Special Collections Newsletter - November 2021

hennepin county library special collections

November 2021

Greetings Local History Friends,

Many Hennepin County Library locations expanded hours at the end of October. Special Collections is now open Monday through Thursday 9am-4:30pm. Appointments are not necessary, but you do need to call Special Collections or check-in at the 4th floor reference desk upon arrival for department access. You can speed up your visit by requesting materials be pulled in advance (email specialcoll@hclib.org or call 612-543-8200). Masks are currently required regardless of vaccination status.

Check out what’s new and noteworthy this month in Special Collections!

Dinner menus

Dining Through the Decades

Tuesday, November 9, 10-11 a.m. (Virtual, Registration Required)

Anchovy canapes, fried fancy frog legs, and chicken liver chop suey. These delectable delights are just a few of the dishes found in the restaurant menu collection at Minneapolis Central Library. Join us on a local culinary tour of menus and restaurants from the 1880s to the more recent past, including well-known favorites such as the Nankin Café and Charlie’s Café Exceptionale. View digitized menus online. 

This program hosted by Minneapolis Community Education via Zoom, intended for ages 55+. Register online.

Digital Collections

On Cue Screenshot

On Cue (New!)

A short-lived TV program (2002-2004) produced by the City of Minneapolis and hosted by Phill Lindsay. Like Inside Minneapolis, the 30 to 60 segments in each 30-minute episode feature stories about people and organizations in the city covering a wide variety of topics. Watch all episodes online.


Bell Cooking on Thanksgiving


Feast your eyes on some seasonal images from the Digital Collections. Our Thanksgiving-related photos include everything from a kitten herding turkeys to the 1982 downtown Thanksgiving Day fire.

Browse the Hennepin County Library Digital Collections: https://digitalcollections.hclib.org/.

From the Archives

Photo of file folders

New Finding Aid

Friends of the Hennepin County Library Records: Thirteen boxes of materials documenting the Friends of the Hennepin County Library, Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library, and Library Foundation of Hennepin County from 1951 to 2015. The collection includes annual reports, annual meeting materials, newsletters, incomplete board minutes, program and event files, photographs, and the organization's website.


Recent Acquisitions

Windom Park Citizens in Action Records: Board minutes, subject files, administrative files, and other records of the organization from the 1990s-2010s. Subject files include construction of the Quarry shopping center, water contamination with Interplastics, files on local business and problem addresses.

Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association Records: Board minutes, administrative files, and subject files from 1990s-2010s. Topics include southwest light rail planning, traffic, and neighborhood development. Bulk of materials from 1990s-2010s. Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association (CIDNA) is the official neighborhood organization for the Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood.

Ralph W. Cornelison Scrapbooks: Three scrapbooks belonging to Ralph W. Cornelison documenting his involvement with the University of Minnesota, Aquatennial, the Masons, his company H.A. Rogers Printing Co. and related professional materials. One scrapbook contains records of his travels while working for Washburn Crosby Co. / General Mills.

From the Vaults

Image of artistic book

The Book Arts and Fine Press Collection includes hundreds of works by local and national book artists and fine press publishers in addition to books about book artistry, which includes printing, papermaking, fine binding, typography, and more. The library acquires dozens of new artists’ books annually and often works directly with artists in the community to build the collection. See highlights from the collection on the Friends of Hennepin County Library website.

From the Blog

Pumpkin Joe

“Pumpkin Joe” Greenstein

“There’s something about this particular vegetable. They are like humans. No two of them are alike. They make you smile.” - Joe Greenstein speaking to the Minneapolis Halloween Committee, 1964

If you were a child in north Minneapolis from the 1940s to 1960s, odds are you knew “Pumpkin Joe.” Every October, Joe Greenstein, a neighborhood grocer, gave away thousands of free pumpkins to children from elementary and nursery schools on the northside. Read more about Pumpkin Joe who later was elected to the Minneapolis city council.

Check out more cool local history tidbits on our blog at https://hclib.tumblr.com/

Remote Research

Don’t forget, even though Special Collections is now open, we can still help you with your research needs remotely. Need a scan of a book chapter from the Minneapolis History Collection? Looking for newspaper articles on a topic? Need a city directory look-up? Want access to an archival collection? We are here to help.

Email specialcoll@hclib.org or call 612-543-8200.

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