Research Library & Archives
The Hennepin History Museum has been collecting and preserving Hennepin County history since its founding in 1938. Along with the museum’s collection of objects, we also collect 2-dimensional materials like letters, manuscripts, photos, diaries, business records and more. These items are stored and preserved in the museum’s archives. The archival collections in our care help us tell the story of the county and preserve our history for future generations.
Make Your Own History
Documenting Our Experiences:
The Research Library and Archives is currently seeking stories from Hennepin County residents regarding their experiences during the COVID-19 outbreak. Your story will contribute to the broader understanding to the history of Hennepin County during this time.
Research Our Collections
The Hennepin History Museum offers several options for conducting research in our collections.
Hours: The Research Library reading room is temporarily closed.
The museum houses and maintains a small reading room space for guest use.
If you are interested in viewing archival collection materials, please contact the archivist before your visit to make an appointment, as staff need to retrieve materials from archival storage.
If you are interested in self-directed research that does not involve archival materials, you may visit the Research Library during open library hours to access library materials highlighting Hennepin County history. All materials must be used within the library. Here are some of the resources we provide:
- Card catalog for archival collections and library materials
- Sanborn fire insurance maps
- Clipping files
- City directories
- Reference books on Hennepin County
- Maps and atlases
The library has one computer station available for use with free access to Ancestry.com and newspapers.com as well as a scanner/copy machine (with a small printing fee).
A portion of our archival collection is processed with finding aids. Finding aids are documents that offer an overview of what is in each archival collection, letting you know if a collection is worth exploring further. Our list of online finding aids will continue to grow, so check back often!
In order to better serve our patrons, the Hennepin History Museum partnered with Minnesota Digital Library and Hennepin County Library Digital Collections to create digitized copies of some of our collections. The original content still remains in the museum archives.