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House & Building History Research: Events & Activities

Researching Events & Activities

Some buildings become best known for a singular historic event which occurred there, such as a famous person visiting (George Washington slept there) or a noteworthy business, educational, or social event.  More commonly, buildings--especially commercial structures, schools, and churches--may have several businesses or organizational uses over a period of years or decades.

Sources for discovering events and activities include:

  • Newspapers include stories about the construction of certain buildings and various events which occurred there as well as advertisements and notices about business, religious, social organizations, and individuals who occupied them.  Learn more about the various newspapers at MNHS and how to access them online.
  • Photographs may provide visual documentation of events and activities including construction, business operations, and the activities of educational, religious, and social organizations.  Access digital photographs on our Collections Online database.
  • Diaries, letters, and business and financial records in manuscript collections may contain rich information about events and activities associated with the building and site.  Search for manuscript collections in the library catalog.
  • Periodicals, including building trade magazines, may have information about construction and alterations to buildings.  Search for periodicals in the library catalog.  

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Minnesota Historical Society Library

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St. Paul, MN 55102

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