Minnesota Historic Resources Survey: Manuscripts, Collection Information Forms (S2672)

  • 1973-1979 

    Historical Sketch

    As stated in the introduction to Historic Resources in Minnesota: A Report of Their Extent, Location, and Need for Preservation, Submitted to the Minnesota Legislature by the Minnesota Historical Society (Minnesota Historical Society, 1979), "The 1977 State Legislature directed the Minnesota Historical Society 'to identify, inventory, and organize information about Minnesota's historical resources in a comprehensive plan.' It was anticipated that such a survey would be 'of inestimable use to the state, counties, cities, and regions in charting a course for historic preservation, recommending legislation needed in this field to the 1979 legislature, and bringing into sharp focus what programs and projects most need the State Historical Society's grant-in-aid program in the future'" (p. 1).

    For the purpose of the survey, the Historical Society defined historic resources as "anything that provides information about the history of Minnesota and its people or that leads to greater understanding and appreciation of the state's past as a geographic area and a human community" (Report, p. 1)

    The survey was divided into six components to facilitate data gathering: historical organizations, manuscripts (including photographs), newspapers, three dimensional artifacts, historic structures, and archeological sites. In the areas of manuscripts, historic structures, and archeological sites, the Historical Society was already conducting ongoing surveys at the time the comprehensive Historic Resources Survey was launched. These surveys were continued under the direction and along the lines in which they had begun, and their results were incorporated into the statewide survey. The recorded results of the various components of the survey are available at the Minnesota Historical Society.

    The manuscripts component of the Minnesota Historic Resources Survey, administered by the Minnesota Historical Society's Division of Archives and Manuscripts, was carried out in two stages. Prior to the 1977 action of the State Legislature, the Division had recognized the need for a survey of historical source material in local repositories. Although information existed on the manuscript holdings of major, statewide repositories, no survey of local institutions had been made since the Works Project Administration (WPA) Historical Records Survey of the 1930s-1940s, and their manuscript resources were largely unknown to researchers.

    In 1973, in conjunction with its network of regional historical centers, the Division organized the Minnesota Manuscript Resources Inventory Project. The purpose of this ambitious undertaking was two-fold: 1) to identify manuscripts (and public records) held by county historical societies throughout the state and 2) to make these records more accessible to researchers by publicizing their existence in a guide. For purposes of the survey, the term "manuscripts" was defined broadly to include not only primary source materials of local significance and limited distribution, including directories, maps, clippings, reference files, and historical research papers, as well as audio and visual resources.\

    Between 1973 and 1976, student interns working out of the regional centers at Mankato, Marshall, Moorhead, Morris, and St. Cloud surveyed collections in over 40 county historical societies and recorded their findings on standardized forms. Each county historical society received a copy of the inventory of its records, one copy was sent to the Division of Archives and Manuscripts, and one copy was retained by the center that had done the survey. The project was discontinued in 1976 due to lack of funds.

    The second phase of the survey, conducted under the auspices of the Minnesota Historic Resources Survey, continued and expanded upon the work begun by the Minnesota Manuscript Resources Inventory Project. Between 1977 and 1979, the survey of county historical society holdings was completed (except for those of the Olmsted County Historical Society, which declined to participate, and the St. Louis County Historical Society, whose collections had been added to those of the regional center at Duluth). In addition, the survey was extended to include selected local and specialized historical societies, public libraries, college libraries and archives, and church and religious order archives that were identified as having manuscripts in their collections.\

    Phase two of the survey was conducted via on-site visits, telephone, and mail by one staff person who had been a student intern at one of the regional centers. The information collected was recorded on revised forms similar to those used in the earlier survey. Again, each repository received a copy of the inventory of its records, and one copy was retained by the Division of Archives and Manuscripts. During the preparation of this microfilm edition, two sets of forms from the two phases of the survey were incorporated into a single, integrated series. This comprehensive survey record serves as a guide to manuscript resources housed in more than 300 repositories throughout the state of Minnesota. It is available in the Division of Archives and manuscripts and at each of the regional centers. For additional information about the various components of the Minnesota Historical Resources Survey, see the published Report referred to above. 

    Collection Description

    The forms reproduced in these seven rolls of microfilm (1973-1979) identify and describe the collections surveyed during the two phases of the manuscripts component of the Minnesota Historic Resources survey. The forms are arranged alphabetically by county and, within each county, alphabetically by name and repository.

    The collection and item forms for each repository inventoried during the second phase of the survey are interfiled and arranged according to the following thirteen categories: Business, Cooperatives, and Railroads; Churches and Cemeteries; Directories and School Yearbooks; Families and Individuals; Genealogy and Biography (reference files, obituary files, family histories, biography files, and special collections to aid in genealogical research); Government (public records, records kept by and relating to units of government and agencies, and collections of certificates issued by governmental issues); Maps, Plat Books, and Blueprints; Military and Veterans; Oral History; Photographs (pictures, films, and slides); Social and Civic Organizations; Vertical files, Clippings, Scrapbooks, and Historical Research Papers; and Other.

