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Minneapolis Public Library World War II Correspondence

Identifier: M/A 0330

Description of Contents

This collection consists of letters written to Minneapolis Public Library staff during World War II from 1942 to 1945. The authors are chiefly former library employees, both men and women, who were in active military service. The Reference Department Correspondence series forms the bulk of the collection, with most letters addressed to department heads Genevieve MacDonald and Elizabeth Bond. The Margaret Fletcher Correspondence series contains letters addressed to an art department librarian.


  • 1942 - 1945


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections during the department's open hours.


The Minneapolis Public Library was established in 1885, and the first library building opened on December 16, 1889. During World War II, library activities reflected the national war effort. Many library patrons and employees left the library for military service and wartime work. Circulation of books for adults diminished, while programming for children and war-related reference inquiries increased.

In the early war years, Genevieve MacDonald led the library's reference department. MacDonald, a close friend of longtime library director Gratia Countryman, started with the library in 1928 after completing library school at New York's Pratt Institute. She retired as head of reference department on September 1, 1942.

MacDonald's replacement, Elizabeth Bond, was also a veteran Minneapolis Public Library employee. Bond joined the library in 1925 and led the reference department from 1942 into the 1950s. Bond retired as the library's public relations officer in 1966.

Margaret Fletcher, formerly librarian at the Loring School, joined the library's art department as a junior assistant in 1943. Fletcher was the first special assistant in charge of the library's Visual Aids Service (including films, slides, and stereographs). She resigned in 1955 to move to California to marry Richard Murrell.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Donor Information

The collection was transferred internally from the Hennepin County library in 2005.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jenna Himsl in March 2018.

Minneapolis Public Library World War II Correspondence
Jenna Himsl
March 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.