The Minnesota State Archives’ collection dates from the territorial period to the present, and while most of the collection is in paper form (over 70,000 cubic feet), the collection also includes photographs, microfilm, moving images, recorded audio, and terabytes of digital content.
Minnesota state and local government records are added frequently to the State Archives collection. This page highlights recent acquisitions by the month they were added to the State Archives collection. Although the records were recently acquired, they may not be available yet in the MNHS Library and Archives Catalog. For assistance finding and accessing these records, please contact the staff of the Gale Family Library.
A wide variety of research topics are represented in the records added this month to the State Archives, such as documenting state aid to women, children and infants; legislative history; family and local history; and administration of the state’s tax laws.
Health Department staff transferred records of the Minnesota Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) which provides specific supplemental foods and nutrition education services to Minnesota residents who meet specific categorical and income requirements; the CSFP has been providing benefits in Minnesota since 1988. The CSFP is designed to identify and serve those individuals who are within a target population of low income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants and children up to six years of age, as well as participants 60 years of age and order. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program was started in Minnesota in early 1974, and works with many local agencies covering all 87 counties in Minnesota. The WIC Program was established on the basis of findings presented to the U.S. Congress which indicated that pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and young children who had inadequate nutrition and/or health care were at risk with respect to their physical and mental health. The program consists of three major components: 1) nutrition assessment, counseling and education services; 2) health education and referral services; 3) prescribed supplemental foods high in key nutrients. These integrated components provide intervention during the critical times of growth and development to prevent the occurrence of health problems and to improve the overall health status of eligible persons.
Staff of the House of Representatives transferred House Bills for the 2019-2020 legislative session which continue an existing set dating from 1957. Documenting the Minnesota state legislature is a collecting priority of the State Archives, and these records continue that effort. Champlin Township birth and death records (dated 1870-1909) were donated by the Champlin Historical Society, and will join other records of the township preserved in the State Archives. Included in records (dated 1873-1992) transferred by the City of Madelia is a birth and death register, dated 1887-1900, which pre-dates the city’s birth and death records already preserved in the State Archives. Birth and death records pre-dating 1900 are especially valuable for family history research, since the state government did not start recording birth and deaths until 1900. State Archives staff advised city staff for over a year, prior to their move into a new city hall, which also resulted in the transfer of village/city council meeting minutes, ordinances, justice court civil and criminal dockets, lockup registers, and financial records. These records will be particularly useful for local history research.
The Minnesota Tax Court has existed since 1939, and is a specialized, executive branch court specifically established by the Minnesota Legislature to hear only tax related cases. The Court's mission is to provide timely and equitable disposition of appeals of orders issued by the Minnesota Commissioner of Revenue and local property tax valuations, classification, equalization and/or exemptions. All of the judges have expertise in the tax laws and apply that expertise in a manner to ensure that taxpayers are assessed only what they owe, and no more. Tax Court staff transferred closed (completed) case files, dated 2013-2018, that inter-file with the existing set dating from 1939.
- Health Department. Family Health Division. Supplemental Nutrition Programs Section. State plans of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program dated FY1999-FY2006, and other records of the WIC Program dated 2002-
2004. 1 box.
- Hennepin County. Champlin Township. Birth and death register dated 1870-1909, and reports of a birth dated 1905-1907. 1 oversize folder.
- Legislature. House of Representatives. House bills for the 2019-2020 legislative session. 45 boxes.
- Tax Court. Closed (completed) case files dated 2013-2018. 30 boxes.
- Watonwan County. Madelia (village/city). Records (dated 1873-1992), including village/city council meeting minutes, ordinances, justice court civil and criminal dockets, birth and death records, lockup registers, and financial records. 11 boxes, 2 oversize bound volumes.
Records added this month to the State Archives collection inter-file with, or continue existing sets of state and local government records preserved in the collection; see below for details. The Agricultural Society century farm and sesquicentennial farm applications received fill in gaps in the existing set of records dating from 1976 which has been digitized http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gr00094.xml. The newly received records will be digitized after they are cataloged with the digital content will be available via our Library catalog.
Preserved in the State Archives are records of the City of Edina http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gr01884.xml, and the Village of Morningside http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gr01883.xml. Included in the City of Edina records is a copy of the petition to incorporate the village and a census of land owners dated 1888. Morningside was a distinct neighborhood in the Village of Edina when the community voted to secede from Edina and form their own village in 1920. In 1966 Morningside citizens voted to rejoin Edina. Included in the recent transfer are ballots (sample) of the May 3, 1966 special election held on the question of annexation of the Village of Morningside to the Village of Edina.
Minnesota has been a national leader in public welfare reform, and the Minnesota Family Investment Program http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gr01605.xml is well documented in the State Archives. The purpose of the program was to help families work their way out of poverty; the recently received records were donated by two long-time Human Services Department staff members (recently retired) who led the program from its inception.
