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

Forty years ago this past weekend MTV came upon the cable scene. We have one item relating to MTV in our collection: a 1994 promotional booklet for MTV Latino, including several envelopes containing many full color, glossy promotional sheets describing the different shows on MTV Latino, in both Spanish and English and an autographed photo of Daisy Fuentes. 
We have this because it was created by Uno Hispanic Branding, a Minneapolis firm.

Ice Cream

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

This ice cream carton was used in Minneapolis in 1935.
The top appears to say "Raspberry."

Dog Days

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

It's officially the Dog Days of Summer - those days associated with prolonged stretches of heat, drought, and supposedly mad dogs?
So thinking about dogs we share this drawing from 1910 by Alice Hoag. 
It is sort of reminiscent "Pokey Little Puppy," isn't it?

Free Air

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

This is the first British edition of Sinclair Lewis's novel "Free Air." It was published in 1925 in this beautiful dust jacket. 

It tells the story of a young woman traveling from New York to the Pacific Northwest by automobile in the early 20th century.


Freighters on Lake Superior

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

This painting by  C.J. Nordmark, titled "Freighters on Lake Superior," show a landscape consisting of blue sky, a large body of blue green water, and a shoreline of blue violet rocks. In the distance near the horizon are two small ships; lights on the ship and light illuminating the sky suggest it is night. It was painted in 1925.

Celebrating ADA!

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

Today, July 26, is the anniversary of the signing of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act ensures equal access and opportunities for people with disabilities. 
This button was created to promote the ADA in 1990, the year it was signed into law.


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

Swimming is top of mind these hot, hot days.
This is a women's two piece swimsuit in a multicolor floral print fabric by Caryl Crozier of Burnsville. Crozier taught adult education classes, such as how to make lingerie, in the 1960s and 1970s when this was made.

Swimming in 1935

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

More swimming!
This photo from 1935 is titled "Kids splashing and swimming" but we think it should be title "Pure Joy."
Hope you find some cooling fun too!

James J. Hill Arrives in Saint Paul

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

On this date in 1856, James J. Hill arrives in Saint Paul as a shipping clerk. This is the letter he wrote this grandmother on August 4, as soon as he was settled, as promised. 

Happy Aquatennial!

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

Today is the first day of the Minneapolis Aquatennial!

Our featured item today is a minute-long clip of film from the 1960 Aquatennial. It's titled "Amphibious Marines" but actually shows brief shots of actress Annette Funicello (our favorite Mouseketeer) visiting one of the lakes along with beautiful sailboats in the background.