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Archives and Special Collections

      John Ivan Palmer

      A magician’s deceptions

      As a writer and researcher, Palmer has long been a member of the Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries, so he could have access and borrowing privileges to the University collections. He has used these materials in numerous writing projects, both fiction and non-fiction. “Because I have enriched myself intellectually by what the University [of Minnesota] has provided ... I feel that in the end I owe back the product of that enrichment.”
      line drawing of a young woman in a longish skirt skidding on the ice

      Finding Wanda

      Perhaps you, you and your parents, you and your children, or you and your siblings have read “Millions of Cats,” out loud, to each other, or solo. This classic children’s book was first published in 1928 and, since then, never, ever has gone out of print. vAnd the story of the creator of “Millions of Cats” begins in Minnesota. Many works created by Wanda Gág are held in the Kerlan Collection of Children’s Literature, one of the special collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries.
      two people posing in front of the backdrop for the children's book "Goodnight Moon"

      Exhibit Man

      Entering Darren Terpstra’s office in Andersen Library feels like going backstage — but with Greek columns, a Chinese dragon head, and midcentury lamps, one is not sure which play will be performed.

      Immigrants and invisible labor

      As a feminist sociologist, I am fascinated by the notion of work — any format of exertion that sustains society and humanity, lives, and livelihoods.
      Givens Founders at event in 2017.

      Polishing the beacon

      The Givens Collection is for everyone: Every child, every person, especially anyone who has been shoved to the back of the bus or to the margins of society.
      Michael Osterholm, epidemiologist, 1985

      A healthy look back

      Some topics in public health never go away, infectious disease and barriers to access to health care among them. In the recently digitized “A Public Health Journal” TV program (APHJ), dating from 1985-2004, and available online via UMedia, students, scholars, public health officials, and the members of the community can explore some of these evergreen issues.
      Sherlock Holmes

      Meet your inner Sherlock

      Fans new and old will get the chance to meet Sherlock Holmes, learn how he follows the clues, and take part in their own investigations, at the very interactive “Sherlock Holmes: The Exhibition,” hosted at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul starting Oct. 20. Artifacts, manuscripts, and other clues to the great detective and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — more than 100 of them from the U of M Libraries’ extensive Holmes-related collections — will be available for scrutiny. 
      Deb and Sandra, two Grants in Aid awardees, in a Libraries setting.

      Reversing Brain Drain

      By Sandra Ayivor Spotlight on Research: Guest author Sandra Ayivor was awarded the Immigration History Research Center Archives (IHRCA) Grant-in-Aid Award this year, and she...
      Organized domestic workers in Duluth (1909).

      Workers, unite!

      Labor Day became an official federal holiday in 1894 — so, by now, we Americans should have the celebration of America’s workers down! At the University of Minnesota Libraries, we have a multitude of images and newspaper accounts related to Labor Day in our Archives and Special Collections. Check out this sampling.
      Joseph Moen

      Researcher at the ready

      Formerly a student staff employee in the U of M's Performing Arts Archives, Joseph Moen brings prior research experience and a strong measure of enthusiasm to the work, as helps researchers uncover and use material deep in the archives.
      Woman's Place exhibit banner

      Defining women

      An impactful Libraries exhibit, "A Woman's Place: Women and Work," is now online. Curators Kate Dietrick, Linnea Anderson, and Caitlin Marineau decided at the start of this labor-intensive project that they wanted it to have a second life as an online exhibit. After it was taken down, they didn’t return all the materials immediately but instead had a student worker scan them all.
      Lara Friedman-Shedlov

      Handling the digital stream

      Email, PowerPoint presentations, Google documents, and spreadsheets — these are just some examples of born-digital materials that make up the digital stream coming to the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections (ASC). “ASC has wanted/needed a position to help us deal with born-digital materials for several years,” says Kris Kiesling, Elmer L. Andersen Director of Archives and Special Collections. Managing these born-digital materials is now the role of Lara Friedman-Shedlov.

      Avenues to Black history

      What began in the early part of the 20th century as a week dedicated to studying the history of Black people in America by the 1960s was expanding to a month. Starting in the mid-1970s, U.S. Presidents have annually proclaimed February to be Black History Month. Yet people can explore Black history any month, taking online avenues through primary source materials and special collections available through the Libraries.

      Someone to lean on

      In trying times, we all want someone to lean on — someone reliable, professional, and caring. Someone like Mary Blissenbach, Student Supervisor for Archives and Special Collections. “[Mary] is our front line as we open up Archives and Special Collections to researchers. She has done a fantastic job in coordinating a difficult changing world for them.”
      This Free North screenshot

      In a supporting role — University Archives & Special Collections

      Two outstanding local public TV productions used Libraries’ resources in their runs for a Midwest Emmy. One was successful; each is worth a look.
      Mama Cat has Three Kittens

      Notable acquisitions

      Jewish Community Action Records, C. P. Frank's Atlas of the city of Duluth, Minn., (1902), “Mama Cat Has Three Kittens," and many more notable acquisitions were made in fiscal year 2020 by the University Libraries.

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