francis Meisch in 1944.  

See it in Collections Online.

Woman's velvet evening coat

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 3, 2018

This incredible green velvet coat stitched with gold metalic trim was made by dressmaker Lizzie Morrissey in Minneapolis in 1918.

And visit our new Minnesota Dressmakers website!

See it in Collections Online.

A Man and his Motorcycle

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 2, 2018

Guy W. Webb is pictured here with his motorcycle on his annual 100 mile New Year's Day ride, 1910.

See it in Collections Online.

New Year's Eve Concert Handbill

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 29, 2017

This handbill is advertising the New Year's Eve concert at Goofy's Upper Deck, Minneapolis in 1981. Goofy's Upper Deck was an important punk rock club of the time. Husker Du and Replacements on the same bill is incredible; it must have been quite the show!

New Year year to all! 

Tangled Christmas lights are the worst

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 28, 2017

Oscar Fryckman (left), city electrical engineer, and Donald R. McReavy, chairman of the Minneapolis Christmas Lighting Committee, disentangling Christmas lights, 1940.

See in Collections Online.

Brown and Bigelow, 1940

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 27, 2017

Christmas itself may be over, but we can still enjoy the lights of the season for awhile longer! This is the Brown and Bigelow building in the Midway lighted for the Christmas season, St. Paul, 1922.

See it in Collections Online

Christmas and New Year's Card, 1922

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 26, 2017

Christmas card made by Rosemary Jemne. Jemne's father, Magnus Jemne, was the architect of the Women's City Club building built at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and St. Peter Street in St. Paul, Minnesota. Text on the inside of the card reads, "Christmas greetings and every good wish for the New Year / Elsa + Magnus."

See it in Collections Online.


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