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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program identifies environmental contaminants for which current health-based standards currently do not exist or need to be updated, investigate the potential for human exposure to these chemicals, and develop guidance values for drinking water. Contaminants evaluated by CEC staff include contaminants that have been released or detected in Minnesota waters (surface water and groundwater) or that have the potential to migrate to or be detected in Minnesota waters.
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.
The Minnesota Historical Society is launching a new component to its internship program by providing opportunities for high school students to develop work-readiness skills and learn about career paths available at the Society.
The Society strives to attract interns from underrepresented communities to encourage engagement and diversify the institution. Students are placed across the Society in various departments and sites.
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.
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.
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.
The Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) is a statewide, multi-institutional initiative to make the rich historical resources of the state’s public and academic libraries, archives, museums and historical societies available to the public via the web and to preserve the resources for future generations.
Partner Organizations: Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, Department of Employment and Economic Development, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality.
The Minnesota Main Street Program is a comprehensive strategy that helps Minnesota communities preserve historic buildings, while providing training, tools and support for commercial revitalization. ACHF funding has enabled the re-launch of this program.
The Minnesota Historical Society is developing a mobile application that will allow students to investigate Minnesota history anywhere, any place and anytime, using their handheld mobile devices.
In addition, the Society is designing a mobile technology component for the History Center's "Then Now Wow" exhibit (the exhibit's working title was "Our Minnesota") that will enable students to immediately apply what they've learned in exhibits.
Partner Organization: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.
The Minnesota Historical Society is partnering with the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation to continue the Neighborhood Leadership Program, an initiative that develops leadership skills of community members to take effective action.
Through ACHF funding, the program agenda has been expanded to include sessions integrating historical resources, lessons and visits to the Minnesota History Center, providing participants with greater access and awareness of the Society's resources.
In 2010, the Minnesota Historical Society researched the development of an Online Fur Trade Interactive Learning Experience as a supplement to the Northern Lights history textbook.
This web-based application, geared toward middle school students, will not only offer a glimpse of Minnesota's history, but also provides a lesson about the foundation of today's complex global economy.
Indigenous people have always used stories to preserve and teach culture to each succeeding generation. Through this project, the Minnesota Historical Society will collect, record and interpret stories specific to the Jeffers Petroglyphs site.
The stories from tribal elders will be recorded and transcribed in their native language as well as in English, culminating in written interpretations that will be made available to a wide audience of scholars, students and the general public.
The Minnesota Historical Society created communication strategies and promotional materials for many of the ACHF-funded programs to increase public awareness and ensure that citizens, educators and students would use and benefit from the new programs.
The Minnesota Historical Society manages 26 historic sites and museums across Minnesota. Recognizing an opportunity to work more collaboratively with organizations where historic sites are located, the Society developed programs to expand history education and programming and elevate the level of professionalism in local history organizations.
This funding enabled site staff across the state to host workshops to train history professionals and work with local historical agencies to assess and update collections.
With funding from the ACHF, 20 portraits were cleaned and are now more secure with the addition of high-quality non-glare/UV filtering plexiglass. Using the original framing, each portrait was retrofitted to accommodate the new plexiglass.
Having current and accurate data on historic and archaeological sites is important to understanding our past and to preserving Minnesota’s history for future generations. In 2010-2011, the Minnesota Historical Society awarded contracts for these survey projects:
The Minnesota Historical Society created a new traveling exhibits program, called "Exhibits to Go," giving more than 15 communities across Minnesota the ability to experience Minnesota history in their own neighborhood.
Funding for the traveling exhibits came from multiple appropriation categories, including funding for Statewide Historic Programs and for History Partnership Projects.
The Minnesota Historical Society recognizes the natural relationship between sustainability and historic preservation and the importance of environmental stewardship as we preserve our cultural heritage for future generations. For this reason, the Society is studying its level of sustainability, including levels of energy consumption, water usage, waste and resource use.
With the approval of many ACHF projects and partnerships that include a component of enhanced online access to Minnesota Historical Society information and materials, the Society needed to increase the capacity of its technology platform.
This funding enabled the Society to help deliver web development services, and to purchase servers and equipment to meet the increased demands created by the ACHF programs.
Here are examples of three web sites created through this project that allow the general public to learn about other ACHF-funded history projects: