Special Collections Newsletter - September/October 2022

hennepin county library special collections

September/October 2022

Check out what is new and noteworthy this fall in Special Collections.


Upcoming events


Book Artist Talk with Linda Gammell

Thursday, September 15, 5:30-7 p.m.
Nokomis Library, 5100 34th Ave. S

St. Paul photographer Linda Gammell will discuss her artistic and research process for developing her latest artist’s book, “Mississippi, Book of Hours.” The limited-edition book documents her 10-year project of photographing bird’s-eye view images from city bridges, together with a personal essay about growing up along the river’s banks, where the Mississippi became a character in her family’s lives. Her artwork focuses on connections to place, memory, and natural history. Linda is the recipient of a 2020 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant.

Book Artist Talk with Todd Thyberg

Thursday, Oct. 13, 5:30-7 p.m.
Northeast Library, 2200 Central Ave. NE

Northeast Minneapolis artist Todd Thyberg, working under the moniker of Angel Bomb, will discuss his artistic and research process for developing his latest artist’s books, “Who Goes There?” and “The Miskatonic Papers.” Todd’s work centers around themes of exploration and discovery in the science fiction and horror genres. His complex limited editions play with book structure, materials, and design choices to extend the experience of reading a book to more of the senses through touch, sound, and smell. Todd has been a recipient of a Jerome Book Arts Grant from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Both talks will feature an overview and highlights from the Book Arts and Fine Press Collection.

Event info

Meet New Preservation Staff Member Tucker Sprynczynatyk


Tucker has worked for Hennepin County Library for almost five years. She started in circulation at various locations and in July became the new Preservation Specialist. In this role, Tucker helps with book repairs, labeling and processing, and some cataloging, in addition to working with the bound periodicals and the commercial bindery. She also spends a few hours of each week in Special Collections working with brittle books, scanning books that are too fragile to handle. Tucker’s last name is pronounced like “sprints-in-attic”.

Q: What’s your favorite tool or piece of equipment in the Bindery?

A: It’s hard to choose, but my favorite tool up here is the letter stamp. It’s so satisfying to arrange the individual letters and bring down the lever and stamp onto book spines. It can take a while to set up because we have so many different type fonts to choose from. I’ve done quite a bit of letter stamping as a hobby with various mediums so it’s really exciting for me when I have the chance to do it at work.

Q: What’s the weirdest or coolest magazine or publication you’ve encountered in your work?

A: The most unique periodical that I’ve come across is The Philistine, A Periodical of Protest [a satirical and whimsical monthly magazine that printed controversial poetry and progressive essays], which ran from 1895 to 1915. I want to sit down with one but I’m nervous to because they’re so precious. The publication ceased in 1915 because the editor [Elbert Hubbard] was aboard the Lusitania when it sank.

Q: Book you’re currently reading or favorite book of all time?

A: I’m currently reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë. I fully intend to spend much of this fall reading the Brontës and drinking hot cider.

Minneapolis Lot Surveys Now All Online


Digitization of the Minneapolis Lot Surveys is now complete! Search and browse nearly 70,000 lot surveys for Minneapolis residential and commercial properties from 1916 to 1965. Search the collection by address or by building permit number, which can be obtained from the Building Permit Index Cards.

What are lot surveys? Lot surveys are drawings conducted by surveyors establishing the property lines for a specific property. Typically done at the time the house or building was first constructed, lot surveys were also sometimes conducted for permit projects where the location of property lines was significant, such as when adding a garage or addition. The lot survey collection includes surveys for Minneapolis properties with building permit (B permit) work performed from 1916 to 1965, and includes surveys for buildings and sites no longer in existence. Note that historic lot surveys do not exist for every property or building permit.

In the Archives: New Finding Aids


Photos from the Simpson Housing Services Records

Simpson Housing Services Records 

Photographs, promotional video footage, board of directors’ material, committee memos and minutes, administrative and financial documents, event and meeting files, correspondence, pamphlets and other promotional material, and publications created or compiled by Simpson Housing Services from their inception in 1982 to 2016. Simpson Housing Services (SHS) is a nonprofit organization and emergency shelter that provides assistance to people experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities.

View finding aid online.

Dinkytown Business Alliance Records 

Board of directors’ material, committee memos and minutes, administrative and financial documents, event and meeting files, correspondence, pamphlets and promotional material, project and subject files, print photographs, and publications created or compiled by the Dinkytown Business Alliance from 1983 to 2017. The Dinkytown Business Alliance, originally the Dinkytown Business Association, is a community business organization established in 1948.  

View finding aid online.

Both these collections were processed as part of the Minneapolis Community Organizations Archives Project, funded by a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant. The grant funds the processing of 18 archival collections primarily from Minneapolis neighborhood associations.

From the Blog


Near North Minneapolis, Starting All Over Again…and Again 

The landmark Cisneros v. Hollman decision of 1995 determined that the public housing projects on the city’s north side perpetuated racial and low-income segregation. This decision led to the demolition of hundreds of housing units. While it remains controversial it undoubtedly resulted in a massive transformation of the near north side, which had, ironically, already been massively transformed by the construction of these housing and other projects from the 1930s through the 1950s.

Read more.

In-person and Remote Research


Special Collections is 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.

Don’t forget, even though Special Collections is now open, we can still help you with your research needs remotely. Email specialcoll@hclib.org or call 612-543-8200.


Phone photo: Barbara Flanagan, of the Minneapolis Daily Times Publicity Department, talks on a telephone headset inside an automobile as she writes down some notes in an evening gown and fur coat, 1946. Photo from the Barbara Flanagan Collection.


Phone photo: Members of the League of Women Voters answer voters' questions about the 1948 election via telephone, providing non-partisan information about amendments, candidates, and the voting records of incumbents to anyone who called. Photo from the Minneapolis Newspaper Photographs Collection.

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