Item of the Day

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Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future


The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

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Item of the Day

Happy Birthday Vice President Mondale!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 5, 2021

Happy birthday to Walter Mondale! Today is his 93rd birthday. 
Former Minnesota Attorney General, Senator, Vice-President, and Ambassador, he has spent most of his life in public service. We are happy to have and provide access to his papers: take a look!
This photo shows Hubert H. Humphrey with Walter Mondale at a surprise party celebrating Mondale's thirty-ninth birthday in 1967.

Vaccine 1904

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 4, 2021

Welcome to the New Year!
As we look forward to more of our fellow citizens receiving the vaccine for COVID-19, on Mondays in January we will share images of people receiving vaccines in the past. 
This photo shows a  Minneapolis Board of Health member giving vaccinations in 1904.

Happy New Year!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | January 1, 2021

Finally! It's about time!
This New Year's card was illustrated and signed by Vernon V. Green. The black and white cover illustration shows Father Time, holding an hourglass and scythe and dressed in a robe marked "1936," turning away from Baby New Year, who sits on a throne and wears a crown marked "1937."
All best to you and yours for the year ahead!

New Year's Eve

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 31, 2020

This monotype on paper by Delia Jurek is titled "New Year's Eve." It was created in  2006.

German Crimes Calendar 1918

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 30, 2020

Still thinking about the new year approaching, we came across this. 
This 1918 calendar is titled "German Crimes Calendar." It consists of six pages, with a calendar for the months of January through June on the front of each page, and July through December on the back. Each page also features an image and a description of crimes committed by the German Army. This demonstrates the anti-German sentiment during World War I.


Comfortable Shoe Year

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 29, 2020

While thinking about the upcoming new year, we came across this in the collection.
This button promotes the "National Comfortable Shoes Year" of 1988, with an image of a high-heeled shoe crossed out. There is another button in our collection with the same image, but promoting "National Comfortable Shoes Week" in 1987. These were worn in Saint Paul. Anyone recognize them or this movement?

Christmas Card

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 25, 2020

We have a fabulous set of Christmas cards made by artists David and Lolita Granahan between 1963 - 74. This one depicts a tree with strings of multicolor lights on a blue background. 


By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 24, 2020

This photo show children waiting for Santa Claus in front of stocking-hung chimney on Christmas Eve, 1940.

Christmas Tree

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 23, 2020

This photo of a Christmas tree was taken by Whitney's Gallery, located in Saint Paul, in 1870.

Tree Ornament

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 22, 2020

These blown glass Christmas tree ornaments are so cool! The outside of ornament is covered with silver colored lamatta crinkle wire as a bonus. 
The manufacturer is unknown; circa 1870-1939.


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