Court records from all of Minnesota’s 87 counties are one of the strengths of the State Archives, and recently the Martin County District Court transferred adoption case files dated 1878-1985. In 1981 when the court transferred its set of civil case files (dated 1861-1951), it retained the adoption case files for ongoing use. The transfer was well-documented at the time, so it will be fairly easy to catalog and add these records to the court’s records preserved in the State Archives. In accordance with state law, adoption case files must be closed for 100 years, and can only be accessed with a court order. However, the files are important to permanently preserve for legal and historical purposes.
- Agricultural Society. List of century farm awardees dated 2007, century farm applications dated 2010-2011, and sesquicentennial farm applications dated 2010-2020. 1 box.
- City of Edina governance records, including petitions, by laws, and ordinances (dated 1888-1948), and redistricting and precinct boundaries changes files (dated 1972-1994); special election ballots (dated 1966) and poll lists/election registers (undated, 1934-1946, 1958, 1960) of the Village of Morningside. 1 box.
- Human Services Department. Minnesota Family Investment Program. Correspondence of project director Chuck Johnson (dated 1992-2000), and publications and reports (dated 1999-2008). 1 box.
- Martin County. District Court. Adoption case files dated 1878-1985. 7 boxes.
A wide variety of research topics and functions are represented in the records added this month to the State Archives collection. Local government records with historical value are a collecting strength of the State Archives, and the collection was strengthened with the transfer of Mower County Board of County Commissioners minute books dated 1856-2021, and Murray County Assessor assessment rolls dated 1990-1991, 2000, 2010-2011. The assessment books continue an existing set dating from 1873, and are useful for family and local history research. The Mower County records are particularly valuable because they pre-date Minnesota statehood, and are a unique and primary source for researching the county's history, development and life over more than 150 years.
Key functions (municipal boundary adjustments, protecting the natural environment, public health safety) of Minnesota state government are documented in records transferred by the Municipal Board, the Natural Resources Department, the Pharmacy Board, and the Public Service Department. Actually, the Municipal Board was terminated in 1999 by the state legislature, with its function now located in the Administrative Hearings Office as the Municipal Boundary Adjustment Unit. The Unit acts on boundary adjustments between a city and the adjacent land, and rules on incorporations of cities. In 1959, Minnesota became the first state in the country to create a quasi-judicial commission, the Minnesota Municipal Board, to hear and decide local incorporation and boundary adjustment questions. Prior to this, the Minnesota Legislature was confronted with municipal boundary chaos. Municipal annexation, detachment and incorporation files (dated 2006-2011) were transferred, and continue existing sets dating from 1957.
While the Natural Resources Department (DNR) is well-represented in the State Archives, there is no documentation concerning its extensive alumni and volunteer programs which support protecting and enjoying Minnesota's natural environment. The DNR Alumni and Volunteer Programs unit was formally established in 1984, and initially was funded with support from the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources. The unit had a two-directional focus: responding to requests from the public to be involved in DNR activities, and responding to requests from DNR staff for assistance from the public. Currently, more than 14,000 volunteers enable the DNR to expand and improve services to the public, and help to preserve and enhance Minnesota's natural beauty for the enjoyment of people of all ages, interests and abilities. Volunteer opportunities occur throughout the state at state parks, state forest campgrounds, wildlife management areas, fisheries and hatcheries, the 150+ DNR area offices, four regional headquarter offices, the St. Paul central office and at special event sites.
An early 1990s environmental protection issue, which continues to this day, is the storage of nuclear waste in steel casks at the Prairie Island nuclear generating facility located in Red Wing along the Mississippi River and adjacent to the Prairie Island Indian Community reservation. The plant is owned by the Northern States Power Company, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, and is operated by Xcel Energy. The nuclear power plant began operating in 1973, and has two nuclear reactors. The power plant attracted controversy in the early 1990s when its operator decided to store nuclear waste in large steel casks on-site. The area where the facility is located is a floodplain of the Mississippi River, and many opponents of the decision feared the risk of water contamination through breach of the casks during seasonal flooding of the river, and opposed renewal of the federal license at the plant. Eventually, storage of the steel casks was allowed at the facility, but the number of casks was reduced from 48 to 17. A timeline concerning the issue is available on the Community's website at: https://prairieisland.org/policy-positions/nuclear-positions.
Protecting the health of Minnesotans is an important function of the state government, and meeting minutes of the Pharmacy Board, dated 1970-2017, help document that public health function; the minutes continue a set dating from 1885 preserved in the State Archives. The Board regulates pharmacists, pharmacies, pharmacy technicians, controlled substance researchers, drug wholesalers and drug manufacturers. The Board approves licenses or registrations for these individuals or businesses, and also decides when to impose disciplinary action.
Mower County. Board of County Commissioners. Minute books dated 1856-2021. 22 boxes.
Municipal Board. Annexation, detachment and incorporation files dated 2066-2011, and published reports, dated 1969, regarding municipal boundary changes in Minnesota. 23 boxes.
Murray County. Assessor. Assessment rolls dated 1990-1991, 2000, 2010-2011. 7 boxes.
Natural Resources Department. Communications and Outreach Office. DNR Alumni and Volunteer Programs. Subject files (undated, 1983-2014) including newsletters, retirees' meeting minutes, reports, project files and related records. 1 box.
