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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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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."

Sinclair Lewis's First Published Novel

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

Hike and the Aeroplane was the first title published by Sinclair Lewis, but he published it under the pseudonym Tom Graham. It is a technological (for the time) adventure potboiler for young readers that appeared in 1912.
Be sure to come visit “Sinclair Lewis: 100 Years of Main Street” opening at the History Center April 10!
 

Past Minnesota Book Award Winners

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

The Minnesota Book Awards will be held later this April. Throughout this month we will be highlighting past winners in the Library Collection.
The winner in the Genre category in 1991 was Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer. it was published in New York by Putnam, 1989. 
Spencer was a Minnesotan best-selling author of contemporary and historical romance novels. The Library holds a collection of them, including this first edition in hardcover.

National Beer Day!

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

Today is National Beer Day!
Instead of talking about the tap room and new breweries that have popped up in the last five years or so, we are going to revisit the past.

This is a can of Bob's Special Beer. This product was brewed and canned especially for Bob Keenan by August Schell Brewing Company of New Ulm. It was sold at Dom's Drive-In Liquors of Minneapolis in 1978.

National Library Workers' Day!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 6, 2021

Today is National Library Workers' Day!

Here are a shot of the wonderful Catie Mackenzie in action with the Dumb Waiter. Soon we hope to present a TikTok showing even more of what she does!

Thanks to all the library workers out there, in all kinds  of libraries.

National Read a Road Map Day!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 5, 2021

The Bear Guardian

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

The Minnesota Book Awards will be held later in April. Thoroughout this month we will be highlighting past winners in the Library Collection.
The winner in the Nature category in 1991 was "The Bear Guardian: Northwoods Tales and Meditations" by Peter M. Leschak. Jessica Allen Johnson was the illustrator and it was published by North Star Press of St. Cloud. Containing stories about fighting fires for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, white-water canoeing on the Little Fork River, and skiing across a frozen lake in a blizzard, Leschak captures the drama and unique majesty of Minnesota's Northwoods.

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