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Franklin Library Records

Identifier: HCL 050

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 Franklin Library from 1896 to 2014.


  • Creation: 1896 - 2014



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


The Franklin Library began as the South Side Branch of the Minneapolis Public Library, located at 17th Avenue and Franklin Avenue from 1890 to 1914. Located in south Minneapolis, the branch served a large Scandinavian population, necessitating the need for a special Scandinavian language collection held at the branch.

In 1914, the Franklin Library branch was built using funds provided by Andrew Carnegie – the first of Minneapolis’ Carnegie branches. Franklin Library continued to serve the Scandinavian community of Minneapolis and became one of the busiest branches of the 1920s. Over the last century, the community surrounding the Franklin Library has become increasingly diverse, with a concentrated population of Native Americans, African Americans, and Somali immigrants living in the Phillips neighborhood nearby. In 2000, the library was added to the National Register of Historic Places; it was renovated five years later.

In 1988, the library opened the Franklin Learning Center. This provided a space for adult learners – with the help of library staff and volunteers – to come to the library and study various subjects, learn English, and prepare for the GED exam. As many of the center’s patrons are immigrants, there are also resources for those preparing for the citizenship test.

Franklin Library and the rest of the Minneapolis Public Library merged with the Hennepin County Library system in 2008.


2.1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Fact sheets, brochures, building information, newspaper clippings, correspondence and other administrative records documenting the history and operations of Franklin Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from 1896 to 2014. Franklin Library was part of the Minneapolis Public Library. The Minneapolis Public Library and Hennepin County Library merged in 2008. Franklin 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. Additional materials transferred by Hennepin County Library administration in 2017 as accession 2018.38 and in 2018 as accession 2018.16. Additional materials transferred from Franklin Library in July 2019 as accession 2019.30.

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 Grant Wilson, supervised by Jenna Jacobs, from October to December 2019.

Franklin Library Records
Grant Wilson and Jenna Jacobs
November 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.