The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wealth of Minnesota history in many forms. Use this tool to search our Web Pages and online Research Materials. Many additional materials, such as books, periodicals, motion pictures, sound recordings, government records and manuscript collections can be searched using the library catalog.

We collect photographs, letters, maps, books, state records, flags, paintings, and so much more. Many—but not all—of these items are accessible online via web pages or our digital collections. Others can only be accessed by visiting the Minnesota History Center library or museum, or by visiting one of our historic sites.

When you type a search term into the search bar above, you will get two types of results:

  • A search of our Web Pages will give you results from the entire MHS web presence, sorted by relevancy.
  • A search of our Research Materials will give you results from our various databases of artifacts, photographs, collection inventories, and digitized records. Your results are sorted by relevancy, but you can sort by date.  You can also narrow your results based on collection, type of item, year, place, and more. See tips on how to search Collections.

The Hill Family Collection, approximately 1,600 cubic feet of material, was transfered to the Minnesota Historical Society from the James J. Hill Reference Library in March, 2008.

The Hill Reference Library was founded by James J. Hill and completed under the direction of his family, and this library had become the repository for his papers and those of several of his family members. Changing priorities, however, meant that the Reference Library could not give the collections the attention they deserved. The Minnesota Historical Society, which already held small collections of Hill family papers and numerous large collections of railroad records, was a natural choice for a new home for the collection.

Watch this podcast to learn more about the papers and their transfer.