Pharmacy Board. Minutes dated January 1970-October 2017. 2 boxes.
Public Service Department. Prairie Island nuclear generating plant waste storage case file dated 1991-1993. 4 boxes.
Local government records with historical value are a collecting priority of the State Archives, and this month's acquisitions help strengthen the collection. Preserved in the State Archives are records of Twin Cities metropolitan area charter schools (Cedar Riverside, Paideia Academy) that, unfortunately, closed over the past five years. A Greater Minnesota charter school, Lafayette Charter School, closed this spring due to staffing shortages and a lack of financial resources, and documenting this rural area charter school will nicely complement the records of the metro area charter schools. The Lafayette Charter School opened in 1999 after the New Ulm school district closed the elementary school located in Lafayette in the spring of 1998. The pre-kindergarten-eighth grade charter school was a small, tuition-free charter school committed to creating a safe and positive learning environment for students to grow socially and emotionally with a focus on agriculture and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
The school served students from a number of communities, including New Ulm, Gibbon, Fairfax, Courtland, Winthrop, Lafayette, and more. The school building (constructed in 1922) was previously the school for Independent School District No. 506 (Lafayette) which consolidated with Independent School District No. 735 (Winthrop) and Independent School District No. 88 (New Ulm) in 1970. While State Archives staff were reviewing and appraising charter school records in the building, a few records of the defunct school district were uncovered. Selected records were transferred to the State Archives, including school censuses (dated 1928-1950) of the Lafayette school district and school districts that consolidated with the Lafayette school district prior to 1957.
While rural and metropolitan area school districts are well documented in the State Archives, another collecting strength of the collection are birth and death records of local government entities (counties, villages/cities, townships). Lately, State Archives staff have had increasing contact with local and county historical societies, and the Pine County Historical Society (located in Askov) transferred birth and death records. Included are birth and death records (dated 1919-1953) of the Village/City of Askov; and birth and death records (dated 1901-1953), including burial or removal permits, of Partridge Township.
Nicollet County. Lafayette Charter School. Records (dated 1998-2022) including board meeting minutes, school committees' meeting minutes, scrapbooks, handbooks and manuals, and selected subject files including organizational documents, photographs, annual financial reports, and the school newsletter. Also, school censuses (dated 1928-1950) of Independent School District No. 506 (Lafayette), School District No. 26, and School District No. 64 in Nicollet County; and School District No. 50 in Sibley County. 7 boxes.
Pine County. Birth and death records (dated 1919-1953) of the Village/City of Askov; and birth and death records, including burial or removal permits (dated 1901-1953) of Partridge Township. 2 boxes.
The United States Civil War is well-documented in the Minnesota Historical Society's collections, and records of Minnesota's volunteer regiments are well-represented in the State Archives. Recently two items were purchased from an auction house with the assistance of Collections Department staff. Included in the purchase is a list (dated June 30, 1863) of articles of clothing issued by Captain John Moulton; includes names and signatures of privates, musicians, and non-commissioned officers to whom various articles of clothing (e.g., caps, coats, trousers, shirts, bootees, stockings) were issued. Also, a monthly return of clothing, camp and garrison equipage received and issued by Captain Moulton (dated April 1864). The documents complement other records of the Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, plus the set of muster rolls and other records of Minnesota's regiments that served in the war. Available on MNopedia is a short history of the regiment's service during the war.
Court records are another strength of the State Archives, and valuable records from the Redwood County and Steele County courts were transferred that enhance access to existing court records, and will be useful for family and local history research. Received from the Redwood County court is a ditch proceedings book (dated 1905-1924), defendant and plaintiff indexes (dated 1867-1982), civil and criminal registers of action (dated 1867-1982), civil and criminal case file exhibits (dated 1910-1980), and burial or removal permits (dated 1949-1991) of the District Court; adoption record books (dated 1959-1982) of the Juvenile Court; indexes to probate registers of action and registers of probate action (dated 1877-1982) of the Probate Court. In the midst of cleaning out their storage rooms in preparation for moving into a new building, court staff discovered other valuable records that were transferred: a treasurer's book (dated 1876-1885) of School District No. 13/1742 (Sundown Township), Redwood County Agricultural Society annual reports (dated 1917-1924), a map of the Minnesota River Railway (dated 1878) of the Recorder, and school consolidation and organization files (dated 1952-1971) of the Auditor. Many of the records will complement existing records preserved in the State Archives.
Steele County court transferred plaintiff and defendant indexes (dated 1936-1984), registers of civil actions (dated 1856-1984) and criminal actions (dated 1923-1984) of the District Court; adoption record books (dated 1960-1984) of the Juvenile Court; probate registers (dated 1858-1984), general indexes to probate cases (dated 1935-1984), informal probate registers of actions, and index to informal probate case files (dated 1976-1989) of the Probate Court. The informal probate records are the first of their kind transferred to the State Archives. To settle a decedent's estate, in situations that are less complicated, an informal probate application can be filed to ask the court to appoint a personal representative without a hearing in front of a judge; a probate registrar handles the case rather than a judge. In formal probate, where the situations are more complicated, a petition is filed to ask the court to appoint a personal representative with a hearing in front of a judge.
