We note the passing last week of Russell W. Fridley, former director of the Minnesota Historical Society, who headed the institution during a period of immense growth, as described in the obituary published in the Star Tribune.
With Fridley’s support, the Minnesota Historical Society Press, under directors June Holmquist and Jean Brookins, shared in that growth. In 1955, when he became director, the Press’s staff of three published Minnesota History journal and a book every year or two. By 1986, at the end of his tenure, the Press had become an energetic and respected regional publisher with a staff of twelve producing eight to ten titles a year; the journal was larger, longer, and included color; and the program included a research department that regranted state funds and oversaw special projects for publication.
Press staff are sometimes asked why Minnesota has such a successful publishing program. That skinny kid at the top, shown in 1957, was one of the giants on whose shoulders we stand.
–Ann Regan, MHS Press Editor in Chief