Digital Public Library of America Launched Today!

After some two and a half years in the making, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has launched today!

DPLA will deliver millions of materials found in American archives, libraries, museums, and cultural heritage institutions to students, teachers, scholars, and the public. Represented in this unprecedented national aggregation of digital content is the rich contribution of the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) through the organizations participating in Minnesota Reflections.

As a special part of the DPLA launch, the MDL, under the direction of curator Leah Bowe from the Minnesota Historical Society, has created a fascinating online exhibit on the topic of Native Americans, entitled History of Survivance: Upper Midwest 19th Century Native American Narratives. This exhibit tells a story of extraordinary culture disruption, change, and continuity and the effect that has had on the Native population of Minnesota.

Take a look and explore the new DPLA portal!

Sara Ring, Digitization and Metadata Training Coordinator
Minitex Digitization, Cataloging & Metadata Education

Projects for Pets, Wild Birds, and More!

As it gets a little colder outside, I’ve been answering a lot of reference questions about planning and constructing animal shelters. Some of these questions have been about building projects for pets, like doghouses and rabbit hutches, and other people have asked about building outdoor structures for wild animals, like birdhouses. Whether you’re catering to domesticated animals or wildlife, we’ve got books for you!

Searching the ECRL catalog by the subjects “Pets” and “Housing” will help you to find a couple of books on pet projects, including one called Making Pet Palaces: princely homes and furnishings to pamper your pets by Leslie Dirks, which has lots of fun ideas for amateur builders.


Photo by Flickr user libraryrachel; used under Creative Commons license

If you’re more interested in helping out your fine, feathered friends, we can help you with that, too. Try searching by subject for “Birdhouses” and “Design and Construction,” and you’ll find many books on building birdhouses. Here’s just a sample of what we have on that topic:

Photo by Flickr user virtualphotographystudio; used under Creative Commons license

If you’re interested in making shelters for wildlife other than birds, you might try the book titled
Beastly Abodes: homes for birds, bats, butterflies, & other backyard wildlife by Bobbe Needham. There’s also Woodworking for Wildlife: homes for birds and mammals by Carrol L. Henderson.  

 As always, we’re happy to help you find what you’re looking for at the library!

-Robin Duple, Branch Librarian, Pine City Public Library

Searching for a Grammy

When I was working the desk in a library in another state I both loved and hated certain times that elicited an increased amount of the calls we frustrated librarians called pursuit of trivia. Many of the calls came from Grammy Awards Night parties (or even Super Bowl parties). Tonight if you’re watching the Grammys (like I am) I’ll bet you’re wondering about past winners.

The Grammy site has a nifty search utility where you can search for all the past winners. It’s at:

For instance, if you want to know all the Grammys that Whitney Houston won, just type her name into the name search box. Or you can bring up a list of all the awards given in a particular year, all the way back to 1958 when the best individual jazz performance was Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Song Book.

So, if you’re just burning with curiosity about all the best winners of best polka album, just select the category “Polka” from the Genre drop-down list.

Barbara Misselt, Director

Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library

Here’s a great place to find primary source documents on Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States.
From the website:

Unlike modern presidents, Theodore Roosevelt does not have a presidential library. Instead, his personal and presidential papers are scattered in libraries and other sites across the United States. The mission of the Theodore Roosevelt Center is to gather together and digitize copies of all Roosevelt-related items, to make his legacy more readily accessible to scholars and schoolchildren, enthusiasts and interested citizens. Items in the digital library include correspondence to and from Roosevelt, diary entries, notes, political cartoons, scrapbooks, newspaper columns and magazine articles by and about Roosevelt, speeches, and photographs. Users can also view film clips and listen to audio recordings.

Barbara Misselt, Director

Veterans History Project

Today is Veterans Day. Thank you to all Veterans for your service!

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000. The authorizing legislation (Public Law 106-380), sponsored by Representatives Ron Kind, Amo Houghton, and Steny Hoyer in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Max Cleland and Chuck Hagel in the U.S. Senate, received unanimous support and was signed into law by President William Jefferson Clinton on October 27, 2000. The address for the site is

Veterans can contribute to the project by personal narratives through audio and video-taped memoirs or written memoirs; correspondence via letters, postcards, v-mail and personal diaries; and visual materials in the form of photographs, drawings and scrapbooks. There is information on the site on how to contribute memoirs, etc.

The database is searchable by name of war or conflict, branch of service, and other variables by selecting Search the Veterans Collections from the main page. You can also browse the collection by a variety of ways by selecting the browse tab on the search page.

The collection provides interesting reading and is an excellent primary research  source.

Barbara Misselt, Director 
information in this post from the Veterans History Project site