Item of the Day

collections up close Blog

Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future


The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

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Item of the Day

Arrowhead Tourism

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 11, 2021

Finally, we can travel again!
This Arrowhead Country tourism brochure is from 1926. It forms part of “Pamphlets relating to the Arrowhead Region in Minnesota, 1909–” collection. 
Perhaps a trip up north is in your future? If so be sure to stop by Split Rock Lighthouse!

Judy Garland's Birthday

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 10, 2021

Today is singer and actress Judy Garland's birthday.
She was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in 1922.
This is photo is of Frances Ethel "Baby" Gumm (Judy Garland) with her sisters Mary Jane "Suzy" and Dorothy Virginia "Jimmie" at Grand Rapids, 1927.

Double Discount Days!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 9, 2021

MNHS Members and Volunteers will enjoy double discount days in the museum stores, both physically and online, June 9 - 13!
This photograph shows the opening of Spartan Discount Store in Roseville, 1961.


By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 8, 2021

On June 7 in 1987, August Wilson's play "Fences" won four Tony Awards, including one for best play.
This copy of "Three Plays" by August Wilson contains "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," "Fences," and "Joe Turner's Come and Gone." It was published in 1991.

Prince's Birthday

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 7, 2021

Today is Prince's birthday; he would have been 63 years old.
This photo taken by Jeff Katz in 1985.

National Donut Day!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 4, 2021

Today is National Donut Day - finally!
This photograph from Norton & Peel shows donuts coming out of machine at Kresges in 1943.

Happy Pride Month!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 3, 2021

Happy Pride!
Today we are highlighting "A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns."

This book combines a graphic art format with characters and good information. It was created in 2018 by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson. 

Pig's Eye!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 2, 2021

On this day St. Paul's founder, Pierre Parrant, built the city's first structure, known as the "whiskey seller's cabin," in Fountain Cave.
This portrait of Pierre Parrant is copied from an uncataloged print and dated 1840.


By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | June 1, 2021

It definitely has been sundress weather around here lately!
Today we share this one from 1958. This summer sundress features a modern stained glass block print, with a skirt flared from fitted waistband.  And ladies rejoice, it has pockets! It is a Tina Lesser Original design.

Memorial Day Travel

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 28, 2021

We've missed travel, haven't we?
This photograph shows passengers purchasing tickets during the Memorial Day travel peak at the St. Paul Union Depot in 1949.

Have a great and safe weekend!


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