Introducing Ebooks Minnesota!

READ LOCAL! Ebooks Minnesota is an online eBook collection for all Minnesotans. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects for readers of all ages, and features content from our state’s independent publishers, including some of our best literature and nonfiction.


Ebooks MN is a collection featuring content from Minnesota’s independent publishers.  The collection includes approximately 2,500 titles, with plans to add more soon. eBooks from ABDO, Lerner Publishing Group, and Cherry Lake Publishing make up a significant part of the school-age collection. Ebooks MN also includes scholarly and literary titles from the University of Minnesota Press, Milkweed Editions, Coffee House Press, and Arcadia Publishing/The History Press. These independent presses publish eBooks on a wide variety of topics and genres from sharks to the black death and from graphic novels to literary fiction. Ebooks MN also includes titles about Minnesota, such as Twins Baseball and Legendary Locals of Crookston, that were published outside the state. A selection of popular titles that are in the public domain, such as The Origin of Species and Dracula, rounds out the collection.


You do not need to create an account to use BiblioBoard, if you are using an internet connection in Minnesota. However if you choose to create a free profile as an Ebooks Minnesota Member, you can use bookmarks, add notes, and download content to the BiblioBoard app on your Android, IOS or Kindle Fire HD. Without the profile, you can access and read these eBooks by streaming online, but you will not be able to save your progress.


Unlimited checkouts, no waiting lists, and there are never any due dates! Happy eReading with Ebooks Minnesota.

Need additional assistance?  Contact help.

Ebooks Minnesota is a joint project of Minitex and the Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services. The collection was made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Department of Education through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The initiative originated from the 2014 Explore eBooks MN Summit and from the contributions of librarians across the state.

ECRL Historical Image featured in DPLA Exhibition

You may have seen our previous post in September announcing that historical images from the ECRL archives had been added to Minnesota Reflections, the online collection of the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) as part of the Digital Public Library of America’s Public Library Partnerships Project (PLPP).
One of the requirements of the PLPP grant, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was the creation of online exhibitions.  DPLA Hubs and public librarian participants researched and curated 10 exhibitions showcasing content digitized through PLPP.
As a result, we are pleased to announce that an exhibition featuring an ECRL image is live on the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)!
This exhibition tells the story of the American public library system, its community impact, and the librarians who made it possible—from the founding of the first US libraries through the first one hundred years of service. Can you spot the ECRL image? Images from other Minnesota libraries?
Courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
The exhibition was written by Franky Abbott, Project Manager for DPLA.  I was lucky enough to be able to be involved in the process by serving as a reviewer for a draft version of the exhibition, providing feedback to revise and improve the exhibition before it went live.
Take some time to look through A History of Public Libraries and the other interesting exhibitions.  We’d love to hear what you discover! You can see the list of all 10 PLPP exhibitions here, but you may also want to pay extra attention to:
Courtesy of the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
The exhibition on Urban Parks grew out of PLPP materials contributed from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Parks Department of Washington County, Stillwater Public Library, Duluth Public Library, and other park-related items already in Minnesota Reflections.  The exhibition was built by Carla Urban, PLPP Grant Coordinator for MDL.

Courtesy of the East Polk Heritage Center
This exhibition on patent medicine was built by Greta Bahnemann, Metadata Librarian for the Minnesota Digital Library. It includes a section focusing on patent medicine in Minnesota, and was inspired by materials from the East Polk Heritage Center in Fosston, Minnesota.  It also includes significant images from the Winona County Historical Society and the University of Minnesota’s Wangensteen Library on the History of Medicine.
Stand by for ECRL’s final PLPP collection to go live in Minnesota Reflections.  Part 3 of this blog series coming soon!
Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian

Historical ECRL images added to Minnesota Digital Library’s Minnesota Reflections

East Central Regional Library is excited to announce that its first digital collection is live in Minnesota Digital Library’s Minnesota Reflections, courtesy of the Digital Public Library of America’s Public Library Partnerships Project.
ECRL’s contribution to Minnesota Reflections provides insight into the oldest existing regional public library system in Minnesota. The collection includes images used in ECRL’s history book, East Central Regional Library: Fifty Years of Connections, 1959-2009 by Marilyn McGriff, of ECRL. These photographs include library buildings (past and present), retired library services such as the bookmobile, and ECRL staff members over the years.   The images illustrate the role ECRL has played in our communities and contribute to a greater understanding of rural library services in the state from 1959 on.
Browse the full collection here:
About Minnesota Digital Library:

Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) provides access to unique digital collections shared by cultural heritage organizations from across the state of Minnesota.

