Skip to Main Content

3M Company: Primary Sources: Archives & Records


Manufacturing sandpaper, 3M ca. 1970


3M Company Corporate Records
The records consist mainly of advertising and production materials including product literature and catalogs; sales ledgers; advertising copy; and radio and television commercials which advertise adhesive, abrasive, and reflective products; magnetic recording tape; and photocopying machines.  There are also product testing record books, laboratory reports, and research notes on various products, and files relating to the history and development of magnetic recording media.  There is a smaller and group of corporate and financial records including organizational charts, balance sheets and operating statements, and audio recordings of stockholders meetings. Also included are some subsidiary company bylaws, minute books, and financial statements. There are a large number of 3M publications including company annual reports and employee and division newsletters. Also there is a set of subject reference materials which include clippings, memos, and meeting minute excerpts on corporate history, organization, divisions, product lines, company programs, and international operations. A set of biographical files contains articles, clippings, and photographs on executives and notable inventors or product developers.
MNHS call number:  Digital Finding Aid

Alvin Boese Papers
Personal papers and business records of a prominent researcher and inventor at 3M. The papers include correspondence, laboratory log books, research reports, patents, contracts, blueprints, minutes, product samples, financial data, speeches, articles, newspaper clippings, and photographs.  The papers document Boese’s long association with the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of 3M nonwoven fabric products including lens tissue, decorative ribbon and gift wrap, filter face masks, and art fabric.
MNHS call number:  Digital Finding Aid

Richard G. Drew Papers
Correspondence, obituaries, printed materials, and photographs containing information on Richard G. Drew, the inventor of masking tape (1925) and cellophane tape (1929) produced by the 3M Company. Drew managed the company’s Products Fabricator Laboratory and was later a consultant to 3M.  The papers include a copy of Drew’s letter of application to 3M (1921), the consulting agreement between Drew and the firm (1964), and Drew’s obituary (1980) containing information on the origin of the term "scotch tape." The rest of the collection is largely photographs of Drew and 3M officials, and interior and exterior views of the St. Paul 3M plant.
MNHS call number:  P1757

Government Records

Minnesota Department of Education.  Audio-Visual Department.  Richard C. Brower files, 1949-1956.
Records kept by Brower, AV Supervisor, documenting his role in the Minnesota experimental tape recording project and the Minnesota Community Council of the Film Council of America.  Included in the Minnesota experimental tape recording project files are correspondence, a list of recorded educational materials available through the project (Sept. 1949), tape catalogs (1951, 1952) and supplement (1953), several articles about the project and service, and a report on the project (1952).  
MNHS call number: 105.D.11.9B

Annual Reports

Annual Reports

MNHS call number:  HD9729.M5 A2 (Specify Year)

MNHS call number: HD9729.M5 A3 (Specify Year)

Employee Publications

Megaphone- Employee Magazine

MNHS call number: FOLIO HD9729.M5 M55 (Specify Year)
MNHS call number: Microfilm 1719
1961-1962- General edition
MNHS call number: Microfilm 1049
1961-1962- Sales edition
MNHS call number: Microfilm 1723
1963-1964- Sales edition
MNHS call numberMicrofilm 1723 v.3-4
1963-1973- St. Paul editon
MNHS call number: Microfilm 1049 v.3:1- v.6:3
MNHS call number: Microfilm 1049 v.6:4- v.24:10
MNHS call numberMicrofilm 1049 v.3:1- v.6:3
1981-1984- Twin Cities edttion
MNHS call numberMicrofilm 2086

3M Folks- Employee Newspaper

MNHS call number: FOLIO HD9729.M5 T5

Inside 3M- Employee Magazine

MNHS call number: FOLIO HD9729.M5 M55 1943-1959 (Specify Year)

3M Today- Employee Magazine

MNHS call number: HD9729.M5 A6 (Specify Year)
MNHS call number: Microfilm 1277
MNHS call number: HD9729.M5 T65 (Specify Year)

Search for Primary Sources at MNHS

MNHS Reference Staff

reading room bookshelves


Gale Family Library
Minnesota Historical Society Library

Located on the Second Floor of the Minnesota History Center
345 West Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Library Hours:
Thursday to Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday to Wednesday: Closed

More Information on Visiting the Library


Contact Us:


Email Us

Visit our Main Website

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Hours and More InformationEmail us