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Time for Pride!

Pride festivals are a commemoration of the community uprising triggered by police raids on the Stonewall Bar in New York in 1969 – usually credited with being the start of the contemporary fight for GLBT civil rights. (The Stonewall Inn has just been designated a New York City Landmark for this reason.) First held in a few communities in 1970 on the 1 year anniversary of Stonewall, Pride celebrations are now held around the world and the larger ones draw enormous crowds. Most, including Twin Cities (TC) Pride, are scheduled for the last weekend in June.

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Help improve ‘Umbra: Search African American History’

Over 350,000 objects documenting more than 300 years of African American history and culture are now discoverable in Umbra: Search African American History, developed by the University of Minnesota Libraries in partnership with Penumbra Theatre Company. You can help improve Umbra by taking a brief online survey and sharing your feedback.


Polanie Club Records to the Immigration History Research Center Archives

The Immigration History Research Center Archives (IHRCA) is very pleased to announce a major addition to their collections, the Records of the Polanie Club of Minneapolis and St. Paul.


Archivist lists favorites from 50th anniversary exhibit

Hours spent doing research and writing exhibit text for the Archives and Special Collections department’s current exhibit, “The job is never done”: Fifty Years of Documenting Social Welfare History, uncovered many interesting documents, facts and quotes – a few of which were used for the exhibit.

Here are a few of the curator’s favorites from the exhibit!

Trench library in France

YMCA Reading Rooms and Public Libraries Today

When we think of a library, we may picture the typical modern library, a community space with books and other publications available to the public for study. However, many of the libraries we know today were preceded by the early libraries and reading rooms of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).


Elmer L. Andersen: A Different Kind of Library

Despite our closed stacks, we encourage and embrace wide use of our collections to the community at large. We meet our researchers and provide one-on-one service to get you the materials you need. Since September 2014, Andersen Library has welcomed nearly 1,300 researchers into our reading room. We have also conducted nearly 200 instruction events to students and community members, with nearly 3,900 attendees.


The Job is Never Done:
Fifty Years of Documenting Social Welfare History

The current exhibit in the Elmer L. Andersen Library Main Gallery is “The Job is Never Done”: Fifty Years of Documenting Social Welfare History.  The exhibit was curated by Linnea Anderson, Archivist in the Social Welfare History Archives, and designed by Darren Terpstra, ASC Exhibit Design/Project Specialist. The Social Welfare History Archives was founded in […]


162 Years in the making: 5 Black, African and African Americans who pushed the YMCA to be better.

The context and understanding which the study of archives provides allow researchers to discern the historical underpinnings of current events, and the evolution of ideas over time. Within the Kautz Family YMCA Archives, the history of Black, African, and African Americans within the organization reveals contributions that have strengthened and clarified the scope and breadth of the YMCA.

A panoramic photo showing four staff people dwarfed by the 80 boxes of the recently processed Outfront MN collection.

‘It Was Exhilarating!’

By Lisa Vecoli Curator of the Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies Every month the curators provide a report of our activity so that our colleagues and library administration can see what we have going on. When I did my report this month, one of my bullet points was:  “Had a researcher […]


Celebrating and Connecting with the Chinese YMCA

Archivists are frequently called upon to preserve and provide access to the evidence of history, but we seldom have the opportunity to help make it. As part of our work, we document many communities, but less often do we have the opportunity to connect and cooperate with these communities to help them tap into their history and leverage it.

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