Minnesota Reflections is the first online project of MDL. It is a collection of more than 215,000 photographs, postcards, maps, documents, letters, and oral histories depicting the history of Minnesota. Begun in 2003, Minnesota Reflections includes digital content from more than 157 participating organizations including historical societies, special archives, universities and colleges, and public libraries from across the state who have shared their original materials with the MDL.
About Digital Public Library of America:
Officially launching on April 18, 2013, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) aims to provide free public access to digital content in order to create a common resource for libraries and patrons of all types across America.  DPLA links in one place digital collections from organizations such as the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Minnesota Digital Library, and more.history 2
Content available via DPLA includes the written word, works of art and culture, records of America’s heritage, and efforts and data of science. DPLA aims to make the collections more easily discovered and more widely usable and used.  Users can search and scan through millions of items, including by timelinemapvirtual bookshelfformatsubject, and contributing partner.
About the Public Library Partnerships Project:
DPLA has collaborated with MDL in the Public Library Partnerships Project (PLPP), funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The purpose of the PLPP is to provide digital skills training for public librarians across MN, encourage and facilitate participation in MDL and DPLA, and create online exhibitions showcasing their content.  This training was designed to reach public libraries, such as ECRL, with unique local or regional history collection collections that want to share their content with a broader audience but may not have the resources to do so.
In the first stage of PLPP, MDL offered training sessions in creating and maintaining digital content to 31 individuals representing 22 public libraries around Minnesota in 2014.  East Central Regional Library staff members receiving the training were Carla Lydon, Assistant Director, Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian, Nancy Dunbar, Cambridge Branch Librarian, and Carolyn Avaire, Hinckley Branch Librarian.
In the year since the training, the work has been done behind the scenes.  ECRL  proposed projects for digitization, MDL assisted us in selecting appropriate materials from our collection, and the items were sent to MDL to be digitized and organized.
 history 3
By participating in PLPP, ECRL has strengthened its relationship with MDL, improved the digitization knowledge of our staff, preserved materials to provide a lasting record, and allowed ECRL to showcase its history and services in a format we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do, on a state and national level.   history 4
Other PLPP contributions from across the state include a 1930 plat book of Polk County by the Fosston Public Library, portraits of Duluth mayors, master plans for county parks from the Washington County Park Board, and materials from the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.
PLPP wraps up this month, but we’re not done yet. Stay tuned for another ECRL collection in MN Reflections and new online exhibitions to be featured on DPLA!
Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian

Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota

Digital Delights
A monthly glimpse into the collections at
Minnesota Reflections
a project of the Minnesota Digital Library
Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota
By Greta Bahnemann, MDL Metadata Coordinator
Marian Rengel, MDL Outreach Coordinator
November 1, 2012
Young men left family and friends and traveled to the Civilian Conservation Corps camps across Minnesota in the 1930s and 1940s to work, provide for their families, and leave a lasting mark on the state’s history.
A major new collection in Minnesota Reflections captures the stories of these men in their own words. Now, more than 500 issues of weekly newsletters from camps in Cook County and on Minnesota’s Iron Range provide students and teachers, researchers and descendents with first-hand accounts of daily life for the men working in those camps.
The Minnesota Historical Society contributed the newsletters to Minnesota Reflections. These newsletters complement a wide array of photographs that document camp life that the Cook County Historical Society and the Iron Range Research Center had already contributed to Minnesota Reflections.
MDL Metadata Coordinator Greta Bahnemann and MDL Outreach Coordinator Marian Rengel selected just a few newsletters and photographs to highlight this amazing collection of materials about the CCC. The chart on the following pages gives readers a sense of the depth of the treasures they can now find in the collection.
Once you have explored our offering here, you may wish to find more within Minnesota Reflections. Here’s the shortest way to find only the newsletters.
To find all of the newsletters, go to the Minnesota Historical Society’s landing page in Minnesota Reflections; then click on “Browse Minnesota Historical Society.” After that page loads, look to the left under “Narrow your search by” for “Item Physical Type.” From that drop-down menu, choose “newsletters (513).” You can then Browse those results or narrow your search.
CCC Newsletter
Camp Chips
April 14, 1935
(First of 18)
Hovland, Minnesota
Link to 35 images for “Hovland” in Cook County Historical Society:
Selected Individual Images:
The Caribou Ripsaw
April 20, 1935
Lutsen, Minnesota
Link to 33 images for “Lutsen” in Cook County Historical Society:
Selected Individual Images:
Gunflint Trailer (Company 712)
1935, 1939-1941
April 23, 1940
Grand Marais, Minnesota
Link to 11 images for “Company 712” in Cook County Historical Society:
Selected Individual Images:
Sawbill Sez-All
March 1939
Tofte, Minnesota
Link to 11 images for “Tofte” in Cook County Historical Society:
Selected Individual Images:
Northern Hi-Lights
March 1939 (one issue)
Cusson, Minnesota
Results for “Cusson” in Cook County Historical Society:
Link to 4 results for “Cusson” in Iron Range Research Center collection:
Deer Lake Echo
April 25, 1942
Effie, Minnesota
Results for “Effie” in Iron Range Research Center collection: 
The Blue Ox
April 23, 1937
Nevis, Minnesota
Results for “Nevis” in Iron Range Research Center collection:
The Sullivanite
July 11, 1936
Brimson, Minnesota
Results for “Brimson” in Iron Range Research Center collection:
The Big Lake Breeze
1935, 1937
April 17, 1935
Cloquet, Minnesota
Results for “Company 1760” in Iron Range Research Center collection:


