These rich collections feature a variety of digitized materials related to the history of Minneapolis and Hennepin County, drawn from the Library’s Special Collections. The collections can be searched or browsed, and all of the content can be viewed online and downloaded.
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149 annual reports of social service organizations from the 1880s to the 1920s.
Courtesy of the Minnesota Digital Library
Category: Annual reports
Photographs of Minneapolis musicians and orchestras from the 1930s and 1940s.
Donated by the Barnard family
Editorial cartoons from the early 1900s drawn for the Minneapolis Journal covering all topics, from local to international.
Donated by Charles Bartholomew
Hundreds of photographs of 19th century scenes of Minneapolis, St. Paul and other Minnesota locations. Most were taken by Minneapolis photographer Edward Bromley, while others were ones he collected from other local photographers. This collection is in the process of being digitized. Additional photographs will continue to be added.
Purchased by the library in 1914.
510 trade cards from the 1880s to the 1920s.
Category: Trade cards
Thousands of photographs created by various departments of the City of Minneapolis recording city development from 1910s - 2000.
Funded, in part, by the Friends of the Hennepin County Library
Over 200 photographs concerning the long-time director of the Minneapolis Public Library and founder of the Hennepin County Library system.
Donated, in part, by Virginia Buffington Shaw
Photographs of members of the Dayton and Winchell families, of retail business and scientific fame, mostly from the late 1800s.
Two albums of photographs of dozens of Minneapolis businesses from the early 20th century.
Photographs featuring Minneapolis journalist Barbara Flanagan, her family, and many of the individuals she met and interviewed during her long career.
Donated by Barbara Flanagan Sanford
Over 150 photographs from 1974 of buildings and street scenes in the Dinkytown, Cedar-Riverside and University neighborhoods.
Produced as a work for hire for the Minneapolis Public Library
Over 800 photographs of the African-American community in Minneapolis and St. Paul in the late 1940s.
Donated by Joan Glanton Howard and Anthony Scott
Over 300 photographs recording the experiences of a U.S. Army nurse in Europe and North Africa during World War II.
Donated by James Glyer
Over 400 photographs of Twin Cities people and scenes from the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
Donated by Jeffrey P. Grosscup
Photographs of buildings and street scenes from early 20th century Minneapolis.
Organizational records of Hennepin County Library. Currently includes annual reports of the Minneapolis Public Library, from 1890-2002, and Hennepin County Library, from 1922-1974; several motion pictures featuring the Minneapolis Public Library; and over 270 lantern slides of early 20th century Minneapolis scenes created by the Minneapolis Public Library, many of them hand-colored by Library staff members.
Category: Annual reports, Film/Video, Photographs
Minneapolis high school yearbooks from the 1890-1977. Includes yearbooks to public and private schools, academies and other educational institutions in Minneapolis and Hennepin County.
Funded, in part, by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the Friends of the Hennepin County Library
Digital reproductions of Hennepin History, the official publication of the Hennepin History Museum.
Permission granted by the Hennepin History Museum.
65 advertising posters from the late 19th century.
Photographs of Minneapolis houses and buildings designed by Minneapolis architect Harry Wild Jones.
Donated by Kate Johnson
Several hundred photographs of the Aquatennial and other local events taken by an Minneapolis Public Library employee during the early 1940s.
Donated by Marvin Juell
Color slides from the early-mid 1960s centered on the fate of some historic buildings during the urban renewal movement.
Donated by Floyd Kelley
Photographs from the 1990s of buildings and houses in Dinkytown, Fraternity Row (University of Minnesota) and Lake of the Isles. Taken by students enrolled in classes taught by University of Minnesota professor Robert Mack.
Donated by Robert Mack
138 maps and 5 atlases of Minneapolis and Hennepin County from 1848-1974.
Building permit records for all Minneapolis houses and buildings, from 1884-1972.
Donated by the City of Minneapolis
Minneapolis City Directories from 1859-1935.
