NEWS ALERT: MHS to Close if State Shutdown Occurs

For immediate release

Release dated: 
June 17, 2011
Media contacts: 

Lory Sutton 
Marketing and Communications

NEWS ALERT: MHS to Close if State Shutdown Occurs

The Minnesota Historical Society announced today that in the event of a state government shutdown all its programs and operations would be suspended beginning July 1. Funding from the State of Minnesota comprises more than half of the Society’s operating budget.

All of the Society’s 26 historic sites and museums statewide would be closed during a shutdown, including the History Center, Mill City Museum, Historic Fort Snelling and Split Rock Lighthouse, as well as the library and general offices that support all of the Society’s functions including preservation and education.

“The Minnesota Historical Society has a long history of serving Minnesotans, beginning in 1849 – even before Minnesota was a state,” said Stephen Elliott, the Society’s director and CEO. “If we indeed need to close operations for a state government shutdown, it will be with deep regret, both for the many families planning to visit our sites and museums this summer and for our employees and the financial hardship such an action would place on them.”

If there is a shutdown, the public would still be able to access general information, conduct online research, and make charitable donations and membership payments at However, web functions enabling the public to order historical documents, photographs, tickets and merchandise would not be operational during the shutdown.

Until an official notice of a shutdown is given by the state, on or around June 30, the Society and all its historic sites and museums remain open and ready to serve the public. Find links to all of the Society’s historic sites and museums.

“We know and appreciate that Minnesotans value the work of the Society,” said Elliott, “and we look forward to continuing to fulfill our mission to connect people with history, preserve the evidence of the past, tell the stories of Minnesota’s people, and educate our schoolchildren.”

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849 to preserve and share Minnesota history. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. For more information, visit