“Last Man’s Club” at Minnesota Digital Library

This column shared by Minitex and the Minnesota Digital Library. Reprinted with permission

This is a special edition of “Digital Delights from Minnesota Reflections,” in honor of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

Sometimes, memories are our only companions.

July 21, 1930, marked the 69th anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run.  In Stillwater, an old man named Charles Lockwood sat at a table surrounded by 33 empty chairs, drinking a bottle of burgundy wine.  Why did this Civil War veteran relive his memories of the bitter conflict alone, with only a bottle of wine to console him?

The records of the “Last Man’s Club,” contributed to Minnesota Reflections ( by the Stillwater Public Library, answer this question.

Charles Lockwood was a member of Company B of the famous 1st Minnesota Volunteer infantry.  The 1st Minnesota suffered heavy losses in the First Battle of Bull Run as well as Antietam, later showing heroism at Gettysburg.  View an accounting of Company B officers and soldiers:,1724.

After the war, 34 surviving veterans of Company B formed an organization known as the “Last Man’s Club,” devoted to keeping the memories of the 1st Minnesota alive.  The group held an annual banquet every year on the anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run.  View a book of “Last Man’s Club” member biographies:,1728.

As time passed, so too did veterans of Company B.  View a list of deceased and living members of the Last Man’s Club by following this link:,1726.

In joining the “Last Man’s Club,” each veteran promised that, if he were the organization’s last surviving member, he would drink a bottle of burgundy wine in his comrades’ honor.  Charles Lockwood was the “Last Man.”  Thus, on July 21, 1930, he convened the final meeting of the “Last Man’s Club,” fulfilling his promise to drink the wine of memory alone.

Click the following link to view a soliloquy by the last survivor of the Last Man’s Club, entitled “The Wine of Memory:”,1727.

Read a poem entitled “The Last Survivor to His Dead Comrades” by following this link:,1725.

To view other Last Man’s Club records, conduct an advanced search for “Last Man’s Club” in the Stillwater Public Library’s collection.

Minnesota Reflections contains other Civil War collections.  The Hennepin History Museum (Minneapolis) contributed a ca. 1905 descriptive book of Hennepin County Grand Army of the Republic members to Minnesota Reflections.  Follow this link to see a page from the book:,1076.  Search for “Descriptive Book of Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, Hennepin County, Minnesota” to find the item from the Minnesota Reflections homepage.

The Olmsted County Historical Society (Rochester) contributed letters and other materials documenting a Minnesota family’s Civil War experiences.  Follow this link to read an 1863 letter written by soldier Jacob Dieter:,928. Browse the entire Dieter family collection by using the advanced search feature to limit your search to the Olmsted County Historical Society.  Then search for “Dieter.”

The Civil War ended long ago, but the conflict lives on in national memory.  Though we will never know how Charles Lockwood felt as he drank the wine of memory one summer’s day in 1930, explore Minnesota Reflections to peer into the state’s Civil War past.

Alex L. Ames
Graduate Assistant, Minnesota Digital Library Coalition
Learning Resources & Technology Services

Barbara Misselt, Director