- Adjutant General. Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, Company D. Records dated 1863-1864. 2 items.
- Redwood County. Various Courts. Records dated 1867-1991 (bulk dated 1867-1982). 37 boxes.
- Steele County. Various Courts. Records dated 1856-1984. 42 boxes.
Some of the records added this month to the State Archives collection continue or complement existing records preserved in the collection. Health Department staff transferred records (dated 1994-2019) of the Administrative Uniformity Committee and its subordinate Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs). Included are minutes and meeting files that pre-date and continue the existing set of records (dated 2006-2010) preserved in the State Archives. Also included are selected manuals and printed reports. The Administrative Uniformity Committee is a broad-based group representing Minnesota health care public and private group purchasers, hospitals, physicians, other providers and State of Minnesota agencies. The Committee's goal is to reduce administrative costs for both payers and providers by standardizing their administrative processes and requirements. The Committee is made up of an Executive Committee, a Strategic Steering Committee, an Operations Committee, and various TAGs and Work Groups.
The Office of the Secretary of State transferred Session Laws dated 2022 which continue the existing set of Session Laws, dating from 1858, preserved in the State Archives. These are the Acts of the Minnesota Legislature as passed in each year's legislative session. Includes resolutions and concurrent resolutions of the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate. Laws of a permanent nature are subsequently incorporated in the Minnesota Statutes that are coded laws. The Laws of Minnesota are uncoded laws, including appropriations, proposed constitutional amendments, local laws, and effective date sections. Each Session Law includes the original signatures of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, Secretary of the Senate, Revisor of Statutes, Governor, and Secretary of State. The Session Laws are closed to public use, since digital copies are available for online use: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/.
A retired Minnesota Transportation Department land survey, Ronald D. Olson, donated records (dated 1971-2017) concerning the training of land surveyors in the department. Mr. Olson was a member of a group of Highway Department (now known as the Transportation Department) employees who participated in a multi-year program (1971-1975) to receive intensive land survey training. The goal of the S.P.A.R. (Survey Pride Accuracy Responsibility) training program was to provide the department with licensed land surveyors to support the design and construction of the state's highways, especially the interstate highway system. For the next fifty years the cohort of land surveyors served in a number of positions in the department's regional districts and central office, and continued their relationship with each other after their initial training. The department probably has the largest number of licensed land surveyors serving in a Minnesota state agency.
- Health Department. Health Policy Division. Records (dated 1994-2019) of the Administrative Uniformity Committee and its subordinate Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs). 5 boxes of paper records, and 212 MB of digital content.
- Secretary of State. Session Laws dated 2022. 2 boxes.
- Transportation Department. Land survey records (dated 1971-2017) of Ronald D. Olson. 2 boxes, 1 loose roll.
Local government records with historical value are one of the strengths of the State Archives collection, and a variety of records concerning different research topics were added to the State Archives this month. Former Hennepin County Commissioner, Thomas L. Olson, donated a collection of records (primarily dated 1974-1976) concerning the planning and construction of the Hennepin County Government Center and the Hennepin County Medical Center (formerly the Hennepin County General Hospital). At the time, the cost of constructing and furnishing the buildings was a contentious issue. Expenses were investigated by WCC0-TV and the Minnesota State Auditor's Office, but no malfeasance was found. Included in the records are transcripts, statements, printed items and photographs.
All of Minnesota's 87 district courts are represented in the State Archives, and of special value and importance are the courts' naturalization records (dating from the 1850s through the 1950s). The Lac qui Parle County District Court recently discovered and transferred the card file index to the court's naturalization records (dated 1871-1953) preserved in the State Archives. While the individual naturalization record volumes are indexed, the card file index provides another access point for researchers.
The Morrison County Public Health Department transferred records (dated 1976-2013) that document several iterations of public health and community health services departments of Morrison County, plus counties adjacent to Todd County. Included are records of the Cass-Todd-Wadena-Morrison Community Health Services Department, the Four County Advisory Committee, the Morrison-Todd-Wadena Community Health Services Department, and the Morrison County Public Health Department. The records primarily include meeting minutes and annual reports.
Just about anyone living and driving in the Twin Cities area has heard of the Bloomington Ferry Bridge, and recently the Scott County Highway Department transferring records (dated 1985-2002) regarding the planning and construction of the current structure. The bridge, 5,850 feet in length and completed in 1996, connects Hennepin County and Scott County, and passes through the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The project involved coordination among several county, state and federal entities, including the Minnesota Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and several local government entities. Included are the Scott County Transportation Coalition meeting minutes, plus newsletters, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and photographs.
And while it is not a local government agency, the Health Department transferred Office of Minority Health and Multicultural Health Advisory Board meeting minutes and agenda packets dated 2000-2014. A State Archives priority is to document underrepresented communities in the collection, and these records help fulfill that goal. The Advisory Committee provided a forum for discussion and advice to the Commissioner of Health focused on improving the health status of populations of color and Native Americans. It served to further the purpose of the Office of Minority Health and Multicultural Health, which provided leadership within the Health Department to strengthen the health and wellness of Minnesota's communities by engaging populations of color and Native Americans in actions essential to eliminate health disparities.
