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AMST 294/RUSS 294: Once We Arrived: Stories of Immigrants’ First Jobs

Research guide to accompany AMST 294/RUSS 294 Once We Arrived: Stories of Immigrants’ First Jobs.

Researching Immigrant Communities in Minnesota

magnifying glassLocal research can be both exciting and frustrating, because so much work involves working with primary sources and conducting original research. If you're lucky, there may be someone who has previously researched your topic or group, but often you are looking for models of research that you can emulate in the local context. Here are some suggestions for starting your work.

Minnesota and Twin Cities Newspapers

Regional and International Newspapers

Local History Research Centers

The major research centers for local history research, which provide access to archival records and special collections, are listed here. Since these research centers are not your average library, be sure to check for information about making an appointment before visiting.

Minnesota Historical Society, Gale Family Library:
The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota’s history and culture. Collections include official records of government and public state institutions, artworks by Minnesota artists, oral histories, photos, newspapers, census data, and more. To get a better sense of research possibilities, visit their research guides.

Hennepin County Library Special Collections:
Special Collections, located on the fourth floor of Minneapolis Central Library, holds several in-depth collections containing unique and historic materials on a variety of topics, including the Minneapolis and Hennepin County collection. This collection covers all aspects of the history of Minneapolis and Hennepin County and includes books, photographs, school yearbooks, archival and manuscript collections, periodicals, maps, and thousands of files of newspaper clippings.

St. Paul Public Library Special Collections:

The George Latimer Central Library houses St. Paul City Directories which include advertisements, including an index to advertisers as well as an alphabetical list of residents and businesses with street name (no house numbers), and occupation of residents or type of business, and the St. Paul Collection highlighting aspects of the city's history including maps, scrapbooks, and high school yearbooks.

East Side Freedom Library:
The East Side Freedom Library (ESFL), located in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood, houses collections about the work and residential histories of Saint Paul's East Side. Labor and working-class history is an emphasis at this research center.

Minnesota Digital Library:
Access archives and materials related to Minnesota history from the comfort of home! The Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) supports discovery and education through access to unique digital collections shared by cultural heritage organizations from across the state of Minnesota. Our contributors include libraries, historical societies, museums, and archives.