Skip to Main Content

Disaster Relief in Minnesota: Droughts/Blizzards

Drought Relief

Dust bowl scene, Swift County

Minnesota Bankers Association July 1988 Drought Conditions Survey: Report of Survey Results
Reports from agricultural banks across the state describing drought conditions in Minnesota. 
MNHS call number: QC 929 .D8 M663 1988

Minnesota Executive Council, Drought Relief Applications, 1933
Applications for farm supplies submitted to the Executive Council's Drought Relief Committee, resulting from crop losses from the drought of 1933. Application forms note the relief being requested and information about the farm, with some family information. The forms generally note the amount and type of relief granted.
MNHS Call Number: See finding aid in the library (Executive Council)

Minnesota Executive Council, Relief Correspondence and Records, 1919-1955
Correspondence and related materials to disaster relief for a wide range of disasters in Minnesota. Includes records for drought, hailstorm, fire, seed grain, flood, and tornado relief. 
MNHS Call Number: See finding aid in the library (Executive Council)

Minnesota Farm Advocate Oral History Project
A collection of recorded interviews with Minnesota farmers. To read more about the content discussed in each interview, select an individual's name as list in the "Related Collections" section. Some interviews describe the 1988 drought. To listen to particular person's interview, click on the blue sound icon. To read a transcript, select the paper icon. 
MNHS call number: Digital Collection

The People of the Drought States, 1937
Report by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) presenting research on drought conditions in the Great Plains states, including Minnesota. 
MNHS call number: HB3517 .T12

WPA and Relief Project Files, 1930s-1950s
Files on a variety of work relief, disaster relief, and conservation projects financed by the Executive Council, many with Works Progress Administration funds, and on related administrative and financial matters. Includes information on relief provided to victims of droughts, as well as floods, tornados, and other natural disasters. 
MNHS Call Number: Digital Finding Aid

Interested in more materials about drought in Minnesota? Search the MNHS Catalog to locate other sources. 


Blizzard of 1975 letters, 1975 Jan.
Letters sent to WCCO Radio describing personal experiences with the 1975 blizzard. 
MNHS call number: P1055

The Children’s Blizzard, by David Laskin
Nonfiction book about the historic 1888 blizzard. 
MNHS call number: F595 .L37 2004

Deaths in the Historic Minnesota Blizzard January 7 and 8, 1873, by Clarence Stuart Peterson
Printed list of all causalties of the 1873 blizzard, compiled from various public records. 
MNHS call number: P1100-10

Minnesota Governor, Miscellaneous Disaster Relief Files, 1871-1920
Accounts and reports regarding a variety of disaster relief, including assistance to victims of a January 1873 snowstorm
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid

Records of Governor Horace Austin, 1869-1879 
Official records of Governor Austin in the Minnesota State Archives includes files on relief for people affected by the grasshopper plague and by the snowstorm of January, 1873.
MNHS Call NumberDigital Finding Aid

Interested in more materials about snowstorms in Minnesota? Search the MNHS Catalog to locate other sources. 

Outside of MNHS

Extreme Weather Watch:  Online project provides Minneapolis, Minnesota Weather averages and records from 1891–2022 (based on data made available by the NOAA)

Search MNHS Resources

Related Guides & Webpages

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