The Minnesota Historical Society is developing creative, hands-on learning projects for K-12 students that adhere to state social studies standards and introduce students to important aspects of Minnesota and U.S. history. For example, students will explore the role of slavery in American history by examining historical newspapers, letters and laws and by watching a series of dramatic portrayals of Dred and Harriet Scott who lived at Fort Snelling in the 1830s. These projects will be made accessible to teachers around the state and around the country in 2013.
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.”
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. This biennium, an additional four Minnesota Historical Society historic sites are improving their service to "21st Century Learners" and their teachers and parents.
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 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.
To meet increasing demand for digital books, 136 Minnesota Historical Society Press (MHS Press) books have been converted and are available as e-books from popular e-book vendors. Six short form e-books will be released by the end of January 2013. Digital editions of more than 80 MHS Press books are available to libraries, researchers and students via Project Muse, a leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content. In addition, an enhanced e-book about Minnesota in the 1970s is now being written and developed and will be published in fall 2013.
The Minnesota Historical Society strives to attract high school and college interns from underrepresented communities to encourage engagement and diversify the institution. Students are placed across the Society in various departments and sites and have the opportunity to work alongside museum professionals to enhance their skills and apply their knowledge in a professional environment. College students participate in learning activities together over a semester-long period to enrich the internship experience and network with other interns in their cohort.
Four new and unique views of Fort Snelling from various points in history will be available for students, teachers and the general public to access online. The Minnesota Historical Society has been collaborating with the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia to build four computer models that illustrate a dynamic and changing Fort Snelling from 1820 to 1945. The models will be linked to a rich and interrelated set of materials from all parts of the Society's collections, including photographs and manuscripts.
In order to implement its Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) projects, the Minnesota Historical Society employs an ACHF Manager 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."
Partner: The Minnesota Geospatial Information Office
In the spring of 2013, students and the general public will be able to choose a specific place on an online map of Minnesota and historical images and information related to that spot will automatically appear. The site will give students and the general public a deeper knowledge of the history of particular places in the state. Geo-tagging staff has been adding geographical markers to more than 300,000 of the Society's historic photographs, maps and artifacts.
This funding supports and ensures the success of the ACHF-funded Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program. It allows Society staff to seek out potential grant applicants, lead statewide grant-writing workshops and webinars, and help applicants with technical information critical to submitting a successful grant application, as well as supporting recipients throughout the life of their projects.
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, websites and papers. It is a rigorous program used by schools to meet state graduation standards for history and applied learning. Minnesota is widely recognized as a national leader in using the History Day program to improve academic achievement in history.
The award-winning History Live program served more than 5,500 Minnesota students in FY12 while creating new history lessons to deliver via video conferencing technology. New programs focus on Dred and Harriet Scott, Dakota history and Jeffers Petroglyphs. History Live staff are also developing a way to deliver content to seniors living in residential facilities and will continue building a state and nationwide audience for these unique, high-energy history programs.
This groundbreaking project is creating a new model for school field trips using mobile and web technologies to capitalize on the natural behaviors and learning styles of today's students. "History in Our Hands: the Field Trip for the 21st Century Learner," will demonstrate how museums can use technology to create self-directed, personalized, responsive field trip experiences that deepen students" connection to history while honing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The Minnesota Historical Society is removing financial and geographic barriers for Minnesota teachers who want to attend professional development courses. With these funds, the Society is making enriched, affordable Minnesota history training opportunities available to teachers around the state through a series of professional workshops, conferences and immersion experiences. Limited subsidies are available for lodging, mileage and substitute teacher reimbursement.
Minnesotans of all ages are participating in deep intergenerational learning experiences by working together to document community history and create lasting products (exhibits, documentaries, audio tours etc.) that are shared with their communities. These intergenerational collaborations build relationships among members of older and younger generations, increase students" appreciation for Minnesota history and recognize the importance of older adults and their role in transmitting community history.
