“Discovering Treasures: Materials found in collections that are in process or have been recently processed in the Manuscripts Division”

by Christine Avery, Archives Assistant and Kate Hujda, Assistant Archivist/Processor

PAA 1.jpgAs spring slowly makes its way to Minnesota, the Manuscripts Division decided it was time to take down our “Winter in the Archives” exhibit in place of a more spring-like display. The recent hire of two new staff members, as well as additional student workers, has allowed the Manuscripts Division to really dig into previously unprocessed collections – which has given us much to be cheerful about!

The increase in processing in our division is largely due to money provided by the Cultural Heritage Initiative. A funding campaign sponsored by the Friends of the Library, the Cultural Heritage Initiative strives to preserve our literary and performing arts legacies. This $3.3 million campaign has allowed our division the staff, time, and resources necessary to process many of our unprocessed collections.

We decided to take advantage of this recent influx by sharing some of the artifacts our staff has unearthed through processing. Our window display, aptly titled “Incoming Treasures,” features collections that are either now available or soon-to-be available for public research. Brimming with items from architects, authors, theater, and dance, our display represents the breadth of the collections we’ve been processing.

PAA 2.jpgThe highlights of our display include a script from Theatre de la Jeune Lune’s Children of Paradise (PA 107), a sketch of the Minneapolis Milling district riverfront (1910s) from the Archie Parish Collection (N256), and Buoyancies: A Ballast Master’s Log written by Joseph Amato from the Joseph A. Amato Collection (MSS88). (As this is work in progress, not all finding aids are available at this time.)

On December 1989 Theatre de la Jeune Lune cancelled its final production of the season, Children of Paradise Shooting a Dream. Without a permanent facility to call their own, the company was struggling to find the space necessary to develop and rehearse this original work. Three years and a multi-million dollar capital campaign later, the company opened Children of Paradise in their new permanent home in the Minneapolis Warehouse District. The production would go on to win the American Theatre Critics Association award for Best New Play in 1993.
PAA 3.jpgArchie Parish attended the Dunwiddie Institute. His collection contains sketches, paintings, and work from his time there. Among the sketches is a notable sketch of the Milling District. The sketch was made from the St. Anthony side of the Mississippi River, looking at the Minneapolis Milling District on the west side of the river in about 1910. It shows the mills in full operation and is a perfect little vignette of the busy operations that formed the heart of the industry that built the city. The train passing over the Stone Arch Bridge adds a touch of the other activities that utilized riverfront space.

 

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Joseph A. Amato has published over twenty books and numerous essays and reviews in a variety of subjects during the course of his writing career including history, ethics, memoir, and poetry. His collection was donated by him in hopes of preserving the notes, correspondence, and books he used in teaching and writing. Buoyancies, A Ballast Master’s Log published in 2014 and signed by Amato with a simple yet colorful cover is featured in our display.

The display also contains items from the Scott Walker Collection of Graywolf Press (Mss 95a), the Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater Company Records (PA 107), the Sage Cowles Papers (PA 120), the Underground Music Collection (PA 115), and the Al Haug/New Riverside Café Collection (PA 122).  

This display is located on the second floor of Andersen library, outside of room 213 and will be on display until July, 2014. For more information on our collections please visit our websites:
Performing Arts Archives
Northwest Architectural Archives
Upper Midwest Literary Archives

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