Special Collections Newsletter - June/July 2023

hennepin county library special collections

June/July 2023

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


LGBTQ exhibit at Edina Library


Then and Now: A Look at Local LGBTQ+ History and Our Community Today

LGBTQ+ communities in Hennepin County have gravitated to spaces of camaraderie, organizing, and community since the early 20th century. As the built environment of the Twin Cities has changed due to economic and social factors, so have those spaces. But the need for connection and support within the LGBTQ+ community—for mental and physical health, legislative activism, personal expression, and relationship building—has never dissipated. As non-profit LGBTQ+ organizations have folded, new ones have emerged with equal passion and purpose, and what was once a network of in-person support has expanded greatly through online channels. This exhibit looks at the places, organizations, events, laws, and people who have shaped our vibrant local LGBTQ+ community today.

View the exhibit in its entirety at Edina Library and Northeast Library from June through mid-July, when it will head to Oxboro and Brookdale Libraries. The exhibit will travel throughout the library system through 2024.

LGBTQ Edina Library Exhibit

This exhibit was created in partnership between Special Collections and the Library’s Pride Workgroup. It is supported with money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Meet Special Collections staff member Lauren Hallau

Special Collections staff member: Lauren Hallau

Lauren began working in Special Collections in April 2023. She is processing portions of the Hennepin County Library Organizational Records and most recently wrapped up the Communications department files. She is currently an MLIS student at St. Catherine’s University and will graduate in December. Prior to library school she taught kindergarten in both public and private schools in the metro area. Because of this, she especially enjoys all the library records she’s encountered related to youth summer reading programs! 

In addition to her work in Special Collections, Lauren is doing research for an exhibit at the University of Minnesota with the Kerlan Collection of Children’s Literature. In her free time she enjoys swimming, traveling, learning languages, and listening to music by the Grateful Dead and Billy Strings. Here’s more from Lauren:

Q: Have you found anything weird, unusual, or especially interesting in the library records?

A: In HCL Communication records, I found a letter from 1965 written by Maurice Sendak (author of Where the Wild Things Are and many, many other children’s books) giving permission to HCL Director Helen Young to use an image of a dragon that he illustrated for the HCL summer reading program materials.

1956 Maurice Sendak's letter


Q: What’s your favorite part about working with archives and local history?

A: Preserving history of those things that came before for those that will come after.

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

A: I love being close to water and believe that my favorite outdoor place in Hennepin County is Excelsior. The historic and preserved downtown is charmingly set next to the lake with access to great trails. My favorite indoor place is the Turnblad Mansion. I love historic and preserved houses and the Turnblad Mansion is a beautiful example of Châteauesque architecture.

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

A: The Cat Club series by Esther Averill, which were written between 1944 and 1972. These books are about a young cat, Jenny Linsky and her adventures with her friends. If you’re looking for a great book for youngsters, this series is it!

In the Archives

Work by book artist and writer Georgia Greeley

New Acquisitions

Georgia Greeley Artist Books and Materials 

The complete archive of limited edition works by book artist and writer Georgia Greeley, a resident of St. Paul. Her Artichoke Press imprint was established in 2003, though her work begins well before then. Georgia was a Jerome Book Arts Fellow at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in 2014. She also teaches both writing and book arts to adults and children. Georgia’s books will be cataloged and added to the Book Arts and Fine Press Collection. Additional materials including a couple dozen broadsides will become an archival collection.

Find many of Georgia’s books in the online catalog.

Savran’s Bookstore Materials 

Oversize calendars and artwork from Savran's bookstore, which was a landmark of the University of Minnesota West Bank from 1965 to 1987.

Clarence Shallbetter Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Files on I-394

Reports, publications, notes, and working files on the construction and repaving of I-394 through the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis from the 1970s to 2000s.

New Finding Aids

Collection on Heritage Park

Brochures, flyers, meeting materials, reports, publications, and photographs documenting the planning and construction of Heritage Park in Near North Minneapolis. Heritage Park neighborhood was constructed through a major redesign and redevelopment of the Sumner-Glenwood Neighborhood in Near North Minneapolis after the settlement of the Hollman vs. Cisneros lawsuit in 1995.

View finding aid

Heritage Park Master Plan

East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association Records

Meeting minutes, agendas, notes, photographs, brochures and other materials pertaining to the East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association. Many materials document the planning and implementation of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) in the 1990s.
View finding aid

Ann Lynch Don't Expand SA Records

Correspondence, notes, flyers, signs, newspaper clippings, print photographs, and other materials created and compiled by Ann Lynch in opposition to the expansion of a SuperAmerica gas station at 4000 Lyndale Ave. S.
View finding aid

Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association Records

General and board of directors meeting minutes, notes, memos, and correspondence. Records also contain a small collection of zoning studies and proposals compiled by LHENA pertaining to the future direction and residential quality of the neighborhood.
View finding aid

Mary Katherine Johnson Papers

Minutes, brochures, publications, and notes compiled by Mary Katherine Johnson through her work with several local arts institutions. The Loft, Foundation for Arts Resource Management (F.A.R.M.), and Minnesota School and Resource Center for the Arts (later Perpich Center for Arts Education) are well represented.
View finding aid

Yearbook Donations

Yearbook Collection featuring "Anthony 62" cover, inset photo collage, and "Memories 1968-1969..." cover

Every year we make attempts to get yearbooks from Hennepin County schools. Sometimes, with luck, we form a connection with a yearbook advisor, teacher, or alum passionate about preserving the school’s history, who is willing to donate much more than just the current year’s yearbook. This year we received 98 yearbooks from Minneapolis’s Susan B. Anthony Middle School, covering a nearly complete run from 1960 to 2023. Anthony Junior High opened in southwest Minneapolis in 1958. See photos of the school’s groundbreaking and new construction in the Hennepin County Library Digital Collections. The Anthony yearbooks published before 1989 will all be digitized and added to the Yearbook Collection online in the coming months.

Do you have a Hennepin County yearbook you’d like to donate to the collection? Email specialcoll@hclib.org

View a list of yearbooks available in Special Collections

From the Blog

Steeplejack Yaunick, Going to Great Heights

Steeplejack Yaunick

“Nobody pays any attention to us anymore,” Yaunick said. “Airplanes, blimps and autogiros have stolen our thunder.” Minneapolis Star (July 3, 1931)

In 1918, 16-year-old Harold F. Yaunick did his first steeplejack job—painting a smokestack in St. Paul. By 1931 he had touched nearly every flagpole and smokestack in Minneapolis and had painted the city hall flagpole 13 times.

Read more and see more photos of steeplejack Yaunick.

Contact Us

Special Collections vault

James K. Hosmer Special Collections

Hennepin County Library
Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Hours: Monday - Thursday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


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. Photocopier and scanners are available. Please bring a flash drive to store your scanned images.

Photo: Inside the climate-controlled Special Collections vault, where rare books, negatives, and AV material is stored.

Contact us



Follow us

facebooktwitterinstagramyoutubelinked in
Hennepin County