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Washburn Library Records

Identifier: HCL 064

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 Washburn Library from 1967 to 2007. The bulk of records relate to the original construction of the building in 1970 and its renovation and expansion in 1991.


  • Creation: 1967 - 2007



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


Located at 5244 Lyndale Ave. S in southwest Minneapolis, Washburn Library is named for flour magnate and U.S. Senator William D. Washburn. The library opened in 1970 and underwent major renovations and expansion in 1991.

At its opening in 1970, Washburn Library housed 18,000 books in a 14,451 square-foot building. The library was designed by local architect Brooks Cavin in a mid-century modern style. Washburn Library quickly became an important part of the Minneapolis Public Library system. In its first year, the Washburn Library circulated 273,000 items, the most of any city branch.

Washburn Library continued to be one the busiest libraries in Minneapolis, and by the late 1980s the building needed renovations and increased capacity. Leonard Parker Associates designed the expansion of the library, which increased the library's area to 18,965 square feet. The expanded library reopened in 1991. A renovation in 2014 created an open floor plan and added 21st-century amenities to the library.


2.73 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials



Fact sheets, brochures, building information, newspaper clippings, correspondence and other administrative records documenting the history and operations of Washburn Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from 1967 to 2007. Washburn Library was part of the Minneapolis Public Library. The Minneapolis Public Library and Hennepin County Library merged in 2008. Washburn 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).

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 June 2021.

Washburn Library Records
Jenna Jacobs
June 2021
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.