Collections Up Close

collections up close Blog

Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future

About

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.

All MNHS Blogs

Subscribe by e-mail:

 Subscribe in a reader

Walter Mondale's Birthday

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 5, 2022

Today is former Vice-President Walter Mondale's birthday; he was one of the many people we lost in 2021.
This is his membership medal for the Minnesota Young Democrats' Club, circa 1949-1950. 

Kid's Winter Coat

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 4, 2022

This hand-embroidered green wool coat was made by Bessie Chaney for her granddaughter in Minneapolis in 1952. The red lining is also quilted. Coat was made as part of a winter snow set. 
 

New Year

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 3, 2022

Happy New Year!
This 1928 calendar was created to promote the Northern Pacific Railway and its route through Yellowstone National Park. 

"A Pretty New Year's Gift..."

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 31, 2021

This fascinating, tiny book is titled: “A pretty New-Year's gift; or, Entertaining histories : for the amusement and instruction of young ladies and gentlemen, in winter evenings.” The author is “Solomon Sobersides,” clearly an instructional nom de plume. 

Originally published as “Christmas tales for the amusement and instruction of young ladies and gentlemen” in Glasgow in 1782, this second edition seen here was published in Worchester, MA in 1796. The idea behind the book was a collection of stories to be given as a gift to entertain young people and keep them out of trouble during the long winter nights.

Book Store Photo

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 30, 2021

This photograph show the Columbian Book Store in St. Cloud. It was taken in 1901.

Map of Minneapolis, 1854

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 29, 2021

 This early map of Minneapolis was created in 1854 by Charles Christmas.

Still Life

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

This abstract watercolor is titled "Still Life, 1957." 
It was in fact painted in 1957 by Keith Havens.

Happy Kwanzaa!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 27, 2021

Yesterday was the first day of Kwanzaa, the annual celebration of African American heritage, unity, and culture.
This cloth doll was made by Phyllis Chatham of Minneapolis in 2012 to celebrate Kwanzaa, using mainly African fabrics. The dress is mainly orange with multicolored strips and a matching crown.
From the artist's statement: "This is a chitchat doll - a celebration of life, capturing cultural reflections. Cloth doll making is the art of healing; a journey celebrating the human spirit."

Best Wishes of the Season!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 24, 2021

This Christmas card depicts an abstract branch with red ornament on blue, with holiday greeting on the interior. 
It was made by artists David and Lolita Granahan between 1963 -1974.
We wish you all a wonderful holiday full of peace and light!

Christmas Pyramid

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 23, 2021

Pages