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Minnesota Public Radio

Garrison Keillor joined by guests: Butch Thompson, Peter Ostroushko, Johnny Gimble and Chet Atkins. Location no. HC3.2 r46Over a period of thirty-five years, beginning in 1967, Minnesota Public Radio has grown from a single station in Collegeville, Minnesota, to a public radio network of more than 30 FM stations throughout the state. Founder William Kling and his colleagues created the network through acquisition, development, and unification of a disparate group of educational broadcasting facilities, by utilizing legislative, corporate, and subscriber financial support. Among its achievements are its principal roles in the start-up of National Public Radio (NPR) and of Public Radio International (PRI); its prolific production and distribution of programs to other public radio stations in the U.S.; its affiliations with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that have enabled it to import news, cultural, and information programs from abroad; its creativity in developing instruments of capital support; its most successful broadcasting endeavors, such as A Prairie Home Companion; and its tradition of providing classical music programs, including Classical 24, St. Paul Sunday Morning, and Pipedreams.


  • "The Life and Times of MPR," by Patricia Weaver Francisco.
    In Minnesota Monthly, vol. 21, no. 1 (Jan. 1987): pp. 50-57.
    MHS call number: PN 1991 .P742 v.21:1.


  • Bruce Goldstein Photograph Collection, [1970-1987].
    Collection contains the work of commercial photographer Bruce Goldstein. The bulk of the collection consists of his work for Twin Cities arts organizations and businesses, including Minnesota Public Radio.
    MHS call number: III.32 (in the A-V Collection); a detailed list of folder titles is filed in the navy blue Collections Container List Notebooks.
  • Minnesota State University Board Project Files.
    The files include work of the Governor's Task Force on Public/Educational Radio (1975-1980).
    MHS call number: See the black State Archives Notebooks—filed under State University Board—for a detailed list and locator number (there is only 1 box).
    Note: A "Report of the Governor's Task Force on Public/Educational Radio," published by the Task Force in 1975, can be found at: LB 1044.5 .M6 A35 1975.
  • Prairie Home Companion Printed Material.
    The collection includes posters and programs, promotional material, sheet music, Garrison Keillor's speaking itineraries, and miscellaneous material.
    MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed alphabetically under Prairie Home Companion—for the locator number (there is only 1 box), or use an electronic version of the inventory.
  • United Arts Council and Services Organizational Records.
    This archival collection consists of administrative and programmatic records of a St. Paul umbrella association serving arts and cultural organizations in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. The Affiliate Organization Files includes some material on MPR for 1973-1983.
    MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed alphabetically under United Arts Council and Services—for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers (there are 7 boxes, but not all relate to this topic), or use an electronic version of the inventory.
  • Weyerhaeuser Family Oral History Project Interviews.
    Includes information from Robert J. Sivertsen, an early supporter of MPR.
    MHS call number: OH 26; see the blue Oral History Notebooks for description sheets.
  • Audiotapes of Minnesota Public Radio programs. A small selection is included here:
    • "Historic Fort Snelling." Broadcast July 4, 1985.
      MHS call number: Audiotape no. 35 (in the A-V Collection).
    • "Irish Immigrants in Minnesota." Broadcast March 17, 1979.
      MHS call number: Audiotape no. 36 (in the A-V Collection).
    • "Lindbergh: A Radio Biography." Broadcast May 20, 1985.
      MHS call number: Audiotape no. 55 (in the A-V Collection).
    • "News from Lake Wobegon."
      A collection of 4 tapes featuring stories from A Prairie Home Companion.
      MHS call number: Audiotape no. 6 (in the A-V Collection).
    • "When Farmers Took a Holiday." Broadcast February 12, 1985.
      MHS call number: Audiotape no. 39 (in the A-V Collection).
  • Visual Resources Database subjects that may be useful for this topic:
  • Check the library catalog for other materials. Searching "Minnesota Public Radio" as an author will turn up periodicals published by MPR, such as Minnesota Monthly, as well as a larger list of audiotapes of MPR programs.