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

Map of Rocky Mountain Locust Eggs

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 18, 2018

Continuing on the topic of locust from last week, this is a map of Minnesota showing where eggs were deposited by the Rocky Mountain locust in 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1876. It was published for the State Geological & Natural History Survey in 1876.

See it in Collections Online.

Happy Pride!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 15, 2018

Happy Pride month! The MNHS button collection holds over 60 buttons from different Pride celebrations all over the state. This one is from Twin Cities Pride, 1998.

See more in Collections Online.

First issue of The Nonpartisan Leader, 1915

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 14, 2018

The Nonpartisan League was an agrarian movement begun in 1915 in North Dakota that soon spread to Minnesota. League members protested the poor market conditions of farmers. The League rejected a third party approach, choosing instead to endorse whichever candidate pledged to support their program.

Learn more in our Library.

Logjam, 1886

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 13, 2018

On this day in 1886, a four-mile logjam closed the St. Croix River at Taylors Falls. The jam was so spectacular that excursion trains travel from Duluth to see it.

See more logjam photos in Collections Online.


By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 12, 2018

On this date in 1873, Rocky Mountain locusts crossed into Minnesota and began destroying crops in the southwestern part of the state. Relief efforts were organized to keep the settlers from starving; the locusts return for the next four years, finally leaving in August 1877.

Learn more in the MNopedia article.

Minnesota Kicks Pennant

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 11, 2018

This banner for the Minnesota Kicks, our first professional soccer team, was used between 1976 - 1981. The graphics are absolutely of its time.

See it in Collections Online.

Swimming on Lake Nokomis, 1914

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

This photo is of a group of swimmers in 1914 at Lake Nokomis. Note the swim caps and suits! They look pretty happy, right?

See it in Collections Online.

Doll, 1910 - 1920

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 6, 2018

This male doll was likely made by members of the Rebecca Bluecloud family from the Upper Sioux Indian Community in Granite Falls, Minnesota, circa 1910 - 1920. 

See it in Collections Online.

The Western Appeal Starts, 1885

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

The Western Appeal (later the Appeal), the first Minnesota-published African American newspaper to gain national readership, premieres under the editorship of Frederick D. Parker on this day in 1885. This image is of Vol. 1, no. 2, from our Newspaper Hub.

See all that the Newspaper Hub holds!

Immigrant Trunk, 1882

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 4, 2018

This rough pine trunk was used by Scottish immigrants sailing to America in 1882. The front is painted: "Agnes McNiven / Passenger / to St. Paul, MN. America". A green tag on one side is stamped: "New York, Lake Erie + Western Railroad Co., Baggage + Express Trunk," showing the convoluted route necessary to get here. 

See it in Collections Online.


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