Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

1930s Camp Ripley Motion Picture Digitization Project

  • Project Overview
  • Project Details
Movie still: Camp Ripley WPA Projects
Movie still: Camp Ripley WPA Projects
Movie still: Review of Minnesota Field Artillery Brigades
Movie still: Review of Minnesota Field Artillery Brigades
Movie still: Review of Minnesota Field Artillery Brigades
Movie still: Review of Minnesota Field Artillery Brigades
Movie still: Review of Minnesota Field Artillery Brigades
Movie still: Review of Minnesota Field Artillery Brigades
Movie still: Review of Minnesota Field Artillery Brigades
Movie still: Review of Minnesota Field Artillery Brigades

Project Overview

Recipient: Minnesota Military Museum

The grant allowed for an outside vendor to digitize a series of four silent, black and white, 16mm motion picture films taken on location at Camp Ripley in the early to mid-1930s, totaling approximately 850 feet of film and a runtime of 48.5 minutes.

The films which are some of the earliest known movies of the camp, document the early construction of Camp Ripley by members of the Works Progress Administration and the use of the military reservation by the Minnesota National Guard, showing the review of National Guard regiments by Governor Floyd B. Olson, Adjutant General E. A. Walsh, and the National Guard Bureau Chief and Minneapolis Mayor George E. Leach. In addition, one of the films also shows one of the first Camp Ripley open houses where the public was allowed to inspect the military reservation and observe the daily life of the Minnesota National Guardsmen. These are the only known motion pictures of Camp Ripley in the 1930s that show its construction and its use by the Minnesota National Guard.

In June 2016, the Minnesota Military Museum sent the film to the vendor to complete the preservation and digitization of the film. Upon the film's return, the original film and the answer print were placed back into the museum's film storage freezer. Minnesota Adjutant General's Office Records finding aid was updated to show that a digital copy of this film is available for patrons and researchers to use onsite. The master files were then loaded onto the external hard drive with RAID 5 capability and a checksum was generated for each file. The archivist also coordinated with Minnesota Digital Library to provide them a digital copy of the film for online access

This project allows the content on these films to live on for the use and enjoyment of future generations by transferring to modern formats. The original items were 16mm films which is considered an obsolete media format, and thus difficult to use and enjoy. Through this project, the content can be viewed by current and future generations using modern technology. This project also allows for the improved access to the content through free online access. It is the hope that this project will continue to increase interest and scholarship in the long history of Camp Ripley and the Minnesota National Guard.

Project Details

To digitize archival 1930s motion pictures from Camp Ripley, allowing for greater public access to this historic resource.

Fund Availability:

03/01/2016 - 03/01/2017

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Session Law Reference: Laws of Minnesota 2015, 1st Special Session, chapter 2, article 4, section 2, subdivision 4 (b) (2) Programs

Appropriation Language
$5,525,000 the first year and $6,000,000 the second year are for programs and purposes related to the historical and cultural heritage of the state of Minnesota conducted by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Funding Amount: $6,280

Direct Expenses: $6,280

Project Manager

Chad Conrady
Minnesota Military Museum
Camp Ripley, 15000 Highway 115
Little Falls, MN 56345

Members of Recipient's Governing Body: Paul Monteen, Thomas Chial, Tim Meininger, Jon Van der Hagen, Robert L. Boone, Stephen E. Osman, Nicholas Ostapenko, Jack Johnson, Lyle C. Doerr, Betty Masoner, Frank Messina, MG Richard Nash, Mark Vargas, Mark Ritchie, Dean Ascheman, Vern Smith

Subject: History

Administering Agency

Minnesota Historical Society

Board Members:

Minnesota Historical Society Governing Board:

William R. Stoeri, President
Missy S. Thompson, Vice President
Ruth Huss, Vice President
D. Stephen Elliott, Secretary
Dean M. Nelson, Treasurer

Suzanne Blue
Brenda J. Child
Robert Bruininks
Judith S. Corson
D. Stephen Elliott
Phyllis Rawls Goff
William D. Green
David R. Hakensen
Ruth S. Huss
Martha Kaemmer
Dennis L. Lamkin
David M. Larson
Charles Mahar
Dean M. Nelson
Elizabeth M. Nordlie
Dennis Nguyen
Peter R. Reis
Hussein Samatar
Simon Stevens
Susan Kenny Stevens
William R. Stoeri
Karen Wilson Thissen
Missy Staples Thompson
Eleanor Winston

Mark Dayton, Governor
Yvonne Prattner Solon Lieutenant Governor
Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State
Lori Swanson, Attorney General
Rebecca Otto, State Auditor

Conflict of Interest Disclosed: None

Quick Facts

Project Type: Grants

Recipient: Minnesota Military Museum

Funding Amount: $6,280

Source: Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund

Status: In Progress

Appropriation Years: 2016

Recipient Type: Non-Profit Business/Entity

Activity Type: Grants/Contracts

Counties Impacted: Morrison

MN Senate District: 9

MN House District: 9B

This site is updated regularly with descriptions and data related to Legacy projects funded through the Minnesota Historical Society by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).
Further information about the use and impact of all Legacy Funds can be found on the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission's Minnesota's Legacy site.