Guide to Digitized Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society

· Posted by Joshua Wachuta in Online History

Title page of the Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, vol. 1, from the Robarts Library at the University of Toronto

The Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society is a 17 volume serial publication of the Minnesota Historical Society issued from 1872 to 1920.

The Collections contain primary and early secondary sources on the history of Minnesota and the American Midwest. Subjects include Dakota, Ojibwe, and indigenous peoples’ history; the Canadian borderlands; m├ętis history; state environmental history and geography; settler colonial narratives; accounts of local industries such as fur trading, logging, milling, shipping, and mining; histories of state institutions; and biographies of notable Minnesotans.

Full text digital facsimiles of the Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society are available online at the Internet Archive, as copyright on these works has expired. Unfortunately, the Internet Archive does not provide an easy way to browse among volumes in the series. In lieu of an authoritative catalog, the table below contains links to digital versions of every volume in the Collections. It is not a complete record of every copy held by the Internet Archive, but it provides at least one link for every volume.

List of Online Volumes

Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society at Internet Archive
Publication Contributing Library
Volume Date Other Titles/Editions U. Toronto U. Michigan Allen Co. Library
1 1872 Annals of the Minnesota Historical Society: 1850-1856 View View
2 1889 3 Parts: 1860-1867 View View
3 1880 3 Parts: 1870-1880 View View
4 1876 A History of the City of St. Paul View View
5 1885 History of the Ojibway Nation View View View
6 1894 3 Parts: 1887-1894 View View View
7 1893 The Mississippi River and its Source View View
8 1898 3 Parts: 1895-1898 View
9 1901 View View View
10.1 1905 Part 1 of 2 View View View
10.2 1905 Part 2 of 2, Index to Vols 1-10 View View View
11 1904 Itasca State Park: An Illustrated History View View
12 1908 View View
13 1908 Lives of the Governors of Minnesota View View View
14 1912 Minnesota Biographies, 1655-1912 View View
15 1915 View View
16 1913 Part 1 of 1: The Weathering of Aboriginal Stone Artifacts, and A Consideration of the Paleoliths of Kansas View View
17 1920 Minnesota Geographic Names View View

Other Resources

The Online Books Page at the University of Pennsylvania also offers a partial list of Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, including some at the Internet Archive, Google Books, and the Library of Congress. Unfortunately it is missing several volumes.

Hathitrust has a more complete catalog record with additional digital contributors, but unlike the Internet Archive, it does not allow public downloads of full volumes. This makes it impossible to save Hathitrust’s Collections for offline reading or local searching and text analysis.

Find a Hard Copy

Find the Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society in a nearby library using their WorldCat record.


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