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Minnesota Local History News

Published: November 1, 2006

A weekly publication by the Minnesota Historical Society for professional local historians and historical organizations.

Discussions and Questions

Current and New Discussions

Pension Protection Act of 2006 (0 messages) Is this good legislation? Will it help small historical organizations?

Steep Morale Challenges (15 messages) Claudia reminds us this week that how we look at our museums is a matter of perspective.

Public Library Model (15 messages)

Experiences with Permanent Exhibits

I am doing some thinking about the role of permanent/long-term exhibits at small history museums, particularly local history museums. I have observed that most local history museums feel they need a permanent/long-term overview exhibit that tries to tell the story of their locality.  Many of us working in these museums, attempting to re-invent invent our institutions and break out of our reputations as "old-dusty-boring," often do so by investing in new "permanent" exhibits.  These exhibits cost much more than anything else has ever cost in the museum's history and give us a new centerpiece with which to draw in visitors.

My question: Do these investments pay off?  Are "permanent" exhibits an important framework for establishing a local story and an initial contact point for a museum and its visitors?  Or do "permanent" exhibits drain resources and inhibit a museum's ability to remain flexible, relevant and responsive to community needs? I would be interested in hearing about any of your experiences with the role of long-term/permanent exhibits at history museums. Answer.

Liora J. Cobin (Brooklyn, NY)

Two Free Cast-Iron Stoves Available

One black double oven cast-iron stove; manufacturer unknown. Dimensions: (W X L X H) 31" X 72" X 33".  One silver cast-iron stove; manufactured by South Bend Malleable, South Bend, Indiana.  Dimensions: (W X L X H) 34.5" X 55" X 30".  These two stoves are available to any nonprofit historical organization. Pick up will have to be arranged by the interested party/parties from the Society’s off-site storage in Saint Paul.  Please contact Todd Mayberry, 651-297-8093 for further information.

Job Announcements

Director of Programs

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is seeking a Director of Programs to plan and implement AASLH’s wide variety of programs and services. The position will be available toward the end of November 2006.  To apply, send resume with cover letter and references to or Director of Programs Search, AASLH, 1717 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203.

Interpretive Operations Coordinator

This position with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources exists to coordinate statewide interpretive services planning and programs, personnel management, budget administration, visitor management and special interpretive activities for the Minnesota State Park system. To apply see website and follow instructions.

Contract Historian

Anoka County Historical Society seeks an independent contractor to complete a history of ancillary agriculture businesses in Anoka County from 1840 to 1925. This position exists through a one-year grant that provides for a total of 225 hours at an hourly rate of $22.00. The successful candidate must have a Bachelor's Degree in History or a related field and demonstrate skills commensurate with this type of project. For further information or to apply, contact Todd Mahon, 763-421-0600 x104. Deadline is November 10, 2006.

Local Events

Hands On History Tonight

Ramsey County Historical Society assisted with Twin Cities Public Television's series, Almanac Hands On History: Exploring Dayton's Bluff. The episode airs tonight (November 1) at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 2.

New DAR Chapter forming in Bemidji

The NSDAR/Daughters of the American Revolution is forming a new chapter in Bemidji. An informational meeting will be held at the Bemidji City Library on November 18, 2006, from 1 to 3 p.m., open and free to the public. Genealogical help will be available for prospective members. For more information, contact Elfreda Stangland or call 218-634-9814.

MAM Sampler for November

The Minnesota Association of Museums will visit The North Star Museum which is 30 years old, but less than a year old at its new location in North St. Paul. Check out this 30-year-old start-up museum with director Claudia Nicholson. Meet at the museum. (Directions) RSVP with Nina Clark at 612-870-3374.


Historic Preservation in Duluth-Superior

Read more about efforts to preserve historic properties in the Twin Harbors.

St. Cloud Times Obituary Index Released

St. Cloud Area Genealogists announce the release of the St. Cloud Times Obituaries Index 1908-1927 CD now available at the Stearns History Museum. This index includes over 20,000 deaths from central Minnesota and is the second and final of a two-part CD index series of the database starting with 1887.  For more information contact the Stearns History Museum.

How to Transcribe Manuscripts

Did you ever need to transcribe a manuscript in your collection to make it easier for researchers to read?  What are the rules, conventions, and guidelines for doing this? For answers, check out this link.

Minnesota Digital Library Coalition:  Phase 3

The Minnesota Digital Library Coalition seeks applications for digitization projects for the 2006 phase of "Minnesota Reflections." For complete information see the application form and the "Call for Project Proposals." If you have questions, contact MDLC Outreach Coordinator Marian Rengel (320-308-5625).  There is no deadline for applications.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Energy, Currency, and Memory—Sustaining the Value of Historic Resources

November 17-19, 2006. AIA Historic Resources Committee and AIA Committee on the Environment have teamed up with the University of Minnesota College of Design to host this symposium on historic preservation and sustainable design. The two-day symposium will feature educational sessions and tours of local architectural landmarks.

MAM/MHS Call for Proposals

April 27, 2007, Minnesota Association of Museums and the Minnesota Historical Society's Local History Services Office will present a joint meeting on the topic of "place" in St. Peter, Minnesota. This is an opportunity to share professional insights that are practical, idealistic, inspirational and/or pragmatic. More information. Session proposals are due by Wednesday, November 8. Questions? Contact Nina Clark at 612-870-3374.

Field Note

Catchy segment titles in exhibits can both be fun and educational. For example, the one below is part of "The Invincible Inez Hilger, OSB" exhibit currently at the Haehn Museum in St. Joseph, about the life and work of the noted anthropologist from Roscoe.

Exhibit panel with the title 'The Ainu I Knew' at Haehn Museum in St. Joseph.

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