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Statuette of Joseph Nicollet

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Statuette of Joseph Nicollet

Miniature version  of a Joseph Nicollet memorial sculpture cast by Paul Theodore Granlund in 1985.   The bronze statuette consists of a cylindrical base supporting a bronze likeness of geographer and explorer Joseph Nicollet (1786-1843) peering through a surveying instrument that frames his figure.  The full-size sculpture sits on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota.

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Hmong paj ornament

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Hmong paj ornament

Hmong paj (flower in English; pronounced “pa”) ornament made of plastic beads and embroidery floss. Ornaments of this type are typically hung in a doorway or from a ceiling. Made in St. Paul, Minnesota circa 1982 by May Yang.

For details, view the ornament in our online collections database.

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Hmong story cloth

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Hmong story cloth

Story cloth illustrating the participation of Hmong people in the Laotian Civil War (1953-1975), also known as the Secret War, and the subsequent Hmong genocide, resistance, exile in Thailand and emigration to the United States.  The scenes depicted on the cloth include the CIA-operated Laotian town of Long Chien as it appeared from 1967-1974; the flight of the Hmong from Laos into Thailand across the Mekong River; the refugee camp at Vinai; Hmong people studying English at Phanat Nikhom; and their arrival at and departure from a Bangkok airport.  The cotton cloth’s figures are embroidered; its border is appliqued.  Made in 1985.

For details, view the cloth in our online collections database.

Hmong story cloth (detail)

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American flag and case presented to Bruce Laingen

Monday, September 10th, 2012

American flag and case presented to Bruce Laingen

American flag and case presented to Bruce Laingen on January 27, 1981, by President Ronald Reagan. Laingen, a native of Odin, Minnesota, was one of 52 United States citizens held in the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1981.

For details, view the flag in our online collections database.

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Itasca State Park sign

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Lake Itasca State Park sign

Monument used at Itasca State Park between 1975 and 1988 to mark the source of the Mississippi River at the outlet of Lake Itasca in Minnesota.  The monument consists of a partial tree trunk painted brown with a flat rectangular surface cut out on one side.  Text on the monument reads,

Here 1475 ft. above the ocean the mighty Mississippi begins to flow on its winding way 2552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

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Hmong paj ndau

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Hmong paj ndau

Paj ndau (paj ntaub) or flower cloth, a traditional Hmong decorative textile.  The cotton cloth is square-shaped, reverse-appliqued and hand-embroidered.  Made in Saint Paul, Minnesota during the 1980s.

For details, view the paj ndau in our online collections database.

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Vinyl record hat

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Vinyl record hat

Hat made and worn by Maurice Carlton at special events hosted by the Inner City Youth League of Saint Paul, Minnesota in the 1980s. The wide-brimmed, boater-style hat has a red vinyl phonograph record for a crown, black cardboard sides, and a black vinyl record for a brim. Its top has a paper disc with a black and white photograph of the maker wearing one of his art hats, as well as a photo of the Youth League building. The sides of the hat have cut-out black and white photographs of children playing musical instruments. There is a band of green plastic tape around the top edge and diagonal stripes of red, green and black tape next to the brim. The hat’s interior is corrugated cardboard.

For details, view the hat in our online collections database.

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Prince single record sleeve

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Prince record sleeve (front)

45 rpm (7-inch) vinyl record picture sleeve of Prince’s “U Got the Look” backed with “Housequake.”  The single was released in 1987 on Prince’s Paisley Park imprint label and distributed through Warner Brothers Records.  ”U Got the Look” is the first track on the second disc of Prince’s double album “Sign ‘☮’ the Times.”

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Key to the city of Odin, Minnesota

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Key to the city of Odin, Minnesota

Key to the City of Odin, Minnesota, presented to Ambassador Bruce Laingen on Febuary 14, 1981. Laingen, a native of Odin, was one of 52 United States citizens held in the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1981. The key was presented to Laingen shortly after his release on January 20, 1981.

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SPAM bank

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

SPAM bank

Rectangular 12-ounce tin bank with rounded corners.  Blue label reads “SPAM” with an illustration of a pork loaf dotted with cloves.  The reverse includes the Hormel trademark.  The lid has a horizontal slit in which to insert coins and reads “New Austin, MN Plant Dedication and Tour September 12, 1982.”  There is a can-opening tool affixed to the bottom of the tin.

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