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Governors' Records: Personal Papers

Personal papers of Governors

Many governors had extensive political, business, law, etc. careers before and after their years as Minnesota's Governor. The Library has, as part of the Manuscripts Collection, the personal and family papers of many former governors.

For example:

Harold Stassen Papers
1910s-1999 (bulk 1938-1980)

Papers documenting the life and career of a former Minnesota governor, presidential contender, naval officer, United Nations charter delegate, and Eisenhower cabinet member.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Elmer A. Benson Papers
1931-1963, 1973-1978

Correspondence, clippings, speeches, political literature, and publications relating to Benson’s career as Farmer-Labor Party leader, Minnesota commissioner of banking (1933-1935), U.S. senator (1935-1936), and governor of Minnesota (1937-1939).  The major portion (1936-1938) documents factionalism in the Farmer-Labor Party and his 1938 gubernatorial campaign against Harold E. Stassen. The papers of this period also reflect Benson’s support of New Deal domestic policies particularly in the fields of agriculture, peace and disarmament, and the republican cause in the Spanish Civil War.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P480).  

Karl F Rolvaag Papers
1921-1984 (bulk 1946-1969)

Correspondence, political files, subject files, personal files, news clippings, print materials, and sound and visual materials of Karl F. Rolvaag, son of Minnesota author Ole Edvart Rolvaag, chairman of the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (1950-1954), Minnesota lieutenant governor (1955-1962), Minnesota governor (1963-1967), U.S. ambassador to Iceland (1967-1969), and member of the Minnesota Public Service Commission (1973-1978)
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid

Wendell R. Anderson Papers

​Senatorial files (1977-1978), correspondence (1963-1971), legislative files and bills (1960-1970), sound and visual materials (1970s), photographs (1930s-2004), subject files (1950s-1970s), and other miscellaneous personal materials created by this U.S. Hockey Team Olympic silver medal winner (1956), Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party state legislator (1959-1970), governor (1971-1977), and U.S. Senator (1977-1978).
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid


To locate more personal papers of Governors check the Governors of Minnesota site or search the catalog:
For example:  Search for "Wendell Anderson" and limit to Manuscripts using the Collections facet to the left of your results list.  

First Ladies

Records relating to a first lady are cataloged as part of the Manuscript Collections and can be found online on the Governors site or by checking the library catalog.

For example:
Iantha LeVander Papers

Biographical information, correspondence, newspaper clippings, printed materials, speech files, scrapbooks, desk diaries, and other papers documenting LeVander's activities in local and national Republican politics and as Minnesota's First Lady (1967-1971).
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Gretchen Quie Papers
1930-1984 (bulk 1979-1982)

Papers of the wife of Albert H. Quie, Governor of Minnesota from 1979 to 1982, including personal correspondence, scheduling files, subject files, and material relating to the Minnesota Governor's Residence.
MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid

Search for Primary Sources at MNHS

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Currently open by appointment only.