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collections up close Blog

Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future

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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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Pow Wow Festival, Mountain Lake, 1999

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

Chinese-ness, the great new show of Wing Young Huie's most recent work, just opened in our Irvine Community Gallery. We have been collecting and preserving Huie's work over the last 20 years; this week's Item of the Day will feature some of those pieces.

This photo is titled “Pow Wow Festival, Mountain Lake” and was taken in 1999. Huie took it as part of the Minnesota 2000 Documentary Photography Project, which ran from 1997-1999, documenting the "state of the state" at the end of the twentieth century through photographs.

Letters to the Local Paper

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | September 18, 2018


In this short letter to his sister, Ruth, Paul Thompson mentions that he and the other YMCA secretaries had been urged to write letters to a newspaper from their home towns about the work of the YMCA. The newspaper that Paul chose was the Ripon Press, though he sent the letter to several Minneapolis papers as well. Thompson even sent copies to other family members in the event they wish to forward it to newspapers to spread his statement that he had submitted.

 


35th Letter
Roma, li 18 Sept, 1918
Dear Ruth,
This week to my surprise a letter arrived asking each secretary to write a letter to at least one home paper about the work of the YMCA and I at once took advantage of it. I wrote a letter to the Ripon Press and sent the three dailies of Minneapolis a translation of the clipping in Il Tempo [...] I care especially about the Rippon paper and if it don't appear I suggest that you write them and send them a copy of the statement as my letter might get lost. [...]
In haste,
Paul J. Thompson

Citation: 
Paul Thompson Papers. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. A/T475 4/19-8/19


 

Men Playing Takraw, also Known as Kato, Butterfield, 1998

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

Chinese-ness, the great new show of Wing Young Huie's most recent work, just opened in our Irvine Community Gallery. We have been collecting and preserving Huie's work over the last 20 years; this week's Item of the Day will feature some of those pieces.

This photo is titled “Men Playing Takraw, also Known as Kato, Butterfield” and was taken in 1998. Huie took it as part of the Minnesota 2000 Documentary Photography Project, which ran from 1997-1999, documenting the "state of the state" at the end of the twentieth century through photographs.

Preparedness or Ineptness? American Troops in Battle

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | September 17, 2018


Private Frank Fox from Duluth, Minnesota was killed in action on his second day at the Front. In the aftermath of the Battle of St. Mihiel Fox was hit by shrapnel while in the trenches. His mother, who filled out the Gold Star Roll, believed that the lack of training and desire to simply get bodies to the Front is the reason for her son's death as she notes that he had only began training for the front lines at the beginning of September.

 


He always claimed to be well cared for in service but was rushed to the front with practically no training (notice dates). He was killed instantly the 2nd day at the front.

Citation: 
"Fox, Frank L." Minnesota Public Safety Commission. Gold Star Roll. Minnesota Historical Society, St Paul, Minnesota. 114.D.4.3B

 

Fireman, St. James, 1999

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

Chinese-ness, the great new show of Wing Young Huie's most recent work, just opened in our Irvine Community Gallery. We have been collecting and preserving Huie's work over the last 20 years; this week's Item of the Day will feature some of those pieces.

This photo is titled “Fireman, St. James.” It is of Jose Cruz Carreon, Jr. and was taken in 1999. Huie took it as part of the Minnesota 2000 Documentary Photography Project, which ran from 1997-1999, documenting the "state of the state" at the end of the twentieth century through photographs.

"Austria Extends Peace Invitation" and "Americans Make Great Progress" - Freeborn County Standard. September 16, 1918

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | September 16, 2018

POWs of St. Mihiel

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | September 15, 2018

POWs of St. Mihiel

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | September 15, 2018


Private Linton Skobba was captured on the last day of the Battle of St. Mihiel after going over the top of the hill toward the German line on September 12th. He died in a German POW hospital in Kreuznach from wounds received in action the day he was captured. A comrade who was captured with him wrote to Skobba's parents when he was released to tell them of the circumstances surrounding their son's death.

 

Citation: 
"Skobba, Linton C." Minnesota Public Safety Commission. Gold Star Roll. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota 114.D.4.6F
 

Library Lobby Exhibit: Weaving Wellness

By: Lori Williamson | September 14, 2018

Weaving Wellness: Art, Community, and Mental Health Resilience is the new library exhibit curated by artist Martha Bird. To highlight the acquisition of two baskets made by her earlier this year, Bird was asked to engage in creating a show that paired and explored objects from the museum’s collection with her baskets. The result is a display that creates conversation connecting wellness, community, and art.

The heart of this exhibit highlights the relationship between creativity and resilience. Elements of Bird’s life are weaved into each of the five display cases, which connect her life as an artist, nurse, and her personal experience living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The intention is to bridge the past with the present and highlight the vitality of the human spirit when confronted with challenges.

It is on view now until mid-November. And don't miss the public reception with Martha Bird on September 25!

"Yanks Wipe Out St. Mihiel Salient, Reach German Border, Capture 13,300 Prisoners, Gain 12 Miles in 24 Hours" and "Yanks Drive Foe Back to Wontan Line" - The Minneapolis Morning Tribune. September 14, 1918

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | September 14, 2018

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