- Health Department. Office of Minority Health and Multicultural Health Advisory Board. Meeting minutes and agenda packets dated 2000-2014. The Advisory Committee provided a forum for discussion and advice to the Commissioner of Health focused on improving the health status of populations of color and Native Americans. 1 box.
- Hennepin County. Board of Commissioners. Files of former Commissioner Thomas L. Olson dated 1933, 1968, 1974-1976, 1990. Most of records concern the planning and construction of the Hennepin County Government Center and the Hennepin County Medical Center (formerly the Hennepin County General Hospital. 2 boxes.
- Lac qui Parle County. District Court. Naturalization records card index [to first and second papers?] dated1871-1953. Complements the court's set of naturalization records preserved in the State Archives. 1 box.
- Morrison County. Public Health Department. Records dated 1976-2013. Primarily meeting minutes and annual reports of several iterations of public health and community health services departments in and around Morrison County. 3 boxes.
- Scott County. Highway Department. Bloomington Ferry Bridge records dated 1985-2002. The records concern the planning and construction of the Bloomington Ferry Bridge completed in 1996. Included are meeting minutes, newsletters, photographs and scrapbooks. 2 boxes.
Documenting how Minnesota state and local governments protect the state's environment and natural resources is a collecting priority of the State Archives, and records added this month to the collection help fulfill that goal.
The Rice Creek Watershed District transferred records (dated 1972-2021), including board meeting minutes and agenda packets, organization and history files, rules, watershed management plans, bylaws, boundary files, and published reports. The records are entirely in digital form, and the watershed district staff was great to work with to transfer these valuable records to the State Archives. The Rice Creek Watershed District is approximately 185 square miles of urban and rural land in Anoka, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties. Portions of the district can be found in the following cities and townships: Arden Hills, Birchwood, Blaine, Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Columbus, Dellwood, Falcon Heights, Forest Lake, Fridley, Grant, Hugo, Lauderdale, Lexington, Lino Lakes, Mahtomedi, May Township, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Saint Anthony, Scandia, Shoreview, Spring Lake Park, White Bear Lake, White Bear Township and Willernie.
Rice Creek Watershed District was established on January 18, 1972 when county boards, citizens, and cities petitioned the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. Political boundaries and funding issues limited city and county efforts to manage drainage systems, flood control activities, and water quality concerns. The district was established with the purpose of conserving and restoring water resources for the beneficial use of current and future generations. The district's mission is to manage, protect, and improve the water resources of the district through flood control and water quality projects and programs. The district prioritizes the maintenance and repair of its public drainage systems and the implementation of systems-based projects in partnership with local cities and counties.
Staff of the Natural Resources Department transferred records which help document their activities and functions. Administrative rules proceedings files (dated 2000-2016) concerning the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) were transferred, and include exhibits, public comments and responses, correspondence, hearing transcripts and procedural documents.
The MRCCA includes the Mississippi River and 5,400 acres of adjacent land along a 72-mile stretch through the Twin Cities metropolitan area. State legislation required the Natural Resources Department to adopt rules for the administration of the MRCCA to preserve and enhance the natural, aesthetic, economic, recreational, cultural and historical values of the corridor, and to protect its environmentally sensitive areas.
Parks and Recreation Division staff of the Natural Resources Department transferred annual park passes dated 2014-2021. The passes continue a colorful set of park passes dating from 1953 which have been digitized. Several years ago State Archives staff compiled a slide show featuring the existing set of passes and is available online at: https://www.mnhs.org/blog/collectionsupclose/have-sticker-will-travel-minnesota-state-park-stickers-0
- Anoka County. Rice Creek Watershed District. Records (dated 1972-2021), including board meeting minutes and agenda packets, organization and history files, rules, watershed management plans, bylaws, boundary files, and published reports. The records are entirely in digital form; 4,568 files (7.8GB).
- Natural Resources Department. Administrative rules proceedings files: Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA), 2000-2016. 1 box.
- Natural Resources Department. Parks and Recreation Division. Annual park passes dated 2014-2021. 1 folder.
Records transferred to the State Archives this month document a number of important governmental functions and will be useful for various types of research. Metropolitan Council staff transferred organizational charts, dated 2005-2018, solely in digital form. The Metropolitan Council is the regional policy-making body, planning agency, and provider of essential services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region. The Metro Council is well-documented in the State Archives collection, and the organizational charts illustrate how the agency has grown and developed over the years.
The Pine County Auditor transferred a number of records (undated, 1870-2004) that will inter-file with, or complement, existing sets of records preserved in the State Archives. Included are meeting minutes of various county committees and commissions (extension, parks and recreation, planning, and solid waste advisory; dated 1965-1980); selected subject files (undated, 1870-2004) of the Auditor concerning such topics as county planning, land condemnation, natural resources management, sluice dams, and the Rose Hill Cemetery in Hinckley. Also, Superintendent of Schools' school district consolidation files (dated 1876, 1950s-1974) and related records; District Court civil case file transcript dated 1929; and Board of Equalization meeting minutes dated 1904-2004.
