Sunday, July 25, 2010

52 Weeks of Online American Digital Archives and Databases: Minnesota

This is the 24th post in a weekly series of Online American Digital Archives and Databases found for free at state, county, municipal, college and university history, library, and archive websites, as well as public and private library and museum sites, and historical and genealogical society sites.

Minnesota Digital Library - - this is a collaborative effort with a mega-search engine for digital collections available from Minnesota universities, libraries, historical societies and museums

Minnesota Historical Society - - What's not to like? It's hard to find a page on this site that doesn't have some amazing information about your Minnesota ancestors. I recommend using the following tabs at the top of the page to start out your searches: Family History, People, Places, and Collections. Included in these are birth and death certificate indexes, state censuses indexes for 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, and 1905, online maps, newspaper collections, veterans graves indexes, Minnesota History index, Governors of Minnesota, Christie Civil War Letters, Chinese-Americans, Building and House History, Author Biographies, Minnesota Photographers directory and much, much more!

Minnesota Official Marriage System - - county marriage indexes (dates vary - click here to find the dates for your county of interest)


CLIC Digital Collections - - a non-profit federation of the libraries of eight private colleges and universities in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota...The collections you find here are widely varied and continually growing, and include audio, visual, and textual resources." Includes Augsburg College, Bethel University, St. Catherine University, Concordia University, Hamline University, Macalester College, Northwestern College, and the University of St. Thomas.

College of Saint Benedict - Saint John's University Digital Archives - - books, lists, maps, photos, non-book publications, visual resources. Also check out Vivarium at, the online digital collections.

Concordia College Archives Online Databases - - The Concordian (1920 - 2006)

Gustavus Adolphus College - College and Lutheran Church Archives - - while there is not much data on this site (includes WWI posters and the Gustavian Weekly, 1979-2005), it is a necessary stop if you had Lutheran ancestors because of the finding aids, biographical index, and a microfilm index of church records.

Minnesota State University Mankato - University Archives and Southern Minnesota Historical Center - - of main interest are the digital collections (MSU photo collection) and the obituary index

Minnesota State University Moorhead - Livingston Lord Library Northwest Minnesota Historical Center - - along with Minnesota and Red River Valley history, this site provides exhibits and online guides to their many collections

St. Catherine University Digital Collections - - drawings, writings, fine art and photograph collections; also links to digital scans of their publications: The Catherine Wheel, Pot Pourri, The Magret, and Ariston.

St. Cloud State University - University Archives and Special Collections - Digital Exhibits and Historical Compilations - - timeline, history, college newspaper, yearbooks, slideshows, interviews

University of Minnesota Immigration History Research Center - - immigrant letters, biographies, and more

University of Minnesota Libraries - University Archives - -  images, text materials, university Bulletin

University of Minnesota Kautz Family YMCA Archives - - finding aids, photo archives

University of Minnesota University Libraries - Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives - - photos, oral histories, institutional holdings of congreations and synagogues, organizational, regional, and personal holdings, Jewish Historical Socity of the Upper Midwest database

University of St. Thomas Libraries Digital Collections - - historic publications (student newspapers, course catalogs), photos, papers, stained glass collection, temperance tracts, Native American language materials, and holy cards

Anoka County Historical Society - - cemetery index, newsletters 

Bloomington Historical Society - - photos, history, oral histories

Brooklyn Historical Society - - photos, history, township landowner maps

Champlin Historical Society - - history, interactive map

City of Hibbing Cemetery Database -{6B0C0D02-6ADE-4828-9FD6-2EDF99F8189B}&DE={D188BFD4-7F20-4B7C-8021-912CEE6FE428}

Clay County Historical Society Genealogy/Research - - digitized History of Clay and Norman Counties, 1905 personal property tax list, city directories, plat books, atlases, ownership map, and resident lists

Clay County Recorder Death Record Index, 1872-1980 -

Dakota County Historical Society Online Data - - artifact database, church and cemetery records, census name search, Civil War newspaper items, mortality census, obits, city directory, Native American census, marriages, WWII newspaper items

Hennepin County Library Special Collections - - from this page, you can access the Minneapolis Collection (covers all aspects of the city’s history and includes books, photographs, high school yearbooks, archival and manuscript collections, periodicals, maps, and thousands of files of newspaper clippings - not all online) as well as Digital Resources (photos, oral history interviews, WWII Posters, the Seth Eastman Sketchbook) and a list of local historical societies

History Center of Olmsted County - - the Biographical, newspaper or subject index database searches the following: biographical index, cemetery records, county histories, funeral home records, guardianship records, maps, military resources, newspapers, obituaries, probate records, school annuals, town histories, births, marriages, and deaths, and wedding scrapbooks

History Museum of East Otter Tail County - - databases include newspapers, history books, births and deaths, and historical photos

Hopkins Historical Society - - photos and a transcription of an 1872 local farmer's diary.

Iron Range Research Center - - photos, historic manuscripts, government documents (records finding aids for townships, cities, and villages in the Iron Range!), cemetery index (with tombstone photos!), and oral history transcripts

Joint Archives of the Great Northern Railway Historical Society (GNRHS) and Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association (NPRHA) - - digital archives of station plats (all along the railroad, not just in Minnesota!), structure drawings, bridges, depots, photos, drawings, charts, and maps, rosters, and more! A must-visit site if you have railroad employee ancestors!

Minnetonka Historical Society - - history and photo archive

Norwegian-American Historical Association Archives - - digitized issues of Norwegian-American Studies, a list of Norwegian-American newspapers published in the U.S., images, maps, and the Hovland Index (used to identify Bydebøker in the Rolvaag Library)

Owatonna Public Library Dalby Database - - search for records for cemeteries, Civil War, censuses, city directories, births, marriages, newspaper articles, people in books, churches, obits, and more

Pennington County Historical Society - - digitized county histories, city and telephone directories, photos, maps, cemetery records and obituaries, landowner records, yearbooks, historical documents, society newsletters, and postcards

Rice County Historical Society Oral Histories - - on video

Sibley County Historical Society Grave Finder -

Scott County Historical Society - - surname index (obits, marriages, deaths, and significant events - over 30,000 records!), photo and object database, historic sites, county history and more

Wayzata Historical Society - - check out the timeline under the Photos tab! What a great educational resource! There are historical and "mystery" photos, an architectural survey, and newsletters.

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