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House & Building History Research   Tags: building history, house history, how-to  

A guide to researching the history of homes and other buildings.
Last Updated: Jun 14, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research Options

  • Visit the MHS Library
    Original materials, records, and newspapers on microfilm are available on site and reference staff can help with research.
  • MN Research Services
    Order copies of records, articles, or other specific materials from the MHS collections.
  • Specific Citation Request
    Researchers who cannot visit but find a specific item of interest can submit a photocopy request using the Specific Citation Request Form.

Related Research Guides & Webpages

  • Maps at MNHS
    A guide to accessing maps and other geospatial resources at MNHS.


Few buildings have a book or extensive article with their entire history.  Researching the history of a house or building is a process which can yield fascinating information about the building and people associated with it.  Elements of building history research include:

  • Preliminary research on the building itself and the immediate neighborhood.

  • The land or site on which the building is located

  • The building itself: original plans and architect, materials, and changes to the building over time

  • The people who designed the structure as well as those who lived in or worked in/on the building

  • Events and activities which occurred in the building

  • Using resources in other collections and online resources

House construction


MHS Reference Staff

reading room bookshelves

Gale Family Library
MN Historical Society Library
345 West Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Contact Us:
By Phone (651-259-3300)
By Email

Library Hours
Tuesday: 9am to 8pm
Wed. to Sat.: 9am to 4pm
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Holiday Hours


Guide Author

Tracey Baker

Head of Reference

Minnesota Historical Society Library • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300

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