The theme for the upcoming 2009 National History Day competition is “The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies.”
Whether you are looking specifically for a Minnesota individual, or you’ve already picked an individual who just happens to be from Minnesota, you will find a wealth of information in the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society library and archives.
If you haven’t already checked it out, look at the Minnesota History Topics for both ideas and for sources. Many individuals are already listed under the category of “Famous Minnesotans,” such as Hubert H. Humphrey, Sister Elizabeth Kenny, and Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr.
Other individuals are a bit buried inside other topics, such as Ernest C. Oberholtzer and Sigurd F. Olson in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Controversy history topic. Oberholtzer and Olson were major figures in the creation of the BWCA and the Minnesota Historical Society has the papers of both men.
Oberholtzer’s papers have been microfilmed, which means they are available for you to borrow on Interlibrary Loan and use right in your local library. Your local librarian can help you do that. Also, transcripts of oral histories that were conducted with Mr. Oberholtzer are available on the Internet.
These are just a few ideas. We will be blogging about other individuals in history over the coming weeks.