The Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grant allowed the Library at Minnesota State University, Mankato to acquire 17 new manuscript collections and fill in gaps for 3 additional collections.
The primary mission of the Library at Minnesota State University, Mankato is to support the curriculum of the University, with the secondary mission being to serve as a regional information center for the residents of southern Minnesota. The Legacy grant made possible the acquisition of Minnesota focused microfilm that will have an enduring value to both the campus and the region.
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.
The 1901 Dodd Ford Bridge, a significant contributor to the development of Amboy, was slated for replacement by Blue Earth County. Federal funds were sought by the County for the project. This initiated section 106 and 4(f) reviews, which concluded that it would be prudent and feasible to renovate the bridge on site. However, more specific data is required about the historic bridge renovation program and costs. The grant money assisted in funding the hire of a consultant to examine costs and methods to restore and preserve the 1901 Dodd Ford Bridge.
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.
199 issues of the monthly periodicals, The Student and The Mankatonian, from Mankato state Normal School (1888-1913) were digitzed to preserve them and make them more readily available to researchers, geneologists and the MN public at large.
Digitized copies were placed in the University Archives Digital Collections at Minnesota State University, Mankato and at the MN Reflections site as part of the Minnesota Digital Library.