    Inventory

    Reel 1

    • Aitkin County
      • Atkin
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Anoka County
      • Anoka - County Historical Society
      • Coon Rapids - Historical Society
      • Fridley - Library
       
    • Becker County
      • Detroit Lakes - County Historical Society
       
    • Beltrami County
      • Bemidji - County Historical Society
       
    • Benton County
      • Sauk Rapids - County Historical Society
       
    • Big Stone County
      • Ortonville - County Historical Society
       
    • Blue Earth County
      • Mankato - Bethany Lutheran College and Evangelical Lutheran Synod
      • County Historical Society
       
    • Brown County
      • Comfrey - Public Library
      • Hanska - Ole Jorgensen Memorial Museum
      • New Ulm - County Historical Society
      • Sleepy Eye - Dychman Free Library
       
    • Carlton County
      • Carlton
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
      • Sandstone - Community Library
       
    • Carver County
      • Carver - Carver on the Minnesota, Inc.
      • Waconia - County Historical Society
       
    • Cass County
      • Walker
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Chippewa County
      • Montevideo
        • County Historical Society
        • Western Plains Library
         
       
    • Chisago County
      • Almelund - Amador Heritage Center
      • Center City - Chisago Lake Evangelical Lutheran Church
      • Rush City - County Historical Society, Northern Chapter
      • Taylors Falls - Public Library
       
    • Clay County
      • Moorhead - County Historical Society
        • Lake Agassiz Public Library
         
      • Ulen - Ulen Historical Museum
       
    • Clearwater County
      • Bagley - County Historical Society
       
    • Cook County
      • Grand Marais - County Historical Society
       
    • Cottonwood County
      • Mountain Lake - Public Library
      • Windom - County Historical Society
       
    • Crow Wing County
      • Brainerd - Community College
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • Crosby - Cuyuna Range Historical Society
        

    Reel 2

    • Dakota County
      • Burnsville
        • Burnsville Historical Society
        • Dakota County Library
         
      • Hastings
        • Heritage Commission
        • Library
         
      • South St. Paul
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Dodge County
      • Matorville - County Historical Society
      • Restoration House
       
    • Douglas County
      • Alexandria
        • County Historical Society
        • Runestone Museum
         
       
    • Faribault County
      • Blue Earth
        • County Historical Society
        • Etta C. Ross Memorial Library
         
       
    • Fillimore County
      • Chatfield - Public Library
      • Harmony - Public Library
      • Lanesboro - Historical Society
      • Peterson - Station Museum
      • Preston - County Historical Society
       
    • Freeborn County
      • Albert Lea - County Historical Society
      • Alden - Community Museum
       
    • Goodhue County
      • Cannon Falls - Public Library
      • Red Wing - County Historical Society
      • Welch - Vasa Museum
       
    • Grant County
      • Elbow Lake - County Historical Society 
       

    Reel 3

    • Hennepin County
      • Bloomington - Historical Society
      • Eden Prairie - Historical Society
      • Edina - Historical Society
      • Golden Valley - Historical Society
      • Hopkins
        • Community Library
        • Historical Society
         
      • Long Lake - Western Hennepin Pioneers Association
      • Minneapolis
        • American Swedish Institute
        • Augsburg College
        • County Historical Society
        • Hosmer Community Library
        • Public Library
         
      • Minnetonka - Historical Society
      • Mound - Westonka Community Library
      • New Hope - Historical Society
      • Osseo - North Hennepin Historical Society
      • Plymouth - Historical Society
      • Richfield - Historical Society
      • Robinsdale - Community Library
      • St. Anthony - Library
      • St. Bonifacius - Library
      • St. Louis Park - Jewish Community Center
      • Wayzata
        • Excelsior–Lake Minnetonka Historical Society
        • Hennepin County Library 
         
       

    Reel 4

    • Houston County
    • Caledonia
      • County Historical Society
      • Public Library
      • Eitzen - Store Museum
       
    • Hubbard County
      • Park Rapids - County Historical Society
       
    • Isanti County
      • Braham - County Historical Society
       
    • Itasca County
      • Bovey - Public Library
      • Coleraine - Public Library
      • Grand Rapids - County Historical Society
      • Itasca Community College
       
    • Jackson County
      • Lakefield - County Historical Society
       
    • Kanabec County
      • Mora - County Historical Society
       
    • Kandiyohi County
      • Atwater - Public Library
      • New London - Monongalia Historical Society
      • Willmar - County Historical Society
       
    • Kittson County
      • Lake Benson - County Historical Society
       
    • Koochiching County
      • International Falls - County Historical Society
        • Public Library
        • Rainy River Community College
         
       
    • Lac Qui Parle County
      • Madison - County Historical Society
       
    • Lake County
      • Two Harbors - County Historical Society
       
    • Lake of the Woods County
      • Baudette - County Historical Society
       
    • Le Sueur County
      • Le Sueur - School Museum
      • Waterville - County Historical Society
       
    • Lincoln County
      • Hendricks - County Historical Society
       
    • Lyon County
      • Marshall - County Historical Society
      • Tracy - St. Mark's Episcopal Church Museum
       