County highway departments are not particularly well-documented in the State Archives, since many of their records with permanent historical value are retained by the departments for ongoing use. However, the Steele County Highway Department transferred their set of annual reports (dated 1944-2013) which document and illustrate the development and growth of the county highway system in this Greater Minnesota county.
- Metropolitan Council. Organizational charts dated 2005-2018. Complement existing records preserved in the State Archives. 11.8MB.
- Pine County. Records (undated, 1870-2004), including meeting minutes of various county committees and commission (extension, parks and recreation, planning, and solid waste advisory; dated 1965-1980; selected subject files (undated, 1870-2004) of the Auditor concerning such topics as county planning, land condemnation, natural resources, sluice dams, and the Rose Hill Cemetery in Hinckley; Superintendent of Schools' school district consolidation files (dated 1876, 1950s-1974) and related records; District Court civil case file transcript dated 1929; and Board of Equalization meeting minutes dated 1904-2004. 3 boxes, 1 oversize folder.
- Steele County. Highway Department. Annual reports dated 1944-2013. 2 boxes.
Records added this month to the State Archives collection document a wide variety of activities and functions of Minnesota state and local government units. All of these recent additions complement existing records preserved in the collection, and will be valuable for many types of research such as family and local history, the state's efforts to battle the HIV/AIDS infection, and rehabilitating juvenile offenders.
The State Agricultural Society transferred century farm applications, dated 2022, which continue the existing set dating from 1976. The application forms are for residents who wished to have their farms declared century farms, signifying that the farm had been in the same family for 100 or more years. This was begun as a joint project between the State Fair and the Farmer magazine; later the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation became the co-sponsor. Beginning in 2009, sesquicentennial (150 years) farms' forms are included. The forms give biographical and genealogical information and ownership history of the farm, and some include additional supporting documentation and/or reminiscences. The records will be digitized, and will join the 1976-2021 records already digitized and available online http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gr00094.xml.
Welch Township (Goodhue County) transferred board meeting minutes dated 2022, and planning commission meeting minutes dated 1998-2022. The records continue the existing set of Welch Township records, dating from 1878, preserved in the State Archives. The township was named to commemorate Abraham Edward Welch, a first lieutenant in the 1st Minnesota Regiment, later a major in the 4th Minnesota Regiment, who died in 1864 in Nashville, Tennessee. Townships are the original form of local government in Minnesota, established as part of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which led to the creation of the State of Minnesota. There are 1,780 townships throughout the 87 counties in Minnesota, and the State Archives preserves a fair number of the townships' records.
Staff of the Hastings Veterans Home transferred a hospital record (admission and discharge register) dated 1978-2013, and meeting minutes (dated 2022-1016) for committees concerning admissions, designated contributions, residents, root cause analysis, and utilization review. The Hastings Veterans Home opened in 1978, in the buildings vacated by the Hasting State Hospital which closed in the same year. The veterans home is not well-documented in the State Archives, so these records are a welcome addition to document the veterans who resided at the facility, their activities, and the policies and procedures concerning their care and well-being. Also, a patient card index (dated circa 1913-1960) of the Hasting State Hospital which complements an existing patient card index preserved in the State Archives. The hospital was one of the first state hospitals to close in the state, and is very well documented in the collection.
The Health Department transferred Community Cooperative Council on HIV/AIDS Prevention records dated 2010-1015, including revised bylaws, meeting minutes and agenda packets. The records continue the existing set preserved in the collection dating from 2006. The Council served as an advisory body to the STD and HIV sections of the Health Department in order to assist in creating a comprehensive HIV prevention plan that prioritized populations identified as being most at-risk of infection, Membership was largely composed of community members, of whom a minimum of 25% were people living with HIV or AIDS. Representatives from the Corrections, Education, Health, Human Services departments also served on the Council.
Prior to its closing earlier this year, Hennepin County Home School staff transferred records, dated 1901-2020, including juvenile intake ledgers (dated 1951-1967), Beta program admission and discharge ledger (1976-1989), subject files (dated 1916-2009), published records and reports (dated 1965-2000), recipe card and index (dated 1980), and scrapbooks (dated 1901-1976). The records complement existing records of the school preserved in the collection. The residential juvenile facility, founded in 1908, was located in Minnetonka and closed in early 2022. While some of the records concerning individual juveniles will be closed for many years, it is important to document how the government and society, tried to rehabilitate, educate and care for juvenile offenders. Other records in the addition are open for researchers to use concerning the school''s policies and activities, the buildings and grounds, licensing and inspections, media coverage, and even the food the residents ate during their stay in the facility. Included are recipe cards published by the U.S. Armed Forces Recipe Service which were used in the school's kitchen to prepare meals for the residents.
- Agricultural Society. Century farm applications, dated 2022, which continue the existing set dating from 1976. The records will be digitized, and will join the 1976-2021 records already digitized and available online http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gr00094.xml. 2 folders.
- Goodhue County. Welch Township. Board meeting minutes dated 2022, and planning commission meeting minutes dated 1998-2022. The records continue the existing set of Welch Township records, dating from 1878, preserved in the State Archives. 2 bound volumes.
