The Gale Family Library house special collections and the Minnesota State Archives. Because of the special nature of the collections the library functions differently to most other liberties.
All researchers must register upon their first visit to the MNHS Library.
To register and receive a permanent Library Registration Card, researchers must present valid photo identification with proof of current home address.
Acceptable photo identification includes:
Receiving and using a Library Registration Card signifies that the researcher has read the “Welcome to the Minnesota Historical Society Library” guide and agrees to abide by its policies.
All researchers must show their Library Registration Card at every visit.
Because the MNHS library holds original, fragile, irreplaceable documents and collections there are some rules in place to ensure preservation and protection of the collection.
Items allowed in the library:
Items prohibited in the library:
Any person found stealing, defacing, mutilating, or in any way damaging materials will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
In the event of an emergency, patrons are expected to follow all staff instructions including evacuating the reading rooms when asked to do so. Failure to respond to staff instructions may result in loss of MNHS library privileges.
We welcome visits by classes of students from middle school through college and graduate school. To make your visit pleasant and productive, the Library staff have developed the class visit procedures.
If you visit the library on any Saturday morning, you can attend our "I'm New Here" class for free.
The class begins at 9:15 am and a librarian will guide you through each of our rooms, teach you how to search for and request items, and how to have photocopies made. We will also answer any questions you have about the library and our collections. This class is a great way for researchers new to our library to learn to use their time here most effectively.