Minnesota  State Archives

Recent State Archives Acquisitions: August 2020

Background Information

Particularly unique and valuable records were added to the State Archives this month, and are very useful for family and local history research. Last year the Ramsey County Boys Totem Town (residential juvenile detention facility), established in 1910, closed due to declining admissions. Transferred are selected inmate records, photographs, subject files, and published reports dating from 1910 to 2019. By coincidence, the Hennepin County Home School for Boys transferred similar records in 2019; the School was established in 1908 and is still open. While records specific to the juvenile offenders require restricted access, the records will be useful in the future for people interested in juvenile justice and rehabilitation in the two counties. Other records, such as scrapbooks, subject files, and published reports are open for research, and help document the policies, major activities and decisions, history, and life in the facilities.

In the midst of the current pandemic many aspects of public health, including education, advocacy, and disseminating useful information are very prevalent. A couple of years ago the St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health Department (a joint powers agency) transferred records dating from 1916 to 2012. Included are scrapbooks, selected subject files of Dr. Neal R. Holtan (department medical director), and published records and reports of the department and its predecessors. Of particular interest are the scrapbooks which reflect public health concerns over the span of several decades, from the Spanish Flu epidemic, rat infestations, and poor housing conditions to lead poisoning, air pollution and cancer.

The State Archives preserves a rich collection of Adjutant General and National Guard records, dating from the US Civil War through World War II, but there is less contemporary documentation in the collection. As a useful balance to these records, are records transferred by the 934th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve based at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Included in the transfer are historical narrative reports (dated 1960-1969), and monthly and periodic newsletters entitled Carrier Courier and Viking Flyer (dated 1970s-2007). None of these titles are represented in our Library collection, so they are a welcome addition to the State Archives. Together the records richly document the activities, missions and people of this local unit over the span of several decades.


1. Adjutant General. Air Force Reserve. 934th Airlift Wing records, including historical reports (dated 1960-1969), and monthly and periodic newsletters (Carrier Courier and Viking Flyer) dated 1970s-2007. 1 box.

2. Hennepin County. Home School for Boys. Records (dated 1911-2015), including inmate admission and discharge records, financial records, selected subject files and published records and reports. 3 boxes.

3. Ramsey County. Boys Totem Town. Records (dated 1908-2019), including inmate records, photographs and photograph albums, scrapbooks, selected subject files, and published records and reports. 9 boxes.

4. Ramsey County. St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health Department. Records (dated 1916-2012) including scrapbooks, selected subject files, photographs, and published records and reports. 11 boxes.



Last Updated September 25, 2020