Funded, in part, by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the former Professional Librarians Union of Minneapolis (PLUM)
Digital reproductions of the community newspaper for the Phillips Community (Ventura Village, Phillips East, Phillips West and Midtown Phillips neighborhoods).
Digital reproductions of the community newspaper for the Bryn Mawr neighborhood. Permission granted by the publisher, the Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association.
Over a thousand photographs of people, buildings, street scenes and events in the East Calhoun neighborhood from 1970s, 80s and 90s, originally published in the ECCO News. Donated by the East Calhoun Community Organization.
Digital reproductions of the community newspaper for the East Isles, Lowry Hill, Kenwood and CIDNA neighborhoods. Permission granted by Hill & Lake Press.
Digital reproductions of the community newspaper for the Northeast community. Permission granted by the publisher, Margo Ashmore.
Over a thousand photographs of people, buildings, street scenes and events in the Elliot Park neighborhood from the 1980s and early 1990s, originally published in the community newspaper, The Surveyor. Donated by the newspaper's last editor, Gary Peterson
120 photographs originally published in the Wedge, taken by former Wedge editor, Trilby Busch. Donated by Trilby Busch
Digital reproductions of the community newspaper for Lowry Hill East neighborhood. Permission granted by the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association
Additional photos and newspaper issues will be added.
Category: Newspapers, Photographs
Photographs of Minneapolis redevelopment projects from the early 1970s, mainly the Nicollet-Lake and Washington Avenue districts.
Donated by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission
12 books of house plans by Minneapolis architects.
Lot surveys showing property lines for Minneapolis properties with building permit work performed from 1916 to 1965.
Photographs of Minneapolis houses and buildings from the early 1970s, taken by staff of the Minneapolis Model City program.
Thousands of photographs of Minneapolis scenes, buildings, and people from the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
Thousands of photographs of Minneapolis public school buildings and classrooms, events and activities, students, teachers and staff, and members of the Board of Education. The collection covers the 1880s to 2000s, with the bulk dating from the 1960s and 1970s.
This collection is in the process of being digitized. Additional photographs will continue to be added.
Donated, in part, by the Minneapolis Public Schools.
7 diaries recording the impressions of Minneapolis life during the booming 1880s, written by a young man.
The collection includes over 1800 postcards featuring various Minneapolis and Hennepin County buildings and attractions such as parks, hotels, museums, churches, restaurants, skyline views and more. Many postcards include handwritten messages which have been fully transcribed.
This collection is in the process of being digitized. Additional postcards will continue to be added. Postcards under copyright have not been digitized and may be viewed in Special Collections.
Watercolor and oil paintings of Alaska, California, and Europe by Minnesota artist Theodore J. Richardson (April 5, 1855 – November 19, 1914). The collection also includes several photographs of the artist at work.
Donated by Mrs. James B. Sutherland in 1944
Category: Artwork, Photographs
A gathering of digitized materials in a variety of formats (mostly images) from many small archival collections.
Donated from a variety of sources.
Category: Photographs, Sound recordings
Correspondence and photographs by an ordinary soldier in WWII writing home from the European Theater to his wife and parents in Minneapolis. Over 300 letters and 100 photographs of scenes of Germany at the end of the war.
Purchased by the Hennepin County Library
Category: Letters, Photographs
Stereocards of Minneapolis scenes from the 1880s through the 1910s.
Over 160 color photographs of downtown Minneapolis buildings taken in 1980 as part of an architectural survey of various cities in the United States and Canada by James Taulman.
Purchased by Hennepin County Library
98 programs for performances in Minneapolis theaters from the 1880s to the 1920s.
133 catalogs from the 1880s to the 1920s.
Over 350 photographs of Minneapolis scenes, houses, and members of the Wallof family from the 1890s and the 1910s.
Donated by Harold W. Vanderwater
Photographs of the "Skid Row" district of Minneapolis from the 1930s.
Donated by Carl Warmington
Original American, German, and Russian World War II propaganda posters.
Over 100 photographs of downtown Minneapolis streets and intersections from the early 1940s.
Donated by the Zalusky family