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North Library Records

Identifier: HCL 080

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 North Library from 1893-2010. The collection includes information on the closing of the library in 1977 and the repurposing of the building.


  • 1893 - 2010



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


The first branch of the Minneapolis Public Library, North Branch Library, opened in the basement of North High School on February 27, 1890. Two years later, the school board announced that the library space was needed by the school. Thanks to the success of the branch, the library board decided to erect a permanent branch library building.

After a short tenure in rented space at 1003 West Broadway, North Branch Library dedicated its new building at 1834 Emerson Ave on January 26, 1894. Land for the library was donated by Samuel C. Gale and Judge Charles E. Vanderburgh and funds were contributed by members of the community. The building was designed by local architect Frederick G. Corser in the Richardson Romanesque style. The building was expanded and remodeled in 1914 and 1952.

By the 1970s, the North Branch Library needed additional repairs. After the opening of North Regional Library in 1971, use of North Library had decreased. Despite opposition from many community members, the Minneapolis Public Library Board voted on January 20, 1977, to close North Library. The library closed December 30, 1977. The building was used as office space for the Minneapolis Housing and Redevelopment Authority and later as the Metropolitan Cultural Arts Center, artist studio space, and EMERGE Career and Technology Center.


0.42 Linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Fact sheets, brochures, building information, newspaper clippings, correspondence and other administrative records documenting the history and operations of North Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from 1893 to 1977. North Library was part of the Minneapolis Public Library. The Minneapolis Public Library and Hennepin County Library merged in 2008.

Custodial History

Materials from before 2008 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. For later, see North Regional Library Records.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jenna Jacobs in June 2022.

North Library Records
Jenna Jacobs
June 2022
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.