The Legacy Field Trip Support Fund will help an estimated 39,000 Minnesota students experience field trips at Minnesota historic sites and museums statewide in FY12 and FY13. The high cost of transportation prohibits many Minnesota teachers from taking their students on field trips. The Legacy Field Trip Support Fund offsets transportation costs to all of the Minnesota Historical Society's 26 museums and historic sites statewide. Eligible schools are reimbursed $3 per student.
The Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) is a statewide, multi-institutional initiative. Its mission is to make the rich historical resources of the state's public and academic libraries, archives, museums and historical societies available to students, teachers and the public via the web and also to preserve these resources for future generations.
The 2012-2013 appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund will allow the MDL to expand the number of historical resources online and continue its work preserving these digital resources.
Partners: Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (primary), Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, University of Minnesota Tourism Center, Minnesota Design Team
The Minnesota Historical Society has launched and is expanding MNopedia, the first online encyclopedia about Minnesota. MNopedia is a growing digital resource that provides reliable, multimedia entries related to the state and its history. MNopedia will be tested, refined and broadened with additional content and tools, giving students, teachers, researchers and the general public greater access to information, images, documents and other historical resources relating to Minnesota.
Multimedia support enriches the Minnesota Historical Society's programs, exhibitions and websites with innovative, high-quality multimedia productions. Through audio, video, interactive and immersive productions, the program allows the Society to capture and present the stories of Minnesotans and document the impact of Legacy history projects. Rich media content enhances students"" and teachers"" experiences with the Society's curricular resources, engages visitors of all ages at the Society's museums and historic sites and reaches audiences everywhere through web and mobile delivery.
In phase two of this project, stories relating to the Jeffers Petroglyphs historic site told by Dakota elders will be transcribed, translated and made available to students, teachers and the general public. In phase one, the Minnesota Historical Society collected, recorded and interpreted the stories. The stories will be made accessible in Dakota and in English via the internet, DVD and also at Jeffers Petroglyphs. This project helps preserve and teach Dakota language and culture.
To meet the expectations of the legislature and the people of Minnesota, an evaluation coordinator is measuring the outcomes and value of programs, projects and partnerships supported by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) through the Minnesota Historical Society. In October 2010, the Society worked with Wilder Research to improve the Society's ability to evaluate its ACHF projects and programs.
Minnesota Historical Society staff created and implemented communication strategies for FY12 and FY13 Legacyfunded history projects and programs, including the "Then Now Wow" exhibit, designed with schoolchildren in mind. Increasing public awareness of these investments ensures that students, teachers and the general public use and benefit from them, giving greater understanding of Minnesota's history and legacy for the future.
The Minnesota Historical Society manages 26 historic sites and museums across Minnesota. Recognizing an opportunity to work with organizations where historic sites are located, the Society is collaborating with local historical organizations around the state to assess and improve their service to the public.
Current and accurate data on historic and archaeological sites is crucial to understanding our past and to preserving Minnesota's history for future generations. In fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Office of the State Archaeologist and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council awarded contracts for the following projects: Archaeological Surveys in Steele, McLeod and Red Lake Counties.
Five traveling exhibits are making more than 45 stops in communities around the state in FY12 and FY13, giving more Minnesotans the chance to experience history in their own backyards. The exhibits feature freestanding displays, audiovisual and interactive components, and onsite and online educational programming. They are Minnesota on the Map, Minnesota Homefront, Electrifying Minnesota, Uncle Sam's New Deal and Minnesota Disasters. Two traveling exhibits were developed working with teens.
Recommendations for reducing the Minnesota Historical Society’s environmental impact will be presented and implemented during the second phase of this project. It's estimated that the recommendations can save the Society $1.7 million over five years and divert two million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.
This funding allows the Minnesota Historical Society to broaden access to many of its Legacy-funded programs through the internet. It supports the web development professionals who plan, build and implement digital components that are part of many Legacy-funded history projects.
One example, the MNopedia website, was launched in August 2011. MNopedia will provide reliable, multimedia entries about Minnesota people, places, events and things.