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Recent State Archives Acquisitions: October 2015

Background Information

A wide variety of research topics are represented in records added this month to the State Archives collection. The Health Department transferred meeting minutes and agenda packets (dated 2004-2006) of the Hearing Instrument Dispenser Advisory Council. The Council was established by the state legislature to advise the commissioner regarding hearing instrument dispenser certification standards, to provide for the distribution of information regarding hearing instrument dispenser certification standards, to review investigation summaries of competency violations, and to make recommendations to the commissioner as to whether the allegations of incompetency were substantiated.

A unique set of records were donated by Judy Helgen, a former biologist for the Pollution Control Agency. Ms. Helgen investigated deformed/malformed frogs discovered in Granite Falls in 1993 and in the Ney Pond in Henderson in 1995. The Ney Pond discovery was widely publicized and the deformed frog issue grew to national prominence, viewed by some as an environmental health crisis. Helgen and other researchers explored a long list of potential causes and contributing factors but were never able to conclusively identify what led to the deformities. The files document Helgen’s work during this period as well as her research done in preparation for writing her book, Peril in the Ponds: Deformed Frogs, Politics, and a Biologist’s Quest. The records include emails (printed), communications with key scientists, phone notes, subject files, files concerning the Pollution Control Agency and other organizations, research files, conference files, media files and tape transcripts.

Added to other City of St. Paul records preserved in the State Archives are City Planning Board land value maps dated 1952. The maps depict land values for the downtown St. Paul business district every ten years from 1874 to 1934 (one sheet per decade). The maps were prepared by the City Planning Board and drawn by the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.); transferred with the cooperation of the St. Paul Historic Preservation Commission. Also, meeting minutes and agendas (dated 1951-1954) of the City of St. Paul Planning Board and the Zoning Board.

A former principal of the Saturn School in St. Paul donated records (dated 1987-1995) concerning this magnet middle school designed as a “break the mold” school incorporating the extensive use of technology. The school was located in downtown St. Paul, and the records include newspaper and magazine articles, photographs and slides, and selected subject files.



1. Health Department. Hearing Instrument Dispenser Advisory Council meeting minutes and agenda packets dated 2004-2006. 18 folders.

2. Pollution Control Agency. Records (dated 1993-2012) of former Pollution Control Agency biologist Judy Helgen. 6 boxes.

3. Ramsey County. St. Paul (City). City Planning Board. Land value maps dated 1952. 7 sheets in 1 oversize folder.

4. Ramsey County. St. Paul (City). Meeting minutes and agendas (dated 1951-1954) of the Planning Board and the Zoning Board. 3 folders.

5. Ramsey County. St. Paul Public Schools. Records (dated 1987-1995) of the Saturn School. 1 box.


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November 9, 2015