HISTORY MATTERS DAY AT THE CAPITOL
Mark your calendars! On February 16th, 2009 from 10:30-2:30 p.m. the Minnesota Historical Society will host their annual History Matters Day at the Minnesota State Capitol. Come down for a free, fun, and enjoyable celebration of the work and outreach that the Minnesota Historical Society does as a leading cultural and historical institution in Minnesota. Meet legislators, tour the Capitol, attend a noon rally, view historical artifacts, and even make your own stovepipe hat! FREE parking and transportation is available at the Minnesota History Center. For more information about these events, call or e-mail Matt Hill at 651-259-3428.
WHEN YOU MAKE HISTORY, MAKE IT LAST!
Save Your Inaugural (and Other) Treasures
This article comes from the Heritage Preservation Update online newsletter:
A scrapbook is a good way to organize a variety of materials you want to save. Many stores now offer materials to enhance the presentation and preservation of family photographs and souvenirs. Choose preservation-quality materials, such as acid-free paper for pages and PVC-free plastics for sleeves and pocket pages.
Here are some other tips from conservation pros for saving your albums, photos, and ephemera. These tips are based on information in the Heritage Preservation's book Caring for Your Family Treasures (New York: Abrams, 2000).
- Select a scrapbook that allows room to expand: a three-ring binder or hinged model with a strap.
- Use sturdy white or off-white archival, acid-free paper, and attach items with stable plastic or acid-free paper corners.
- Or, insert souvenirs and photos in safe plastic page protectors made from Mylar, polyester, polypropylene, or polyethylene.
- Handle photographs and papers only by the edges to protect your treasures.
- Be sure that photos are labeled on the back or on album pages. Use a soft (No. 2) pencil or photo-marking pen and write lightly.
- Photocopy newspaper clippings or other acidic items onto acid free paper and use the copies in the album.
- Original photographs, postcards, inaugural tickets, or other memorabilia can lose their value when cut into decorative shapes. Save these in acid-free envelopes, and use copies in a scrapbook.
- Take care when scanning photos or documents.
The Society of American Archivists adds these tips:
- The best protection for your photographs, newspapers, campaign buttons, event tickets, and bumper stickers is a cool, dry, stable environment (for example, moderate temperature and humidity with relatively little fluctuation, clean air and good air circulation, no natural or fluorescent light, and good housekeeping).
- Valuable paper collections do not belong in your attic or basement, which commonly are subject to excessive heat and/or moisture. Avoid storing materials beneath or close to such water sources as washing machines, bathrooms, or air-conditioning equipment. And be sure to consider what is in the room above your collection.
- Heat causes damage. When displaying your framed photos, newspapers, invitations, and other memorabilia, don’t hang these valuable items over radiators, heating ducts, heat-producing appliances, or fireplaces. Anything with long-term value should be housed away from heat sources.
- Light causes fading and other damage. Keep photos and other memrabilia “in the dark” as much as possible; don’t put them in direct sun or bright light. Hallways or other rooms without windows are best. Install shades and/or heavy curtains where you can’t avoid windows. If you must display an item in direct sun or bright light, consider obtaining a high-quality scan and displaying the digital print instead.
- Indoor pollution rapidly damages paper and is a growing problem in energy-conscious spaces with good insulation. Any valuable photo or paper-based document on display should be protected by a preservation-quality mat and frame. The glass or plastic covering, which protects the item from pollutants and dirt, should contain UV filtering.
- Photos, letters, clippings, and other family documents should be stored unfolded because folding and unfolding breaks paper along the fold lines. Storing photos and documents in folders rather than envelopes is recommended because envelopes can cause damage as items are removed and replaced.
- When considering whether to use paper or plastic enclosures for your photos, select enclosures that pass the Photographic Activity Test (PAT). This test ensures that the enclosure will not react chemically with your photos. Supplier catalogs should indicate whether a photographic storage product has passed the PAT. To read more about the PAT, see the Image Permanence Institute’s “Archival Advisor” web page.
A Guide to Online Resources, developed by Heritage Preservation in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, contains links to the most trusted collections care resources on the Web. Use it to find answers to common conservation questions.
For more conservation/preservation information, also visit the Minnesota Historical Society's Conservation website, including a video on Preserving Your Family Treasures.
MAKING IT EASIER TO FIND INFORMATION
MHS Number 5 Cataloger Regionally
In 2008, the Minnesota Historical Society, out of all the libraries and archives in Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota, was among the top ten contributors of original records to WorldCat, a global catalog of library collections. MHS also ranked in the top ten in 2007 and 2006. In 2008, MHS ranked number 5, with 1,432 unique records, just under number 4, the Hennepin County Library, at 1,479 records, and over twice as many as number 6, North Dakota State University, at 715 records.
More Online Finding Aids for Archival Material
Information that was once available only in shelf after shelf of notebooks in the Library's reading room can now be viewed any where, any time.
In October last year, MHS's Collections Management staff began a project to post over 800 inventories to our collection of government records by the end of June. Through the end of January, 385 searchable PDF versions of inventories were created and these same inventories were linked to over 590 catalog records!
Our goal is to help you improve your visit to the library by helping you discover what you want before you arrive. These finding aids provide greater information about the contents of the State Archives and can help you plan what collections you wish to use and what box numbers will be needed.
We started this project by focusing on the archives of state agencies such as the Adjutant General, Attorney General, and Conservation Department. Next year we will focus on the records of county and local governments.
These inventories are also being added to an index so that their contents can be searched by Internet search engines as well as the History Finder and the index of finding aids.
Highlights of the December-January Acquisitions
Minnesota state and local government records are added frequently to the State Archives collection. Although the records were recently acquired, they may not be available yet in the MHS Library catalog. For assistance using these records, please contact the Minnesota Historical Society's Reference Department by telephone, 651-259-3300, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highlights of some of the new books now available in the reading rooms. Featured new books can be found in the Weyerhaeuser Reading Room on the top of the book shelves under the Betsy-Tacy poster.
You can also see a rotating list of some of the recent book acquisitions on the sidebar of the Library & Archives blog.
— Featured Search, WOTR
You may have noticed some changes on the front page of the Visual Resources Database (VRDB). In addition to the featured search, we are promoting WOTR (Write On The Record) as a means to help us identify specific photographs from the featured collection.
The Minneapolis-Moline Company, a
Minneapolis-based manufacturer of farm tractors and implements,
is the current featured search and has 21 images in need of your help in identifying. Simply use WOTR to leave a comment about a specific image(s) that you know more information about.
Expect to see a new featured collection every few months and help us identify those mystery images!
TIP OF THE MONTH
Historical Minneapolis Tribune
The ProQuest database now has "The Historical Minneapolis Tribune" for 1867-1922. It offers digital images of both full pages (1909-1922 only) and articles, with searchable full text. Abstracts are available for 1886-1908, and provide the date and page number and a brief description.
The ProQuest database is available in the Minnesota Historical Society Library. On the in-house homepage for the Library, under SEARCH—Additional Search Tools, click on Newspapers: ProQuest database, then on the drop-down menu under "Database" one of the choices is The Historical Minneapolis Tribune.
From home, if you have trouble getting in using the MHS Library's in-house homepage, you can still access the ProQuest newspaper database via the ELM (Electronic Library for Minnesota) website. Like the MHS Library, most public libraries in the state also have a link to the ELM site or a link on their webpage directly into the ProQuest database.
Blogs and Podcasts
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Come See It blog
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Library & Archives blog
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— Daguerreotypes and Tintypes ...
What's New blog
White Bear Sno Scooter ...
Minnesota Electoral College Assembly Records Transferred to the Minnesota State Archives ...