Skip to main content

Minneapolis Business and Municipal Libraries Records

 Collection
Identifier: HCL 066

Description of Contents

This collection contains fact sheets, brochures, building information, newspaper clippings, correspondence, publications, and other administrative records documenting the history of the Minneapolis Business Branch (later Business and Municipal Branch) from 1916 to 1960 and the Minneapolis Municipal Information Library from 1972 to 2003. Newsletters and publications by both libraries are a good starting point to the collection.

Dates

  • 1913 - 2003

Creator

Access Restrictions

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

History

Minneapolis Public Library operated two business and municipal libraries over the course of its history -- the Business Branch (later Business and Municipal Branch) from 1916 to 1960 and the Municipal Information Library from 1972 to 2003.

In 1916, the Minneapolis Public Library opened a Business Branch at 508 2nd Ave. S in downtown Minneapolis. One of the first public business libraries in the U.S., the branch provided reference assistance, business resources, and local government information to the workers and business leaders in the city center. In 1942, the library moved to rented quarters at 217 6th St. S. Five years later, Library Board President Archie Walker (son of T.B. Walker) purchased the building and donated it to the Minneapolis Public Library. The Business and Municipal Branch remained in that location until 1960. Under Library Director Ray Williams, the Minneapolis Public Library was reorganized into subject-based departments. The staff and resources from the Business Branch moved to the new Minneapolis Central Library as the business and economics department.

In 1972, after a decade without a dedicated business and municipal library, a Municipal and Information Library opened in the Minneapolis City Hall. A collaboration between the Minneapolis Public Library and the city clerks office, the new library included reference resources for city staff and the public. The space also housed the city archives. Due to state budget cuts, the Municipal Information Library closed in 2003. Many of the collection items moved to the Minneapolis Central Library in the Government Documents and Special Collections departments.

Extent

0.84 Linear feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Fact sheets, brochures, building information, newspaper clippings, correspondence and other administrative records documenting the history and operations of the Minneapolis Business Branch from 1916 to 1960 and the Minneapolis Municipal Information Library from 1972-2003. Both libraries were part of the Minneapolis Public Library. The Minneapolis Public Library and Hennepin County Library merged in 2008.

Custodial History

Materials were included in the Minneapolis Public Library archives (accession 2019.25).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection contains materials transferred to the archives by Hennepin County Library administration in 2017 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 July 2021.

Title
Minneapolis Business and Municipal Libraries Records
Status
Completed
Date
July 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.
612-543-8200