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Archives and Special Collections

      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.
      Jamaya Williams

      Work-from-home updates from the archives

      As a Global Studies major with a regional focus in Europe, I gain knowledge and more tangible rewards in my job as Student Assistant for the Immigration History Research Center Archives. In the two years, I’ve gained invaluable exposure to thousands of archival materials documenting the personal experiences of 20th-century European immigrants, refugees, and displaced persons. Since spring break, however, I’ve had to learn how to do my job without this hands-on and face-to-face component.
      University of Minnesota block M Gold on maroon background

      Spotlight on research: Becoming Italian-American

      Guest author Teresa Bertilotti shares about her research project, Becoming Italian-American: Entertainment and Historical Culture, 1860-1930, and about her research at the Immigration History...

      Gathering ‘the best of what has gone before’

      They stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the curved staircase of the atrium of the Elmer L. Andersen Library — a crowd gathered for the building’s official opening April 8, 2000. One can sense their eagerness in the U of M video that captured that ceremony and related the background of this new home for the U’s Archives and Special Collections.
      Photo of an undated letter in black typescript, with letterhead of the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee.

      Archives provide valuable sources for dissertation on the topic of ‘Humanitarian Capitalism’

      Spotlight on Research: Our guest author Andrew Marion visited the Immigration History Research Center Archives (IHRCA) recently, and writes about both the visit and his research on the topic of Humanitarian Capitalism: Displaced Person Resettlement in America, 1948-1952. Marion is one of this year’s Grant-in-Aid Award recipients, and is a History Ph.D. candidate at the University of Mississippi.
      Banner for "Women and Work" exhibit, with woman in an apron holding canned foods

      A Woman’s Place: Women and Work

      "A Woman’s Place: Women and Work" is a new exhibit at Elmer L. Andersen Library that attempts to unpack the stories of what “women’s work” truly embodies by pulling materials from units across the University Libraries. The exhibit runs through March 6, but a special exhibit reception will be held January 16.
      Black and white illustration by K. A. Suvantoo showing man inspecting immigrants at Ellis Island, New York

      A visit from Australia to research Finnish-America

      Guest author Alana Kosklin visited the Immigration History Research Center Archives recently, and shares her experience doing research for her topic of interest, the Kalevala and Finnish-Americans. Kosklin is the recipient of this year’s Michael G. Karni Scholarship, which is awarded by the Immigration History Research Center. Kosklin is an English Ph.D. candidate at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
      Cover of an annual journal that benefited Russian children, courtesy IHRCA.

      Nina Bogdan’s archival research on Russian Emigrés to Northern California

      Spotlight on Research: Our guest author Nina Bogdan was awarded the Immigration History Research Center Archives (IHRCA) Grant-in-Aid Award this year, and visited us for five days to explore the material in the IHRCA. This blog post explains Bogdan’s research project and how these sources relate to it. Bogdan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of Arizona.

      New treasures from the Minnesota Opera

      The Performing Arts Archives recently received a treasure trove of new archival materials from the Minnesota Opera. These new acquisitions document the opera company’s more-than 50-year commitment to staging new works. Founded in 1964, the Minnesota Opera began as the Center Opera, an organization that operated under the aegis of the Walker Art Center.
      Portrait of Dominick Argento

      Dominick Argento papers acquired by Performing Arts Archives

      This fall, the Performing Arts Archives welcomed the archives of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dominick Argento. The collection includes letters, score manuscripts, signed photographs, and several rare recordings — and illustrate the composer’s impressive creative output as well as his collaborative relationships with other Twin Cities musicians and musical groups.

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