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Archive for November, 2007

Franzman Altar: 03 Installation

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Watch Minnesota Historical Society staff members as they move the altar from the basement Conservation Lab and install it in the MN150 gallery. (2 min. 40 sec. / 13.1 MB)

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Franzman Altar: 02 Object and Textile Treatments

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Watch Conservators Tom Braun and Ann Frisina clean and repair the altar to prepare it for display in MN150. (6 min. 5 sec. / 30.2 MB)

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Franzman Altar: 01 Introduction and Unpacking

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Senior Curator Marcia Anderson shares the story behind the church altar carved by John Franzman and now on display in the MN150 exhibit. Objects Conservator Tom Braun is seen unpacking the altar’s components as they arrive at the Minnesota Historical Society. (3 min. 10 sec. / 15.4 MB)

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Looking Back/Moving Forward

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Brian Szott, Curator of Art, shares five of his favorite new additions to the Minnesota Historical Society’s fine art collection. (3 min. 38 sec. / 2.08 MB)

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I-35W Bridge Resources at the Minnesota Historical Society

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Shawn Rounds, Government Records Specialist, describes plans, photographs and records from the Interstate 35W bridge across the Mississippi River that collapsed on August 1, 2007. (3 min. 33 sec. / 17.3 MB)

Find more on the bridge at the Minnesota Historical Society Library’s I-35W Bridge Resources page.

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Pulp Fiction

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Acquisitions Librarian Patrick Coleman takes a look at the seamy, steamy and entertaining world of Minnesota pulp fiction. (5 min. 12 sec. / 26 MB)

Explore more books from the 1930s through the 1950s with the Books of an Era timeline at the Minnesota’s Greatest Generation In Their Words web site.

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County School Records

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

County school recordsThis collage depicts selected records of the King School, which was located in Belfast Township in Murray County. The items pictured are souvenir booklets (1930s) presented by the teacher to her students, teachers’ contracts from the school board clerk’s book (1890s), and a page from a school attendance register. Seventy years ago, in the 1930s, more than 8,000 school districts existed in Minnesota, many of which were one-room schoolhouses. In the 1950s and 1960s the “country schools” consolidated or merged with larger independent school districts, and state-wide all school districts were renumbered. Now there are just over 400 school districts in Minnesota. School records are a valuable resource not only for family history research, but also for local history. Often the schoolhouse was a community center, and several generations in a family would attend the same school.

While not all school district records in the State Archives collection are as colorful as these, the information a researcher can find about students, teachers, and school buildings is rich. The State Archives currently preserves records of about 3,000 rural and independent school districts. Many of the records are the official records (meeting minutes, school board election results, summaries of receipts and expenditures) of the school district clerk and treasurer, but there are also teachers’ class record books and attendance registers, school censuses, photographs, and much more. There is lots of information listing the kids who attended individual schools, who their teachers were, what subject the pupils were taught, and the books they read.

Learn More:

Search the Library Catalog by:

1. the county name and school district number,
2. the name of the school, or
3. the township or city name and the term “school,” plus the county name if the township or city is a common name.

Search the Visual Resources Database to find individual photographs of schools by:

1. the county name and school district number,
2. the name of the school, or
3. the township or city name and the term “school,” plus the county name if the township or city is a common name.

Schoolhouses of Minnesota By: Photography by Doug Ohman

Family History Resources: School Records

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Walter Mondale Memorandum to Jimmy Carter

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Walter Mondale and Jimmy Carter sitting at desk“In an otherwise masterful document, the Founding Fathers created the vice presidency with almost no thought as to how it would fit into the structure of the new federal government.”

With these words, Richard Moe, chief of staff to Walter Mondale during the latter’s term as Jimmy Carter’s vice president (1977-1981), begins “The Making of the Modern Vice Presidency: A Personal Reflection” (Minnesota History, volume 60, Fall 2006). His essay describes a crucial memorandum from December 1976 in which Mondale, at Carter’s invitation, spelled out his recommendations for making the office an engaged and significant part of the Carter administration.

Mondale and Carter shared the opinion that the vice presidency was, in Moe’s words, a “wasted national asset,” and that there were opportunities for a real partnership with a president willing to delegate authority. Mondale’s memo outlined his thoughts on the role the vice president could play, some specific contributions that he personally could make, and the degree of involvement in the Carter administration that such a relationship would require. Moe’s essay describes how that relationship became a reality.

A copy of that landmark memorandum resides in the Walter F. Mondale Papers at the Minnesota Historical Society. It is reproduced here in two PDF files; one is a searchable transcription of the memorandum, the other presents scanned images of the actual document.

Other documents in the Mondale Papers include subsequent staff reviews and analyses of this new type of vice presidency. The Mondale Papers are scheduled to be publicly accessible in January 2007.

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Collections Tours

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Tour of the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections storageLinda McShannock, Costume and Textile Curator, provided a behind-the-scenes view to the Minnesota Needlework Guild in October 2005. Participants from their needlepoint study group toured the History Center’s storage area for costume and textiles and viewed 19th and 20th century examples of needlework in the Society’s permanent collections.

Specialized group tours with curators are available for a fee. Arrangements are made through individual curators. Contact Lori Williamson at 651-296-9984 for further information.


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Munsingwear Victory Promotion Bra & Girdle Set

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Munsingwear Victory Promotion Bra and Girdle SetThis cotton bra and girdle with a stars-and-stripes motif was not marketed but used as a gimmick to support the war effort and promote Munsingwear’s wartime underwear sales.

The company, headquartered in Minneapolis, designed and manufactured a wide variety of undergarments for men, women and children. This collection documents the availability and use of a variety of fabrics–silk, lace, synthetics and rubber–in the underwear industry from the 1880s to the 1980s.


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An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs