Special Collections Newsletter - December 2021

hennepin county library special collections

December 2021

As winter officially rolls in, we’re here to remind you that many of our Special Collections resources can be accessed remotely, from the cozy comfort of your own home. Check out what’s new and noteworthy this month in Special Collections!


Digital Collections

Bradstreet Collection

John S. Bradstreet Collection Photographs

Documents, a scrap book, and a few dozen photographs, mostly gathered by Fannie Jacques, an assistant to Minneapolis designer and tastemaker John S. Bradstreet (1845-1914). Bradstreet is mainly identified with the Arts and Crafts Movement, but the photographs in this collection reflect his strong bent towards Japanese influences late in his career. Of particular interest in this collection are the many images of the Bradstreet Craft House at 327 7th St. S. Finding aid.


F.L. Mortimer Negatives

DeWars Family Collection of F.L. Mortimer Negatives

F.L. Mortimer was a photographer active in the early 1880s. The photographs in this collection feature various buildings, many of them newly built, during what was a decade of explosive growth for the city. The collection was donated by the DeWars family in 1977. Finding aid.


Minnehaha Falls in Winter

Winter Wonderland

Find plenty of frosty photos from years past in the HCL Digital Collections, from iced over Minnehaha Falls, to snow sculptures, to ice boating, and more.

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


From the Archives

New Finding Aids

Crippen Papers

Crippen and Beck Family World War II Papers 

Ernest Leo "Ernie" Crippen and Louis Wilbur Beck (called "Wilbur" by his family) were brothers-in-law from northern Minnesota who both served in the United States military during World War II. Crippen's materials include a memoir he wrote, originals and photocopies of documents charting his service in the U.S. Navy, and the paperweight he created from defused Japanese artillery shell detonators on Guadalcanal. Beck's materials include letters written to his family in Blackduck, Minnesota, primarily during stateside training, postcards of the camps where he was stationed, and communication informing his family of his death at the Battle of the Bulge.


First Avenue Posters

First Avenue Posters

One hundred sixty original silkscreen posters spanning two decades of concerts at First Avenue and 7th St Entry in Minneapolis, and the Turf Club in St. Paul. Features primarily non-local, nationally touring rock bands like The Decemberists, Black Keys, and The Raveonettes. The collection not only documents music performance history at First Avenue, but also the vibrant print scene in the Twin Cities. Most of these posters were commissioned prints made by Minnesota artists and print shops in limited editions in the mid-2000s. Printers of note include Aesthetic Apparatus, Florafauna, Amy Jo + Tooth, Nate Nolting, and other Squad19 artists.


Recent Acquisitions

Pratt Council Records

Pratt Council Records: Board minutes, financial records, photographs, and media from the Pratt Council. Pratt Council was founded in the 1980s to save Pratt School (in Prospect Park) from closure by the Minneapolis Public Schools. By partnering with Pratt Community Education, the Council ran community classes and services at the school. In 2000, Pratt School reopened for elementary grades. The Pratt Council transitioned many of its roles to the Pratt PTO in the 2010s.

Preserve Historic Dinkytown Oral Histories: Oral history interviews conducted by Rob Hahn and Ossian Or for Preserve Historic Dinkytown in 2018-2019. Interviewees were active in Dinkytown in the 1960s-1970s and include Al Milgrom, Bill Tilton, David Baldwin, Doug Grina, Dr. Demento, Erik Strolie, Fr. Harry Bury, Kristen Eide-Tollefson, Laurel Bauer, Laurie Savran, Mike Gelfand, Monte Bute, Prof. John Wright, Shel Danielson, and Spider John Koerner.


From the Blog

1913 Annual Report

Disinfecting Books in 1913

"We are often asked by alarmed patrons what we do to fumigate books that have been in quarantined homes...Each morning a list of quarantined homes is received from the Health Department. Cards are sent to each home urging them to keep all library books which have been borrowed, until the quarantine is removed and the house fumigated. When books are returned from such a home, they are given a bath in gasoline and carbolic acid, after a recipe furnished by the Health Department..."

Our archivist Jenna recently came across this gem in the 1913 Minneapolis Public Library Annual Report. Scarlet Fever was sweeping through the city. Find more library annual reports in the HCL Digital Collections.

Check out more cool local history tidbits on our Tumblr blog.


In-Person and Remote Research

Parrot on the telephone

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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