Barbara Flanagan Papers
Description of Contents
The bulk of the materials pertain to Barbara Flanagan’s career as a journalist for the Minneapolis Tribune and Star Tribune. This includes correspondence with readers, research notes, columns, drafts, and awards. These materials are richest from 1965 to 1988. Materials reflect Flanagan’s interests in urban design, historic preservation, local celebrities, local and national politics, and cultural institutions. The columns and scrapbooks are a good point of access to the collection, as correspondence if often tied to specific columns.
The collection contains materials pertaining to Barbara Flanagan’s early life in Des Moines, Iowa, her time at Roosevelt High School and Drake University in the 1940s, and her early career as a journalist at the Minneapolis Times. Additionally, it contains materials from Flanagan’s parents, grandparents, and other ancestors.
The collection also contains research materials, correspondence, writings, drafts, and published columns and books pertaining to a broad range of topics, interests, and events that Barbara Flanagan both covered as a journalist and was involved in as a private citizen. These topics include, but are not limited to: urban planning and design, revitalization and beautification efforts in Downtown Minneapolis, historic preservation, her extensive travels, celebrities, British and Scandinavian royalty, local, state, and national politics, various goings-on about town, the arts and culture, local human interest stories, and Minnesota history.
The collection also contains materials pertaining to Flanagan’s membership in various clubs and organizations and decades-long philanthropic involvement and patronage of local arts and culture, including with the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, American Swedish Institute, and Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library.
Additionally, copies of Flanagan’s columns, investigative pieces, human-interest stories, dispatches as women’s editor, and other articles are represented, spanning over six decades, from the beginning of her newspaper career in 1947 to the cessation of her post-retirement column, the Flanagan Memo, in 2012.
Extensive correspondence, both personal and professional, spanning eight decades, including her entire career at the Star and Tribune, is also represented in the collection. The bulk of this correspondence consists of reader letters, as well as invitations and press releases sent to Flanagan.
The collection also contains various awards, honors, plaques, and certificates presented to Flanagan over the years, as well as event invitations, menus, and other ephemera from balls, formal dinners, state functions, and royal visits.
Finally, the collection also holds forty-two scrapbooks compiled by Flanagan over the course of many decades. Most contain originals of all of Flanagan’s bylines, mostly columns, while some hold photographs, letters, notes, and other personal ephemera.
- 1886 - 2014
- Majority of material found within 1947 - 1993
- Flanagan, Barbara (Person)
Raised by a single mother, dance instructor Marie Barnes Forney, Flanagan was a bright, sociable, and talented dancer, performer, and actress before her career in journalism. As a historian of the Twin Cities, she authored three books: Minneapolis (1973), Ovation: a Partnership Between a Great Orchestra and a Great Audience (1977), and Minneapolis-St. Paul: Linked to the Future(1997). In addition, she appeared as a television host and correspondent in the 1980s, and was involved in a number of cultural and philanthropic organizations, foundations, and initiatives over the years. In 1966, she married investment banker Earl Sanford, and raised his three children Anne, Albert, and Mindy as her own. After fifty years of marriage, Sanford died in 2017. Flanagan died on September 24th, 2018, at the age of 94.
43 Linear Feet (84 boxes, 42 scrapbooks, 23 VHS tapes, 5 audio cassette tapes, 9 Super 8 film reels, 2 reel-to-reel audio tapes, 1 16 mm film reel, over one thousand photographs, hundreds of color transparency slides, several plaques, and 1 teddy bear.)
Language of Materials
I. Biography, Family, and Clippings, 1886-2014
II. Newspaper Research, Drafts, and Career, 1943-2009
III. Book Research and Drafts, 1970-1997
IV. Downtown Fashion Show Scripts, 1960-1981
V. Correspondence, 1931-2010
VI. Columns, 1947-2012
VII. Clubs and Organizations
VIII. Events, Awards, and Realia, 1921-2009
X. Audio-visual and slides
XI. Scrapbooks, 1924-1999
- American newspapers -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Audiotapes. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- City planning -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis. Subject Source: Local sources
- Clubs -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Community development -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Historic preservation -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis. Subject Source: Lcnaf
- Journalists -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Minneapolis Morning Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn. : 1909)
- Newspapers -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Newspapers -- Sections, columns, etc. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Photographs. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Press releases -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.)
- Urban policy -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Urban renewal -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Women authors, American -- 20th century. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Women journalists Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Barbara Flanagan Papers
- Kathryn Oosterhuis, K Pearl McClintock, and Myra Billund-Phibbs
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository
Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.