The Minnesota Historical Society partnered with the 70 Years Project to begin development of a web site that will enable all Minnesotans to again share in the tragedies and triumphs of the 1,345 days of World War II. The site will feature oral histories from World War II veterans as well as a wartime headline taken from Minnesota newspapers for every day of the war. The web site will serve as a resource for the general public, as well as for the relatives of the more than 300,000 Minnesotans who fought in the war.
Blue Earth County Historical Society added of 126 microfilm reels of the local newspapers: The Free Press, Lake Crystal Tribune, Lake Region Times, Maple River Messenger and The Land magazine. These additions complete the collection with what is currently available through the Minnesota Historical Society's microfilm lab.
In order to implement its Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) projects, the Minnesota Historical Society hired an ACHF Program Coordinator to oversee the program administration. The Society also made investments to support administration of the grants program and to fund expanded financial management and administrative functions. By carefully managing its costs, the Society has adhered to the legislative mandate that institutions not spend more than 2.5 percent on administrative expenses.
The Alexander Ramsey House is an 11,000-square-foot mansion that was home to Minnesota's first territorial governor. The mansion contains approximately 14,000 original furnishings and has one of the most intact collections of Victorian-era artifacts in the Midwest.
Despite these assets and a sound public educational program, the site has experienced a steady decline in attendance. Arts and Cultural Heritage funding is supporting a project to understand the reasons for this decline.
The Latino population in Minnesota has grown dramatically since 1980, both in the Twin Cities and in Greater Minnesota, in cities such as Worthington, Willmar, St. James, Moorhead, Melrose, Long Prairie and Albert Lea. This project involves interviewing Chicano-Latino elders and community leaders from approximately a dozen Latino population centers in the state.
A vital part of the Minnesota Historical Society's mission is preserving and making available a wide range of artifacts and materials chronicling our state's history. ACHF support is allowing the Society to create a more comprehensive legacy for future generations through the acquisition of important Minnesota artwork, books and manuscripts.
Arthur Allie, Street Corner on W. 7th Street in St.
Research shows that traditional teaching tools, such as textbooks and lectures, don’t fully engage today’s students who have grown up surrounded by technology and who use it in their daily lives. In this ongoing project, an additional two Minnesota Historical Society historic sites will improve their service to “21st Century Learners” and their teachers and parents.
In 2012, the Minnesota Historical Society will commemorate theU.S.-Dakota War of 1862 through a variety of programs and methods, including online presentations, educational tools, published works, artwork, events and community outreach. Visit usdakotawar.org for a list of all initiatives.
Increasingly, people are turning to digital resources for answers to questions or as a starting point for research. MNopedia is a new digital resource for the public from the Minnesota Historical Society.
Working with the Minnesota Newspaper Association, local historical societies and newspaper publishers, the Minnesota Historical Society launched an innovative project to expand the number of contemporary newspapers available in digital form.
In the pilot phase of the project, the Society developed a methodology for digitizing, preserving and indexing newspaper content. Those processes will be tested with six newspapers and optimized in 2011.
Through this funding, the Minnesota Historical Society is advancing the work of making collections information available online. The Society is photographing 3D objects in the collections and completing corresponding descriptions that will be published online, allowing web site visitors to access an increasing volume of historical information.
Partner Organizations: Minnesota Geospatial Information Office (MNGeo), Minnesota Secretary of State, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), Minnesota Association of County Surveyors (MACS), U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
The Minnesota Historical Society Press(MHS Press) converted more than 125 MHS Press/Borealis Books titles to digital formats for multiple e-book readers, including the Kindle, the Nook, the Sony E-reader and the Apple iPad, allowing us to meet the needs of not only young, tech-savvy readers, but also users in the over-50 age bracket who have been among the first adopters of e-reader technologies.
Through this partnership, students from Macalester College are conducting a study to identify, select and assess historic content related to Minnesota's environmental history, using archival, archaeological and geospatial data at the Minnesota Historical Society.
Partner Organization: Science Museum of Minnesota.
