Manuscripts Collection

Environmental Movement

During the last twenty years the Society has become increasingly aware of the impact of human activities on the world's ecology. there is new research interest in the use of natural resources as well as the historical development of the conservation movement.

In response to this interest, the Minnesota Historical Society has in its manuscripts collection the papers and records of individuals, organizations and businesses that document the use of our state's natural resources.

Listed below are the papers of people and records of organizations concerned with the protection of natural resources. Much of this material deals with the creation of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Other topics include Voyageurs National Park, the Reserve Mining Company case and statewide issues such as water quality and wildlife habitat.



Business Records

The Society holds the records of many business activities that had a direct impact on the State's environment. Among these are records of lumber, land development, mining and railroad company activities. Records of the Northern Pacific and Great Northern railroad companies (and those of their predecessors) contain information on the huge tracts of timber, mining and agricultural land that the companies held from Minnesota to the Pacific Northwest. Railroad land department records contain sales information on agricultural lands and timber and mineral leases, as well as periodic reports of surveyors and geologists. The publicity departments of both railroads collected or produced materials on the scenic and recreational value of the lands along the rail lines.