- Hastings Veterans Home. Hospital record (admission and discharge register) dated 1978-2013, and meeting minutes (dated 2022-1016) for committees concerning admissions, designated contributions, residents, root cause analysis, and utilization review. Also, a patient card index (dated circa 1913-1960) of the Hasting State Hospital which complements an existing patient card index preserved in the State Archives. 3 boxes.
- Health Department. Community Cooperative Council on HIV/AIDS Prevention records dated 2010-1015, including revised bylaws, meeting minutes and agenda packets. The records continue the existing set preserved in the collection dating from 2006. 1 box.
- Hennepin County. Home School. Records dated 1901-2020. The records complement existing records of the school preserved in the collection. 7 boxes.
Records added this month to the State Archives document a number of state and local governmental functions, projects and programs and are valuable for a variety of research topics. Typically, state and local government agencies transfer records to the State Archives, but this month a few individuals donated many of the below listed records which nicely complement the State Archives collection.
The son of Dr. Susan K. Vaughan donated Education Department published records and reports dated 1982-1994 that primarily concern music and art education testing, assessments and learner outcomes. The majority of the reports were authored by Dr. Vaughan, Education Department art and music education specialist. Art and music education is not well-documented in the State Archives, and these records are a welcome addition.
Former Education Department Assistant Commissioner Nan Skelton donated records (dated 1970-2004) that document projects she coordinated and led on behalf of the department. Included are correspondence, meeting minutes, press releases, reports, speeches, and background information. Assistant Commissioner Skelton coordinated the Education Department's project to develop a statewide education approach to AIDS and risk reduction in the 1980s, and collaborated with the Minnesota Health Department, the Minnesota Association of School Administrators and other organizations. In response to a 1988 mandate from the Minnesota Legislature, Assistant Commissioner Skelton coordinated the Education Department's effort to develop a restructured model for K-12 vocational education in the state. Ms. Skelton also coordinated The Whole Child Initiative which was a two year pilot program organized by the Education Department, in collaboration with other partners, to provide solutions for children who had problems that interfered with learning in school. Pilot programs were set up in the communities of Alexandria, Chaska, Crookston, Hugo, Kimball, Minneapolis, St. Paul, West St. Paul, Trimont and Willmar.
The Freeborn County District Court transferred adoption case files dated 1950 and 1952, and complement the set of Freeborn County District Court civil case files, dating from 1857, preserved in the State Archives. In accordance with Minnesota state law adoption records have restricted access for 100 years from date of creation, and the catalog record for the files will not include the case names. The Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District transferred erosion control project files dated 1990-1994. Included are correspondence, reports, permits, contracts, photographs and plans concerning the Lake Belle Tain bridge (Nevis Township), the Shell River bridge (Hubbard Township), and the Island-Eagle Lake waterway.
Mrs. Helen Silha donated records (undated, 1966-1988, 1996-1998) of Otto A. Silha who was co-chair of the Minnesota Experimental City Authority steering committee. The records include correspondence, reports and steering committee minutes, and complement a substantial set of records of the Authority preserved in the State Archives. For a comprehensive history of the Minnesota Experimental City Authority see the State Archives finding aid at: http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gr01633.xml. The records were transferred from the Manuscripts Collection in which Otto Silha's personal papers are preserved: http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00833.xml.
An individual donated a photographic album (dated 1957) of Richard A. Arndt who graduated from Wilson High School in 1957. Most of the black and white photographs are identified, and depict various activities of the graduating seniors, plus portrait photographs of graduating seniors. Also included are printed items and some photographs dating after 1957. St. Paul public schools are fairly well-documented in the State Archives, and the photograph album complements other records of Wilson High School dating from the 1940s. The school opened in 1925, and over the years served as a junior high school, senior high school, and middle school. Wilson once again became a four-year high school in 2004, called Wilson LEAP (limited English Achievement Program) International Academy.
- Education Department. Published records and reports dated 1982-1994, primarily regarding music and art education testing, assessments and learner outcomes. 13 folders.
- Education Department. Development and Partnership Division. Records (dated 1970-2004) of Assistant Commissioner Nan Skelton, including AIDS prevention files, legislation files, secondary vocational education restructuring files, The Whole Child Initiative program files, and selected subject files. 2 boxes.
- Freeborn County. District Court. Adoption case files dated 1950 and 1952. Two tri-folded case files.
- Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District. Erosion control project files dated 1990-1994. 3 folders.
- Minnesota Experimental City Authority. Otto A. Silha subject files, undated, 1966-1988, 1996-1998. 1 box.
- Ramsey County. Independent School District No. 625 (St. Paul). Wilson High School. Photograph album, dated 1957, of Richard A. Arndt. 1 volume.
Records added this month will be useful for family and local history research, as well as to document important functions of state government.
