In order to implement its Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) projects, the Minnesota Historical Society employs an ACHF Program Coordinator to oversee the program administration. The Society is also supporting administration of the grants program and expanded financial management and administrative functions. The Society is diligently working to keep administrative costs low while adhering to the legislative mandate that costs be “directly related to and necessary for a specific appropriation.”
The Minnesota Historical Society brought the only traveling copy of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights to Minnesota in the exhibit, "We the People: The First Official Printing of the U.S. Constitution" on view at the Minnesota History Center April 3 – July 4, 2012. The exhibit featured a rare, early version of the U.S. Constitution, published in 1787, and an even more rare draft of the Bill of Rights, along with original editions of the two state of Minnesota Constitutions.
We Are Hmong Minnesota, a 2,500-square-foot exhibit, debuted March 7, 2015, timed for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the beginning of Hmong migration to Minnesota. MNHS staff worked in partnership with the Hmong community to develop the exhibit. A traveling version of the exhibit for loan to libraries, schools, and community centers was also developed and is currently circulating. A companion exhibit at the James J. Hill House displayed a collection of Hmong textiles recently donated to the Minnesota Historical Society.
This traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution chronicles the history and experiences of Indian Americans in the United States. A Minnesota-themed extension will augment the exhibit, which opens April 30, 2016, containing artifacts that illustrate stories of Indian Americans in Minnesota and their contributions, culture, and accomplishments. The Minnesota section will be co-created by representatives of the state's Indian American community, who will advise MNHS on a community-based marketing strategy.
MN Alliance of Local History Museums (MALHM) collaborates with MNHS to develop the capacity of history professionals across the state to serve local communities. This partnership will distribute best practices to all corners of the state through a conference to be held in April 2016 in Willmar. The partnership also will begin to operate with a paid coordinator to assure efficiency in serving a greater number of Minnesotans and their organizations that save and share history.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Minnesota Historical Society is creating a broad range of opportunities to help students, teachers and the general public learn more about the war and the role Minnesota played. Initiatives include:
The Historic Recognition Grant program will preserve, recognize, and promote the historic legacy of Minnesota, with a focus on commemoration of Minnesota's role in the American Civil War via a grave registration database to identify all known Minnesota Civil War soldiers buried in Minnesota and those Minnesotans buried outside the state is the first of three projects being administered by MNHS in cooperation with the state's Civil War Commemoration Task Force are in development
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Minnesota Historical Society is creating a broad range of opportunities to help students, teachers and the general public learn more about the war and the role Minnesota played.
Throughout FY12 and FY13, Minnesota Historical Society staff members have reached out to and met with many groups and individuals to gather their opinions and recommendations regarding an exhibit on and the commemoration of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Staff met with tribal councils in Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota, individuals from tribes in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest and residents of Brown and Nicollet Counties. In addition, the Society sponsored the "We Gather Together As One" Dakota nationwide conference in Minneapolis and St.
The Minnesota Historical Society Press (MHS Press) will continue to publish new books and also articles in Minnesota History magazine to help people further understand the complex history of the Dakota in Minnesota. Projects include:
The Minnesota History Center will invite the public to participate in programs that explore Dakota language and culture and also the history of the U.S.--Dakota War of 1862. Public programs will provide multiple perspectives on the war and give voice to Dakota history and identity through a variety of formats including lectures, films, tours and workshops.
Visit usdakotawar.org/events for a list of commemorative programs and events sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and other organizations.
This exhibit, on view at the Minnesota History Center through Sept. 8, 2013, recounts the Minnesota war that tore apart lives, families and the Dakota nation. Visitors can view documents, images and artifacts related to the war, as well as hear heart-wrenching stories and learn about the broken treaties and promises that led to this disastrous chapter in Minnesota history. There are many, often conflicting, interpretations of events related to the war. The exhibit includes multiple viewpoints, as well as historical and contemporary voices.
Minnesota Historical Society staff will work to increase public awareness about the tragic events surrounding the war which had a profound impact on shaping our state. Staff will also increase public awareness of new Society inititatives and programs related to the war to ensure that students, teachers and the general public use and benefit from them.
MNHS is developing new curricula, programs, and resources to engage students in learning about Minnesota history. In FY16 a full review of online resources for the K-12 audience will be completed and an action plan put in place to update content and the design of online curriculum offered to K-12 teachers and students. In addition, staff are working with the Oliver Kelley Farm to create new curricula and programs on agriculture, history, and STEM for K-12 teachers and students. Two new programs will be developed and piloted at the Oliver Kelley Farm in FY16.
The Historic Recognition Grant program will preserve, recognize, and promote the historic legacy of Minnesota, with a focus on commemoration of Minnesota's role in the American Civil War via creation of a digital Civil War resource to aid student instruction for sixth and seventh grade teachers is the third of three projects being administered by MNHS in cooperation with the state's Civil War Commemoration Task Force are in development
This project will move from a development phase to an implementation phase during which the public will begin to gain access to a greater number of Minnesota newspapers from around the state on the internet. Society staff will refine and automate the newspaper management system it developed in the first phase of the project and continue to work out access agreements with publishers and also form new partnerships with many more publishers. Staff will continue the work of harvesting and archiving webonly news sources that was begun in the first phase of the project.
The Minnesota Historical Society will continue to increase access to its collections by making historical resources available online for the general public. This year, there will be a greater focus on posting collections items relating to the U.S.--Dakota War of 1862 and the Civil War as part of the Society's wider commemoration of both events.
MNHS continues its focus on preserving and making accessible the newspapers published in the state. Last year, the staff concentrated on acquiring digital content from publishers and building the access hub, Minnesota Newspapers Online (MNO). Work on both of these activities will continue.
Increasing the public's online access to the MNHS permanent collections remains a top priority for the Collections Department. Since the beginning of FY16 (July 1, 2015), over 1,000 artifacts have been digitally photographed and cataloged. (About a third of the artifacts have been published to our online catalog.) This included American Indian material culture (338 items) as well as recent acquisitions and artifacts associated with the Minnesota State Fair (200 items) and popular music in Minnesota (345 items).