    • McLeod County
      • Glencoe - Public Library
      • Hutchinson - County Historical Society
       
    • Mahnomen County
    • Marshall County
      • Oslo - I. G. Wietrout Memorial Museum
      • Warren - County Historical Society
       
    • Martin County
      • Fairmount - County Historical Association
      • Truman - Library
       
    • Meeker County
      • Litchfield - County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Mille Lacs County
      • Milaca - Community Library
      • Princeton - County Historical Society
       
    • Morrison County
      • Little Falls - Carnegie City Library
        • Charles A. Weyerhauser Memorial Musuem/County Historical Society
         
       
    • Mower County
      • Austin - County Historical Society
       
    • Murray County
      • Slayton - County Historical Society
       
    • Nicollet County
      • St. Peter - County Historical Society
        • Gustavus Adolphus College
        • Lutheran Church in America, Minnesota Synod
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Nobles County
      • Worthington - County Historical Society
       
    • Norman County
      • Ada - County Historical Society
        • Public Library 
         
       

    Reel 5

    • Olmsted County
      • Rochester
        • Goddard Library
        • Heritage Associates
        • Rochester Methodist Hospital Library
        • Rochester State Hospital
        • Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Our Lady of Lourdes
        • St. Mary's Hospital
         
       
    • Otter Tail County
      • Fergus Falls - County Historical Society
      • New York Mills - Finn Creek, Minnesota Finnish American Society
       
    • Pennington County
      • Thief River Falls - County Historical Society
       
    • Pine County
      • Askov
        • County Historical Society
         
      • Hinckley
        • Fire Museum
         
       
    • Pipestone County
      • Pipestone
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Polk County
      • Crookston
        • County Historical Society
        • County Library
         
       
    • Pope County
      • Glenwood
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Ramsey County
      • Arden Hills
        • Baptist General Conference
        • Bethel College and Theological Seminary
         
      • New Brighton - United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
      • St. Paul
        • Catholic Aid Association
        • Catholic Historical Society
        • College of St. Catherine
        • College of St. Thomas
        • Concordia College
        • County Historical Society
        • Hamlin University
        • Highland Park Public Library
        • James J. Hill Reference Library
        • Log Cabin
        • Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod
        • Macalaster College
        • Merriam Park Branch Library
        • Mil-Aero Historical Library and Museum
        • Minnesota State Fair Museum
        • North St. Paul History Association
        • St. Paul's Priory Archives
        • Sister's of St. Joseph of Carondelet
         
      • White Bear Lake - Historical Society
        • 916 Vo–Tech Institute
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Red Lake County
      • Red Lake Falls - County Historical Society
       
    • Redwood County
      • Redwood Falls - County Historical Society
      • Legion Pioneer Museum
      • Wabasso - County Center Historical Society
       
    • Renville County
      • Morton - County Historical Society
       
    • Rice County
      • Faribault - County Historical Society
      • Northfield - Carlton College
        • Public Library
        • St. Olaf College 
         
       

    Reel 6

    • Rock County
      • Luverne
        • Community Library
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • Roseau County
      • Roseau
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • St. Louis County
      • Chisholm Public Library
      • Duluth County Historical Society
        • Lake Superior Marine Museum
        • Lake Superior Museum of Transportation
        • Public Library
         
      • Ely
      • Ely–Winton Historical Society
      • Eveleth
      • U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
      • Hibbing
        • Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
      • Gilbert - Iron Range Historical Society
      • Tower - Tower–Soudan Historical Society
      • Virginia - Public Library
       
    • Scott County
      • Shakopee
        • Murphy's Landing Restoration Project
         
       
    • Sherburne County
      • Becker
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • Sibley County
      • Gibbon
        • Public Library
         
      • Henderson
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • Stearns County
      • Collegeville
        • St. John's University
         
      • Paynesville
        • Historical Society
         
      • St. Cloud
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
      • St. Joseph - St. Benedict's Convent
       
    • Steele County
      • Owatonna
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • Stevens County
      • Morris
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Swift County
      • Appleton
        • Public Library
         
      • Benson
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • Todd County
      • Long Prairie
        • Christie Home Historical Society
         
      • Staples
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library 
         
       

    Reel 7

    • Traverse County
      • Browns Valley
        • Carnegie Public Library
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • Wabasha County
      • Reads Landing - County Historical Society
      • Wabasha - Public Library
       
    • Wadena County
      • Wadena
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • Waseca County
      • Waseca
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • Washington County
      • Bayport - Public Library
      • Cottage Grove - South Washington County Historical Society
      • Forest Lake - Public Library
      • Lake Elmo - County Library System
      • Stillwater - County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Watonwan County
      • Madelia
        • County Historical Society
         
       
    • Wilkin County
      • Breckenridge
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Winona County
      • Winona
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Wright County
      • Buffalo
        • County Historical Society
        • Public Library
         
       
    • Yellow Medicine County
      • Canby - Lund House
        • Public Library
         
      • Granite Falls - County Historical Society