The Science Museum of Minnesota and the Minnesota Historical Society each maintain important historical collections of American Indian cultural objects assembled by Bishop Henry Benjamin Whipple. The objects document the changes experienced by the Dakota and Ojibwe in Minnesota in the 19th century.
History Player in the Classroom is a popular program in which actors portraying historical figures come to Minnesota classrooms to give students "real life" lessons in history.
Arts and Cultural Heritage funding is enabling the Minnesota Historical Society to expand access to the History Player program. Starting in 2011, the cost to schools for the program will be significantly reduced and the Society will pay for the mileage and travel expenses for programs booked outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
During "Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon," an exhibit at the Minnesota History Center in early 2011, Minnesotans got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience first-hand original artifacts associated with George Washington. Washington put his personal stamp on our country at the moment of its birth, a stamp that still resonates and has modern-day relevancy for today's Minnesotans, as we learn about our state's history in the larger context of our nation's history.
The Great Rivers Network portal promotes the development, discovery and use of historical collections held by the Minnesota Historical Society and its partners across Minnesota.
Through this project, the Society provides support and training to organizations statewide for the preparation of digital collections data, while providing a technical infrastructure that enables access to various collection components, such as photographs, manuscripts, vital record indexes and library catalogs.
Legacy funds were used at the James J. Hill House for reproductions of two historic textiles: a Persian carpet in Hill's den and a canopy shade for the art gallery. The previous canopy, also a reproduction, was 28 years old, stained and faded. Both the canopy and the reproduction Persian carpet will be seen by all site visitors and will enhance the Hill House for decades to come.
The city hired a preservation consultant to complete a Historic Context Study for the City of Buffalo. The general history of the community, organized by theme, provides useful information about the city's historic resources. Copies of the completed report have been given to the City Council and Planning Commission, the City Library, the Wright County Historical Society, the state Senator and Representative for the area and is available on the City's website.
Partner Organizations: Historic St. Paul, The St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission and Ramsey County Historical Society.
Traditionally, the goal of historic properties surveys is to collect information to make determinations of National Register eligibility or local landmark designation. This ACHF project took that objective a step further.
History Day, an annual program co-sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota, challenges young people to research a historical subject related to an annual theme and present their findings in the form of exhibits, documentaries, performances, web sites and papers, much like a "science fair for history."
Arts and Cultural Heritage funding made it possible for the Society to provide additional services to 118 schools in 39 counties across the state.
Partner Organization: University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
This program, sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota, provided 10 undergraduate college students with the opportunity to become History Museum Fellows in 2010.
The program launched with a semester-long course at the University of Minnesota where the students were introduced to issues related to diversity and museums, followed by a paid summer internship at the Society.
Hokah city history was put on display with the installation of six historical markers in various locations throughout the city. The markers consist of narrative information and photographs of historically relevant structures. All markers are ADA height, located in high traffic areas and are enhanced, produced and presented under a silicone hardcoat panel. An unveiling ceremony was held in June, 2011.
A professional heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineer was hired to conduct an HVAC evaluation comparing the relative merits and costs of a conventional HVAC system with a geothermal system. The result was the geothermal system was more expensive with a fifty-year payback term. Purchasing a conventional system was recommended as the upgrade for meeting climate standards.
An interpretive exhibit was created with table displays using historically factual text and illustrative photographs and a short play was developed to tell the story of how the dam was built and its affect on the local people and economy. The exhibit counters negative impressions about the dam and provides little known information to the public. Research included files, papers and photographs from the BECHS, a local appeal in newspapers and on radio for personal accounts, Blue Earth county information and information from companies involved in the reconstruction of the dam in the 1980's.
Interactive Video Conferencing, is a program created by the Minnesota Historical Society to provide interactive educational experiences for fourth through sixth grade students using new video-conferencing capabilities.
Affordable transportation is one of the biggest barriers for schools' ability to plan field trips to Minnesota Historical Society sites and museums.
By June 2011, nearly 600 schools across Minnesota will access the Society's Legacy Field Trip Support Fund, which means more than 50,000 students will be able to learn about history through field trip experiences they otherwise might have missed.