June 29, 2022

The Museum is announcing a new program to provide the tools, training, guidance, and inspiration for our members and the public to experience their own personal family stories.  Radical Roots:  New Approaches to Family History is a multi-faceted program that takes advantage of HHM’s library, exhibits, public programs, and community partners for a fresh take on family history. 

Made possible through a gift from Bruce Bruemmer, member of the Museum’s Hiawatha Circle and frequent guest writer for Hennepin History magazine, this multi-year project makes digitization of precious family heirlooms more accessible to all and introduces people to multiple avenues for connecting with their family’s history. Executive Director John Crippen notes that, “Radical Roots addresses the reality that everyone has a personal history and defines family in their own way, and at the same time helps people see new possibilities with their personal treasures, which ultimately contributes to a richer understanding of our broader community history.” 

Here are ways you can learn more about your own radical roots:


Family in Pieces, an exploration of one family’s past told through personal objects, genealogy research, and artistic collage, is a multi-dimensional exhibit produced by local artist and family historian Debra George. In addition to giving gallery visitors a glimpse of early Minneapolis history, Ms. George offers a beautiful new way to share family stories and models how to grapple with the sometimes-complicated task of learning about family history. Open now through the end of 2022, this exhibit is the first of several planned as part of this project.

 Memory Lab: 

We have acquired legacy equipment to digitize out-of-date formats like audio and VHS tape, and a film deck for 8mm and Super 8 film conversion to mp4 format. We also have a scanner to digitize photos and slides. The Memory Lab, located just outside our research library in the museum, is free but reservations are required. Training and guidance using the equipment will be provided. 

Public Programs: 

The Museum is hosting a series of programs to support your family history journey. Workshop topics include research tools and how to conduct family genealogy through a variety of digitized public documents and archives, including HHM sources and learning how to merge collage art with gathered family documents. Other programs include a tour of Lakewood Cemetery, information about how to conduct oral histories with elders, and a session about reconciling family history when there is a clash of values.  

Hennepin History magazine:  

Museum members can enjoy our on-going series in Hennepin History by writer, artist, and genealogist Susan Weinberg, who provide ideas and practical tips for conducting family research. She is president of the Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society and serves on the boards of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies and the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest.