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Using the Minnesota Historical Society Library: Weyerhaeuser Reading Room

Collections in the Weyerhaeuser Reading Room

The Weyerhaeuser Reading Room is the portal to:

  • Over 500,000 books, periodicals, and pamphlets including:
    • County histories
    • Published family histories
    • City directories
    • Books by Minnesota authors
    • Minnesota publications
  • Manuscript collections
  • Minnesota State Archives
    • Court records
    • State Institutional records
    • State and local government records
  • Maps and atlases
    • Fire Insurance maps
  • Sound Recordings
  • Films and Videos 
  • Photographs

Reference Services

The Weyerhaeuser Reading Room contains centralized reference services for all of the library's collections.  Our reference desk is staffed by professionals eager to help you with all your research questions.  

Reference staff can assist you with:

  • Searching the library catalog

  • Using our online databases

  • Accessing manuscript and state archives materials

How to order materials for retrieval

To order material for retrieval you will need to fill out a retrieval slip and turn it in at the Request Materials window. 

To fill out a slip:

1. Fill in the top line with your name, the number of the table you have chosen in the Reading Room, and the date.

2. Fill in the second line with the title of the collection you wish to view. 

Example: Prohibition Party Records

3. Fill in the third line (or more) with the location number of the item.  

Location numbers come in several forms. For a manuscript collection, P13 could be the location number.  If your collection contains more than one box, you will need to indicate a specific box number, such as P13 Box 3 or 146.K.6.12F.

Location and box numbers can be found in the library catalog or in the collection finding aid. 

Photos, maps, and other items may have different types of call numbers.  

Please ask at the reference desk if you need any assistance filling out a retrieval slip. 

The last retrieval of the day will be 30 minutes before the library closes. 

How to handle materials

Because the MNHS Library collection contains fragile and irreplaceable items, there are special procedures to follow when requesting and handling materials:

  • All library materials must be used in the Reading Room.
  • You can request up to 5 items at one time. This is to facilitate quick and accurate delivery.   
  • Boxes of materials will be brought out to you one box at a time.  When you are finished with one box, you may exchange it for the next. 
  • Only one folder or volume may be removed from a box at a time.
  • Mark the place where a folder was in the box with the pink place holder.
  • When using folders or boxes of materials, keep the contents of each folder or box in its proper arrangement
  • Remember to handle all items with care; folding or writing on an item will damage it.  Special handling requirements may apply to some collections.
  • For camera use, please read our "Camera Use Policyand document all items photographed. 
  • Some items may be marked “Restricted” or "Reserve".  Reference Desk staff will furnish guidelines on access to these collections.

Copy Services

Copy Services is where  you can order photocopies, photographic reproductions, and media duplication from items in the collections. 

Printing or photocopies (8 1/2 X 11) are $.25 per page for same day copies. 
Detailed copy pricing list. 

Most items in the collections may be copied, unless they are too fragile or are subject to legal, contractual, or copyright restrictions. Permission must be obtained from the Minnesota Historical Society to publish or display any items copied from the Society's collections.

Reading Room Links

MNHS Reference Staff

reading room bookshelves

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Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Tuesday: 9am to 8pm • Wed. to Sat.: 9am to 4pm • Sunday & Monday: Closed • Holiday Hours