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East Lake Library Records

Identifier: HCL 047

Description of Contents

This collection contains fact sheets, brochures, building information, contracts, newspaper clippings, correspondence, plans, maps, and other administrative records documenting the history of East Lake Library from 1923 to 2013. The collection is arranged in three series, corresponding to the three library buildings: 2916 E Lake St. (1926), 2727 E Lake St. (1976), and 2727 E Lake St. (2007). The bulk of the materials document the construction of the 1976 building.


  • 1923 - 2013



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


The first East Lake Library opened in February 1924 at 2916 E Lake St. in Minneapolis' Longfellow neighborhood. Because of its storefront appearance, the brick building was described as a "reading factory." Charlotte Matson was the first librarian.

By the 1970s, the library had outgrown its building. Despite discussion of replacing East Lake with a new Hiawatha Branch, the Minneapolis Public Library decided to retain the East Lake name on a new building. The old East Lake Library building was sold, and a new library, designed by Cerny Associates, Inc., opened on May 10, 1976. Located at 2727 E Lake St., the new 12,000-square-foot building included a meeting room for 100 people and a parking lot for 33 cars. The library's circulation consistently ranked among the highest in the Minneapolis Public Library system.

In the late 1990s, the Minneapolis Public Library once again noted the need for a new, larger East Lake Library. The library closed on April 30, 2005, and a new building was constructed in its place. The new library shared many stylistic elements with the new Minneapolis Central Library building, also under construction at the time. The third East Lake Library opened on March 10, 2007. Like the 1976 building, its address is 2727 E Lake St.

In January 2008, the Minneapolis Public Library and the suburban Hennepin County Library systems merged. East Lake Library and the rest of the Minneapolis library locations became part of the Hennepin County Library.


0.84 Linear Feet (2 archival boxes)

Language of Materials



Fact sheets, brochures, building information, newspaper clippings, correspondence and other administrative records documenting the history and operations of East Lake Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from 1923 to 2013. East Lake Library was part of the Minneapolis Public Library. The Minneapolis Public Library and Hennepin County Library merged in 2008. East Lake Library is now part of the Hennepin County Library.

Custodial History

Materials from before 2008 were included in the Minneapolis Public Library archives (accession 2019.25). Portions of the collection (accession 2018.16) were previously managed by Hennepin County Library Officially Withdrawn, an organization for retired and former staff of Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection contains materials transferred to the archives by Hennepin County Library administration in 2017 as accession 2019.25.

Related Materials in Hennepin County Library Special Collections

This is one of many collections documenting Minneapolis Public Library and Hennepin County Library locations. For photographs, see HCL 002 Hennepin County Library Photographs.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jenna Jacobs in September 2019.

East Lake Library Records
Jenna Jacobs
September 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

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