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Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future

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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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Grits and Fritz

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 26, 2021

This week’s theme for Item of the Day is Remembering Vice President Walter Mondale.
While Mondale had a storied political career before becoming Vice President, serving both as Attorney General and Senator for Minnesota, the fun slogan on this button provides a glimpse into the teamwork the Carter Administration would soon exhibit.
Jimmy Carter (Grits) and Walter Mondale (Fritz) presidential campaign button, 1976.
 

The Latehomecomer

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

The Minnesota Book Awards will be held virtually this year on April 29. Throughout this month we are highlighting past winners in the Library Collection.

The 2009 winner in the Memoir & Creative Nonfiction category was "The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir" by Kao Kalia Yang, published by Coffee House Press.

Earth Day

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 22, 2021

Happy Earth Day!
This folded paper leaflet is titled "Our environment isn't disposable". It contains information regarding recycling in St. Paul, Earth Day, and a calendar for recycling pickup days for Como Park. It was created in 1990.

Prince

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 21, 2021

Today is the fifth anniversary of Prince's death.
In memory of him, we share the famous and fabulous ensemble he wore in "Purple Rain" in 1984. Prince himself donated it to MNHS years later. 
We are also sharing this image of children adding to balloons and flowers underneath Prince's star at First Avenue on April 23, 2016. It was collected as part of our "History is Now: Remembering Prince" contemporary collecting initiative.

Itasca!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 20, 2021

On this day in 1891 Itasca State Park was established, making it the first state park in Minnesota. Its 32,000 acres preserve more than 300 lakes as well as the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Today's Item of the Day is the Itasca State Park headwaters sign used from 1975 - 1988. It marked the origin of the Mississippi River at the outlet of Lake Itasca. It has been replaced by a new one that looks the same.

Mine

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 19, 2021

This oil painting by Jo Lutz Rollins is titled "Open Pit Mine."
It is a view from above looking down into an open pit mine; a group of green buildings is at upper right. A forest is in the distance. It was created in 1950.

Photo of Sinclair Lewis

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 16, 2021

Does this photograph say Evil Genius or Nobel Prize winning writer? 
If you said the second you'd be right! 
This is a photo of Sinlclair Lewis from 1945, taken by the Minneapolis Star and Tribune. 
Lewis won the Nobel in 1930 for "...his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters."
Come learn more about him and his work at the newest exhibit "Sinclair Lewis: 100 Years of Main Street" on view now!

Past Minnesota Book Award Winner

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 15, 2021

The Minnesota Book Awards will be held virtually April 29. Throughout this month we are highlighting past winners in the Library Collection.
The winner in the History and Biography category from 2002 was the beautiful "Views on the Mississippi: The Photographs of Henry Peter Bosse." It was edited by Mark Neuzil and published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2001.

National Gardening Day

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 14, 2021

For this National Gardening Day (which comes a little early for us here in the North), we are highlighting one of our Victory Garden posters.
This one has a colorful illustration showing a man and a woman bending down to plant, and a boy looking through a basket full of different vegetables. Text at bottom reads, "A Garden Will Make Your Rations Go Further." 
The poster was printed and distributed by the Government Printing Office in middle of World War II, 1943.
 

Button

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 13, 2021

This circular pin-back button from 1987 reads: "Knowing is Not Enough - Act for Peace & Justice."

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