Hennepin County staff transferred 1971 tax lists on six reels of 16mm master negative microfilm on non-standard size reels. The non-standard size reels of microfilm were challenging to work with, and the microfilm could not be used since it is a master negative. The Library and Archives Department archival digitization staff successfully digitized the microfilm, and quality control review is now being performed. Hopefully, the digital content will soon be published via our Library catalog, and the microfilm will be preserved as a backup to the digital content. The 1971 tax lists continue a set dating from 1860 which is primarily preserved on microfilm. Tax lists are a primary source for determining land values, family history and related research.
The City of Wayzata transferred birth and death records dated 1887-1953, as well as records of the Wayzata Cemetery Association, the Old Wayzata Cemetery and the Greenlawn Cemetery; see below for details. The records were transferred and accessioned in early February, and due to the fragile condition of the cemetery records, and their high research value, the archival digitization team quickly digitized the records. The digital content has been published http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gr02181.xml, and the original records will be closed to public use to ensure their preservation. The birth and death records in the accession will not be digitized at this time, since out of wedlock birth records are present, and must be restricted for 100 years in accordance with state law.
Also valuable for family and local history research are records (dated circa 1867-1994) received from Washington County. Included is positive microfilm of tax lists (dated 1970-1971, 1980-1981, 1990-1991) of the Auditor; delayed birth records (dated circa 1867-1950), and birth reports of local jurisdictions (dated 1870-1910); township reports of death dated 1884-1910; negative microfilm (produced by the Genealogical Society of Utah/FamilySearch) of marriage license and certificate records (dated 1939-1952), and death records (dated 1870-1994). The tax lists continue an existing set of tax lists dating from 1861. The birth and death records complement existing sets of records dating from 1867, and the marriage records complement an existing set of records dating from 1849.
State Archivist Shawn Rounds transferred minutes (dated 2016-2019) of the Electronic Real Estate Recording Commission on which she serves. The Electronic Real Estate Recording Task Force (ERER) was commissioned in 2000 and authorized to establish statewide standards for electronic real estate recording in Minnesota. The task force reported annually to the Minnesota State Legislature. The task force's authority ended in 2008 and its work was transferred to the Electronic Real Estate Recording Commission (ERERC); it is administered by the Legislative Coordinating Commission. The Minnesota State Archivist has served on the Task Force and Commission the past twenty-two years.
The Secretary of State's Office transferred election returns (dated 2006-2008) for national, state, judicial and county primary and general elections. The election returns fill in gaps in the set of election returns dating from 1858. Also, House and Senate bills (also known as Engrossed Laws), dated 2007, that fill in a gap in the set dating from 1858.
- Hennepin County. Auditor. Tax lists dated 1971. Six reels of 16mm master negative microfilm on non-standard size reels.
- Hennepin County. Wayzata (village, city). Birth and death records dated 1887-1953; Wayzata Cemetery Association minute book dated 1882-1906; Old Wayzata Cemetery records of deaths dated 1855-1897; Greenlawn Cemetery record of interments dated 1909-1923. 1 box.
- Legislature. Electronic Real Estate Recording Commission. Minutes dated 2016-2019. 1 folder.
- Secretary of State. Election returns (dated 2006-2008) for national, state, judicial and county primary and general elections; House and Senate bills dated 2007. 9 boxes.
- Washington County. Records dated 1867-1994. 11 boxes (including 97 reels of 16mm positive microfilm, and 21 reels of 35mm negative microfilm).
Missing Item List
Since its founding in 1849, the Minnesota Historical Society has been collecting materials to document and tell the story of Minnesota’s history and culture. The scope of our Government Records collection is vast, spanning from the Territorial era to modern digital records. With a collection this old and this large, and especially with a collection that is accessible to the public, occasionally items go missing. Most of these turn out to be misplaced and are recovered through standard collections management practices. Some, however, are not so easily located and apparently have left the collection completely. Some of these were most likely stolen while others have been missing so long that we believe they are unlikely to be recovered in our own collections.
Government records in particular are subject to several state statutes regarding their security, safety, and obligation to be returned to the State Archives:
- 138.225 Prohibition Against Unauthorized Disposal of Records; Penalty
- 138.163 Preservation and Disposal of Public Records
- 138.226 Replevin Authority
- 138.17 Government Records; Administration
The Minnesota State Archives asks for your help to locate and recover Minnesota’s missing heritage. The items listed on this website are those that we believe are no longer within our facilities and that can be positively identified as being from our holdings. If you have seen any of these records, or if you know of any items belonging to MNHS that might be for sale or up for auction, please contact the State Archives Team:
- Saint Paul. Miscellaneous Records. St. Paul and Ramsey County Miscellany, 1858-1873 (1 folder).
- Education Department. Annual Reports of the High School Board, 1883-1887 (2 volumes).
- State Auditor. Land Department. Land Examiners Records. Land Examination Reports, 1909 (1 bundle).
- Saint Paul. Human Rights Department, Subject Files (1955-1982). American Indian Movement (1 folder).
- Highway Department. Engineering Division. Urban Facilities and Projects Files. Rept: Proposed East-West Interstate through St. Paul, circa 1950 (1 folder). Contains content regarding Rondo neighborhood.
- Roseau County. ISD No. 690, Warroad. Clerk's and Treasurer's Receipt and Disbursement Register, 1928-1932 (1 volume).