University Archives

Central Minnesota Historical Collection

A collaborative project between the College of Liberal Arts, the department of History, and the Library at St. Cloud State University, the Central Minnesota Historical Center is now a collection under the direct administration of University Archives. The collection is housed physically in University Archives.

The Central Minnesota Historical Collection provides documentation of the history of the area's counties. Founded in 1967 as a regional center of the Minnesota Historical Society, the collection contains political materials, local community history, individual family materials, and an extensive oral history collection. The CMHC holds materials from the following counties: Benton, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine Lake, Sherburne, Todd, Wadena, and Wright.

The collection is no longer active (we are not accepting new material) but serves as a laboratory for undergraduate history students and graduate public history students to receive hands-on experience under the supervision of the University Archivist to make the material more accessible.

The Collection

Contained in the collection are papers and documents from local organizations and politicians. Other papers include WPA biographies of select Stearns County residents, James McKelvy, Joseph Wilson, and the AJ Tschumperlin family.

The collection includes documents gathered from area churches of various denominations. Records include meeting minutes, Board of Trustee records, treasurers' books, registers, celebration booklets, and directories. Records from the St. Cloud Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and St. John's Episcopal Church are housed as part of the CMH collection.

In addition, the collections houses a substantial number of oral history interviews with local WWII and Vietnam veterans, politicians, church leaders, and central Minnesota citizens. Summaries, transcripts, and digitized audio are available for most interviews.

Since University Archives has taken over the former center, much work has been done, thanks to the work of motivated graduate students and student assistants. Check the University Archives' AtoM portal to see the archival findings aids. Click on the "Collections" tab in the upper right hand corner and then click on the "View All" link.  All CMHC collections are identified with an S- before the title, except for the General Oral Histories and Church Oral Histories collections.

A 2008 collection guide is available as a PDF.

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