Minnesota Libraries Win Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants

Thanksgiving 2012 came just a few days belatedly for 53 libraries, historical societies, heritage groups, and like-minded organizations throughout Minnesota. On Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Minnesota Historical Society gave yet another reason to be thankful, announcing the newest round of recipients of coveted Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage grants.

Seven of those 53 are library systems or branches – most of them MALF members.

Three recipients – the Great River Regional Library system, the Blue Earth Community Library in Faribault County, and the Wabasso Public Library in Redwood County – will receive $6,500-$7,000 to install microfilm and microfiche readers in their facilities. The stated goal is to make primary source materials (particularly those chronicling the history of the local area) easily accessible to the public at large....

The Minnesota Historical Society is also delegating $1100 in Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage grant funding to libraries looking to expand their collections with books on state history and historic preservation in Minnesota. The Great River Regional Library will be able to secure 14 new titles, and the Ivanhoe Public Library in Lincoln County will add 28 books – plus another 9 for a special “Historic Preservation Bookshelf.”

Quatrefoil Library in Ramsey County will receive $6,400 towards an ambitious project to digitize and make broadly accessible two Twin Cities-area Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) newspapers (from 1977-2000). This grant dovetails nicely with Quatrefoil’s ongoing mission to ”collect, maintain, document and circulate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer materials and information in a safe and accessible space, in order to promote understanding, an appreciation of diversity and history, and the value of communities.”

In an equally unique proposal, the Northfield Public Library in Rice County requested $7,000 to be put towards the expense of researching and drafting a full-length manuscript on the storied institutional history of Northfield Public Library.

Your Library Can Still Benefit

These 53 grants are rooted in a 2011 legislative appropriation for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years totaling $10.5 million. Applications may be submitted by any library or library group, educational organization, government unit or tribal organization.

According to the Minnesota Historical Society’s website, “Grants are available for history and historic preservation projects in three tiers: “Fast Track” Grants of $7,000 or less, Mid-Size Grants between $7,001 and $50,000, and Large Grants of more than $50,001.” For more information, click here.

The next deadline is January 11, 2013.