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Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota: Researching CCC Members

Overview

Members of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 707in camp at Deer River.Minnesotans accepted into the Civilian Conservation Corps served all throughout the state and beyond. Over 77,000 men enrolled in either the CCC or the Civilian Conservation Corps Indian Division (CCC-ID).This figure does not include officers or other camp personnel. 

Given the time Civilian Conservation Corps was in operation, the race of the individual you are researching may determine where you should turn for more information. African American enrollees, while first serving with other camp members in segregated camps throughout the state, were eventually sent outside Minnesota to camps in southern states. This controversial policy means researchers today may need to consult resources outside Minnesota to follow an individual CCC member from the state.  

Steps at MNHS

If you are interested in researching your ancestor or a specific CCC member with the resources available at the Minnesota Historical Society, we suggest the following steps: 

  1. Locate the CCC camp where your ancestor worked. If you are unsure, consult the list of CCC camps in Barbara Sommer's book, "Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota," available in the Gale Family Library under the call number: Reading Room S932 .M45 S66 2008. 
    Appendix I lists all CCC camps in Minnesota and provides their numbers. You may also place a request for the personnel file through the National Archives (see the next box, titled "Resources Outside MNHS"). The camp location and number will be listed in the personnel file. 
     
  2. Search our catalog with the company number you located. An example search phrase would be: Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1762. This catalog listing will display any individual materials or collections that are specific to your ancestor's CCC camp. 
     
  3. Read the CCC papers from the camp where your ancestor worked. The papers are organized by camp, then in chronological order, in the microfilm collection Civilian Conservation Corps papers. 
     
  4. Search for images from the relevant CCC camp. See the tab titled "Images and Artifacts" for more information on resources to search. 

Resources Outside MNHS

Civilian Conservation Corps Personnel Records at the National Archives

The National Archives ("NARA") records center in St. Louis, Missouri, holds the personnel records for all CCC members. Researchers may submit a request for copies of an individual's record, and an archivist will contact you directly to confirm copy fees and payment.
See the National Archives website for an updated form and information on where to send it.

Iron Range Research Center

The Iron Range Research Center offers many photographs of Minnesota CCC members in its Civilian Conservation Corps Photograph Collection (available through Minnesota Reflections). The Center also has oral histories and other archival collections covering the CCC. Contact the Center for more information. 

Minnesota Reflections

Use Minnesota Reflections to search digitized photographs, documents, and oral histories related to the Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota. Items contributed by various cultural heritage organizations located throughout Minnesota. 

Other Special Collections Holdings

If you are researching an African-American CCC member that did not serve in a Minnesota CCC camp, you may need to consult resources in other states. Determine what state your person served in. After requesting the personnel records from the National Archives, try searching ArchiveGrid to locate other manuscript collections in the state where your individual worked in the CCC. 

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