Historic Business Research


Information about businesses can be found in a variety of publications, including:

  • Corporate Histories
    • Example:
       A pictorial history of Red Wing Shoe Company’s first 100 years.
      MNHS call number: HD9787.U54 R375 2005
  • Historical Articles
    • Example:
      "Ho-ho-ho! It bears repeating--" : advertising characters in the Land of Sky Blue Waters" by Moira F. Harris
      MNHS call number: Reading Room Call F601.5 .M66 v.57:1 (also available online)
  • Trade or Industry Journals 
    • Example:
      Grocers commercial bulletin and meat dealers news, 1931 - 1950.
      MNHS call number: HD9320.1 .G8 

  • Internal Publications
    • Annual Reports 
      • Example:
        Annual report of the president and directors of the Minnesota Central Railway Co.
        MNHS call number: HE2791.M66512 A3 
    • Reports to Stockholders
      • Example:
        ​Rayette, Inc. Annual report to stockholders, 1964
        MNHS call number: SERIAL 1798
    • Employee Publications (newsletters, magazines, newspapers)
      • Example: 
        The St. Paul News : A monthly Publication for Employees of The St. Paul Companies
        MNHS call number: Microfilm 1145 1993- 1997
    • Handbooks
      • Example:
        Minnesota Department of Agriculture Employee handbook, 1975
        MNHS call number:  S77 .A55 1975 
    • Catalogs and Price Lists
      • Example: 
        St. Paul White Lead & Oil Co. Catalogue no. 25, confidential price list to dealers, 1908 
        MNHS call number: TP937 .S2 1908 

To search for these types of publications, use the MNHS Online Catalog.


Newsboy distributing January 1937 Minneapolis Journal.The Minnesota Historical Society holds the world's largest collection of Minnesota newspapers, with dates ranging from 1849 to the present day.

Past issues of most newspaper titles are available on microfilm in the MNHS library, but there is also digital access to select newspapers

Use the links to the left to search for newspapers available at MNHS and to search within digitized newspaper collections.   


Search for Newspapers

Information about businesses can also be found in newspapers.  Some of these are general daily or weekly papers, while others were published for special interest audiences (union newspapers, papers published in other languages, etc.).

Places to search for newspapers include:

MNHS Reference Staff

reading room bookshelves


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