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U Libraries to present at MN State Fair on August 30

By August 27, 2013September 16th, 2023No Comments

Got an appetite for history and foods-on-a-stick?

Then visit the Minnesota State Fair on Friday, August 30, and stop by the Crossroads Building.  University Libraries staff will be there to present on the fascinating history of bookmaking, maps of Minnesota, and medical artifacts.

Making Books: From Illuminated Manuscripts to Early Print

Start the day by learning about the history of bookmaking and watch a manuscript calligraphy demonstration.

From 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the James Ford Bell Library and the Center for Medieval Studies will present, “Making Books: From Illuminated Manuscripts to Early Print.” The exhibit will include paraphernalia related to medieval bookmaking and actual, centuries-old parchment manuscripts for visitors to touch and examine.

Graduate student researchers and a local calligraphy expert–dignified by period costumes–will be on hand to help visitors create their own, illuminated bookmarks, and to chat about all things related to medieval studies.

Stop by at 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. for demonstrations on manuscript calligraphy and take your own calligraphy pen home with you.

James Ford Bell Map 1667

Mapping Minnesota Before Modern Times

Take a break from navigating trough the afternoon crowds, and learn about the interesting history of maps of Minnesota.

From 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., the James Ford Bell Library and the Center for Early Modern History will present, “Mapping Minnesota Before Modern Times.” View reproductions of rare early maps made from originals in the James Ford Bell Library. Try to locate your hometown on a map of Minnesota territory made in the 1600’s.  You can also test your knowledge of early modern Minnesota history by answering trivia questions.

Don’t forget to pick up a free bookmark, which provides information on our Historical Maps Online resource, You can use this resource to continue your discoveries at home.

Medical Instruments of the Past

Never have any luck winning prizes at the Mighty Midway? Then take part in our engaging trivia challenge on historical medical instruments—it’s free!

Wangensteen at the MN State Fair

Join the staff from the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine for an engaging introduction to historical medical artifacts. The trivia challenge, “Medical Instruments of the Past,” will be located at the stage in front of the Crossroads Building at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

The Wangensteen Historical Library’s collection covers the history of health and biological sciences. Learn about the weird, clever, and sometimes frightening instruments that doctors used in the past. Find out which instruments may still be in use today and take part in a challenge to determine the use for various tools from the past.

We hope to see you Friday, August 30 at the Great Minnesota Get-Together!


  • 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., “Making Books: From Illuminated Manuscripts to Early Print,” in the liberal arts area of the Crossroads Building
  • 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., “Mapping Minnesota Before Modern Times,” in the liberal arts area of the Crossroads Building
  • 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m., Wangensteen Historical Library trivia challenge, “Medical Instruments of the Past,” on the stage outside of the Crossroads Building

View a full schedule of August 30 activities at the Crossroads Building

Map to the Crossroads Building

Mark Engebretson

Author Mark Engebretson

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