Special Collections Newsletter - January 2023

hennepin county library special collections

January 2023

Happy New Year from Special Collections!

Exhibits on View

New Years Resolutions

This Year I Will… Relax more. Start a business. Read more. Ask others for help. Eat more veggies. Learn something new…What will you do in 2023? We came up with a sampling of New Year’s resolutions and illustrated them with photographs in the Digital Collections.

These photos and more are on view in the atrium display case at Minneapolis Central Library for the month of January.

Meet Special Collections Volunteer Chuck Griep

Chuck Griep

Chuck is currently our longest serving volunteer. He began volunteering in December 2012 and has been a dedicated volunteer ever since, even volunteering remotely through the pandemic. Chuck has worked on many projects over his 10 years here, from collection inventories, to Mrs. look-ups (finding first names of women in photographs only identified by their husband’s name), to split photo matching. He’s currently searching through online newspapers and genealogy resources to obtain more information on unprocessed photos in our Newspaper Photograph Collection. This added information helps us determine if the photographs are local and can add valuable details to our metadata.

Once or twice a year, Chuck takes a big vacation from volunteering to take long walks across Spain and Italy—a hundred miles or more over weeks of time! Through these trips he’s taught himself Spanish and some Italian too! In December, Chuck welcomed a granddaughter, his first grandchild, whom he adores and spends as much time with as he can.

Q: Why do you keep volunteering in Special Collections?

A: I keep volunteering in Special Collections for two reasons: I like the people in the department, and I like the research that my projects entail. I’m always learning things!

Q: What’s one of the most memorable things you’ve encountered while working here?

A: Early in my career in SC, when I was doing an inventory in the vault, there were so many great books, some of which were hundreds of years old. I remember finding a book published in the early 1500’s, printed in Greek. I think that’s the oldest book I’ve actually got to touch!

Q: Favorite project you’ve worked on?

A: Probably the inventory in the vault. So many historic old books! But it was freezing in there! [Editor’s note: Special Collections has two climate-controlled vaults for rare book and A/V storage. The rooms are kept at about 65 degrees with 35% relative humidity—these spaces feel especially cold on a hot summer day!]

Q: Favorite place or building in Minneapolis or Hennepin County?

A: The Northern Pacific Bridge Number 9 over the Mississippi River is a favorite place. I like to take long walks with my partner along the river and this bridge is a good destination with beautiful views of the river gorge. It’s never crowded because it’s not very close to a parking lot!

Q: Book you’re currently reading?

A: Lately, I’ve been drawn to books with library themes. I’m in the middle of listening to an audiobook of “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean, a nonfiction book about a big library fire and libraries in general. And I just finished reading “La biblioteca de fuego” by Maria Zaragoza, an historical novel about heroic librarians saving Spanish culture in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War (unfortunately not translated into English yet).

In the Archives

Archive file folders

New Acquisition

East Isles Neighborhood Association – Minutes, subject files, Neighborhood Revitalization Program files, event files, and other records of the East Isles Neighborhood Association.

New Finding Aids

Mary Stavaas Aquafollies Scrapbooks – Three scrapbooks documenting Mary Stavaas participation in the Aquafollies during the 1940s-1950s, including performances at the Minneapolis Aquatennial and Seattle Seafair. View finding aid online.

Marj Wunder Papers – Brochures, newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs, and ephemera documenting Marj Wunder's work as a peace activist. Edina Grandmothers for Peace, the Peace Garden at Lyndale Park (near Lake Harriet), the Honeywell Project, and the relationship between Minneapolis and Hiroshima, Japan, are especially well documented. Collection includes many programs from Peace Garden events and annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki remembrance days. View finding aid online.

Digital Collections Tips and Tricks: Narrowing Results by Date

Nicollet Mall - 1990s

When Digital Collections searches give you more results than you can handle, filters can help you narrow your results. Unfortunately, our Digital Collections platform has limitations and date range filtering is not intuitive or straight forward. Here are a few options for narrowing your results by date.

1. Add a year or decade to your search when searching across collections. Example: Nicollet Mall 1990s

Search digital collections


2. Go to Advanced search. Add your keyword term(s) to one line, then click +Add Row and type decade(s) or year(s), selecting “Any of the words” from the dropdown: Example: Nicollet Mall (All fields, Exact phrase) AND 1990s 2000s (All fields, Any of the words)

Enter search term


3. When searching within just one collection, rather than across all collections, Advanced search allows you to enter a date or date range. Note that results found here will only include items that have an exact date (yyyy-mm-dd). It will not include items with just a known year or decade, which is often the bulk of photos in some collections. Example: Advanced Search with only City of Minneapolis Collection checkbox selected: Nicollet Mall (All fields, Exact phrase) AND dates between (including) 1990 to 1999

Enter date


Need help finding something in the Digital Collections? Email us!

From the Blog

Two sets of twins

Two Sets of Twins and a Shortage of Pins! In January 1944, Lauretta Williams gave birth to her second set of twins in 14 months. Douglas and David joined 14-month-old twin sisters Judith and Joanne at a most inconvenient time—during a safety pin shortage. Read how strangers came to her aid

In-person and Remote Research

Audrey Lake with pet bear cubs

Special Collections is open Monday through Thursday 9 am-4:30 pm. 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 open, we can still help you with your research needs remotely. Email specialcoll@hclib.org or call 612-543-8200.

Photo: 6-year-old Audrey Lake with her pet bear cubs. The Lake family lived in the Elliot Park neighborhood near downtown Minneapolis. Photo from the Minneapolis Newspaper Photograph Collection in the HCL Digital Collections. Explore more pet photos.

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