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

Credjafawn Social Club, 1950

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 1, 2018

Happy Black History Month!
The Credjafawn Social Club is one of the oldest Black social clubs in the Twin Cities community. It was formed one evening in 1927 by ten young adults who felt a lack of social activities for people their age; the name was devised from a letter out of each of the names of the ten charter members. Although started as recreational club, the Credjafawns initiated some outstanding projects of importance for the Black community. This photo is from 1950.

See more images of the club in Collections Online.

Winter Carnival 1889 Poster

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 31, 2018

It's Carnival time! Two new exhibits of historic Carnival materials are available for your viewing pleasure, at the James J. Hill House and Gale Family Library at the History Center. Enjoy the history and celebrate the season!

This poster was printed by the St. Paul Pioneer Press for the 1889 Carnival.

Citation: Poster printed by St. Paul Pioneer Press, 1889.

Ice Harvesting, 1947

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 26, 2018

While we don't know if this ice was intended for the ice industry or an ice palace, it certainly looks like hard work.

See more images of ice harvesting in Collections Online.

The Rollicking Realm of Boreas

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 25, 2018

Today is the first day of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival! This small 16 page book tells of "a legend, as told to Minnesota children as the North Wind roars across Boreas' realm." Because what's a good civic festival without a complicated mythology behind it? It was written by F.L. Madden in 1941.

Now Some Music poster

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 24, 2018

This poster is from a campaign during World War I to collect "idle" records to send overseas or to be used in camps here. The drive was called "Slacker Record Week" and was intended to improve morale among the soldiers and sailors.

See more World War I posters in Collections Online.

Herman the Duck

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 23, 2018

This is a faux-feathered adult-size Herman the Duck costume. Herman was the mascot of Republic Airlines until the company's merger with Northwest Orient Airlines on this date in 1986. The purchase price for Republic was $884 million, making the new Twin Cities-based carrier the third-largest airline in the United States.

See more relating to Republic Airline in Collections Online.

High Bridge Excitement!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 22, 2018

On this day in 1962 an out-of-control car careens over the side of St. Paul's High Bridge, lands upside-down on a row of telephone wires, rebounds into the air, and lands on its four wheels. Amazingly, no injuries are reported in the seventy-five-foot fall. Sadly, there are no known photos of this event; this photo shows barges below the High Bridge in 1964.

See more High Bridge images in Collections Online.


By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 19, 2018

Two images of fireplaces, created in 1930 and 1935 respectively, are by artist sisters Wanda and Flavia Gag. Wanda's (above) is a lithograph, while Flavia's (below) is a woodcut.

See both in Collections Online.


Vikings Button, 1974

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

This button is from 1974, when fans were encouraged to "Think Super Bowl." And they did, in fact, make it that year!

See more Vikings-related collections.

Get to know the neighborhood!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 17, 2018

This amazing book is full of trivia about Saint Paul and answers many questions about specific place names in our fair capital.

Written by Donald Empson and published by the University of Minnesota Press, it was updated most recently in 2006.

This is one of the many ready reference books available for perusal in our Reading Room!


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