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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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St. Paul Winter Carnival Medallion

By: Anonymous (not verified) | Item of the Day | January 25, 2023

The annual St. Paul Winter Carnival starts tomorrow, but the St. Paul Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt is already underway! Participants seek a medallion in the city's public parks using daily clues as guides. This souvenir medallion from our collection predates the first Treasure Hunt by 65 years, but is a treasure in its own right. The front shows the 1887 Ice Palace, and the back scenes of winter activities: skating, tobogganing, snowshoeing, and curling.

ID: 73.76.2 (Accession Number)

Man scraping the ice off his windshield on January 24, 1950

By: Anonymous (not verified) | Item of the Day | January 24, 2023

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This photo of a man scraping ice off a car's windshield was taken Jan. 24, 1950.

ID: M.16.A.3 Packet 93 (Locator Number)

Minnesota Public Radio button

By: Anonymous (not verified) | Item of the Day | January 23, 2023

Yesterday, January 22, was the 56th anniversary of Minnesota Public Radio's first broadcast. One of the station's first broadcasters, and a staple for 45 years, was Gary Eichten. This "I LIke Eichten" button was created in 2008. Eichten retired in 2012.

ID: 2008.115.5 (Accession Number)

"Pray for Bruce Laingen and the Hostages" button

By: Anonymous (not verified) | Item of the Day | January 20, 2023

On this day, Jan. 20, 1981, Minnesota native Bruce Laingen and 51 other hostages who had been taken at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran on Nov. 4, 1979 were released after 444 days. Laingen was chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy and was the most senior official held. This button was produced during the crisis.

ID: 2008.107.26 (Accession Number)

Eleanor Roosevelt smiling for the camera during a January 19, 1953 visit to Minnesota

By: Anonymous (not verified) | Item of the Day | January 19, 2023

On Jan. 19, 1953, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt paid a visit to Minnesota, seen here getting off a train in the Twin Cities on her way to St. Olaf College in Northfield. In her diary, she would later write of the trip: "The 40-mile drive from Minneapolis to Northfield and St. Olaf's [sic] College was rather hazardous, but Minnesota drivers are accustomed to slippery conditions and we made the trip in good time."

ID: M.14.G.3 Packet 34 (Locator Number)

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome: Demolition

By: Anonymous (not verified) | Item of the Day | January 18, 2023

On this day, Jan. 18, 2014, demolition of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome began. In service since 1982, the stadium would be replaced by US Bank Stadium, which opened in 2016. This image is one of a series documenting the demolition and was taken on Feb. 27, 2014.

ID: Collection I.478.160 dig (Locator Number)

Scene of the Bremer kidnapping, Lexington and Goodrich, St. Paul.

By: Anonymous (not verified) | Item of the Day | January 17, 2023

On this day, January 17, 1934, the Barker-Carpis gang kidnepped St. Paul banker Edward Bremer. He would be held for weeks before being released for ransom. The subsequent manhunt would bring down the gang. This phote from the collection shows the scene of the kidnapping at the intersection of Goodrich and Lexington Ave. in St. Paul.

Learn more about the Barker-Karpis gang and the kidnapping in this MNopedia article:

ID: HV8.13 p3 (Locator Number)

Martin Luther King trims

By: Anonymous (not verified) | Item of the Day | January 16, 2023

ID: 32210 (Video Clip Number)

Two curlers getting their rock measured at the St. Paul Curling Club, January 13, 1951

By: Anonymous (not verified) | Item of the Day | January 13, 2023

It's Friday! What fun do you have planned for the weekend? In this image from Saturday, Jan. 13, 1951, two curlers at the St. Paul Curling Club are getting their rock measured. Is it just us, or does the judge's face seem to say 'I told you so'?

ID: M.15.H.3 Packet 48 (Locator Number)

Hallie Q. Brown Nursery School

By: Anonymous (not verified) | Item of the Day | January 12, 2023

This week in 1938, the Hallie Q. Brown House, named for the African American civil rights advocate and suffragist, moved into its first permanent building in St. Paul. The community center has served residents for over 100 years with education, social services, child care and much more — including this children's carnival held in 1961. In addition to photographs, MNHS holds the historical records of the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center in its collection.

ID: GV7.9 p11 (Locator Number)