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Using and Visiting the Library
Q. How do I visit the Library?
No appointment or admission fee is required to visit the Library. Location, hours, and other information are available on the left sidebar of this page. The Using the Library guide outlines other information about visiting the Library and making use of its collections.
Q. Who can use the Library?
The Library is open to all researchers. There are no membership or age requirements. A picture ID is required for registration.
Q. Can I bring my class to the Library?
Yes, but please let us know in advance for the best experience for your students. See our Class Visits page to learn more.
Q. What can I do to make the most of my limited time at the Library?
Use the website search, databases, finding aids, Research Guides, and the library catalog to identify items and collections you want to use during your visit. During open hours you can call the Library at 651-259-3300 and request up to three books or boxes to be pulled and held for you.
Q. Can I check out books and videos?
No, the Library is a non-circulating research library. All materials must be used in the Library. The only exception is MHS-produced microfilm, which can be sent to libraries for researcher use via Interlibrary Loan.
Q. What can I bring into the Library?
You can bring paper and pencils, laptops and other mobile computing devices, research notes, and a camera. Please ask staff before photographing collection items. No coats, briefcases, purses, computer bags, food, beverages, or scanners, please. Lockers are available.
Q. What types of materials does the Society have in its collections?
See the About the Collections page.
Q. How can I search the Society’s holdings?
For more specific information about the books, periodicals, audio-visual materials, and other items held by the Library, search the library catalog.
For government records and manuscript collections, search the library catalog or the Finding Aids page.
Photographs and other visual materials can be searched using the Collections Online database.
Use the website search to search multiple resources available on the Society's website at once. Please note: The website search does not search the library catalog.
Q. What if I’m not finding as much as expected when searching the catalog?
For hints on how to use the library catalog more effectively, please take a look at our short video tutorial "Searching the Library Catalog."
You might also benefit from some help with your search terms and the librarians' expert knowledge of the collection. Call the library during open hours at 651 259-3300, or email us.
Q. What do I do if I see mistakes in online content such as in the Birth or Death Record Index?
Leave a comment using WOTR (for Write on the Record, pronounced 'water'). The WOTR add comments logo indicates that a website or database is WOTR enabled.
Q. How can I learn more about the Society's newspaper collection?
View the Newspaper Collection page for details about our newspaper collection, indexes and electronic access to newspapers.
Q. How can I donate something to the Society?
Visit the how to donate page.