Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

Building a Legacy, One Grant at a Time

Minnesota’s history is being preserved, shared and collected statewide, thanks in part to the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants program. The grants that are awarded focus on preserving Minnesota’s historical and cultural resources for future generations, sharing our state’s stories and treasures, and connecting Minnesotans of all ages to each other and to our state’s history. Following are a few examples of organizations and projects that are being funded through the grants program. For a full list of the more than 230 grants awarded between January 1 and December 31, 2013, refer to pages 15 – 31.

American Indian Family and Children’s Services (AIFCS) in St. Paul
Literally “putting a roof over their heads,” this grant will help repair the collapsed roof of the historic Pattern Shop building, home of AIFCS, a nonprofit that coordinates and provides foster care services for American Indian children in Minnesota. Built in 1882 under the direction of James J. Hill, the Pattern Shop is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the oldest railroad shops in Minnesota.

Bakken Museum in Minneapolis, Lake of the Woods County Museum in Baudette and Redwood County Historical Society in Redwood Falls
All three of these historic sites need heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) updates. While not glam- orous projects, properly functioning HVAC systems are essential for creating stable environments to ensure long-term preservation of rare books and artifacts of Minnesota history and cultural heritage.

Oyate Nipi Kte Dakota Language
Survival of language is crucial to preserving a culture. This project provides vital resources to expand “550 Dakota Verbs,” a Minnesota Historical Society Press publication used in Dakota language classrooms throughout the state. The expansiveness of the Dakota language lies with its verbs and action words. Sharing knowledge of complete verb usage and conjugations will help enhance and revitalize this endangered language.

University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities Campus
The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies is a massive collection documenting the rich history, tradition and culture of the gay community in Minnesota. This grant supports a 12-month project to organize 30 years of archival materials to ensure availability for University of Minnesota staff, students and the community for teaching and research.

University of Minnesota Department of Anthropology
American Indians have lived in what is now the Bremer site in Dakota County for over 1,000 years. This grant will support a new research initiative designed to study the microscopic component of the archaeological record at the Bremer site. Collecting materials using cutting-edge methods of microarchaeology—a CSI archaeology of sorts—can answer fundamental questions about the lives of native inhabitants. Using precise scientific instru- ments allows specimens to be extracted from the site with minimal excavation, thereby preserving the site for future generations.

Mower County Historical Society
Inventory of Mower County’s impressive collection of 10,000 historic photographs will complete the third phase of an inventory process that began in 2010. Phases one and two included three-dimensional objects and archival items. This project will also develop a standardized practice for future digitization resulting in greater access to the photos for staff, patrons and researchers.