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Notable Acquisitions 2013-2014

By August 31, 2014September 16th, 2023No Comments

1045 Washburn Avenue North Collection 


The 1045 Washburn Avenue North Collection includes a group of plans and other materials on a house that was nearly destroyed in 2011 by a tornado in North Minneapolis. Although assumed to have been designed by Liebenberg and Kaplan because its first owner was Max Kaplan, the building was originally designed by a major architectural firm, Tyrie and Chapman. The building was recently purchased and is being renovated by a local couple. The original plans were found through detective work on the part of Northwest Architectural Archives staff and were located in the Minneapolis Plan Vault Collection. 

The William French Papers 


The William French Papers represent a small part of the records of the William French Company, a furniture builder and designer who started work in the Twin Cities in the late 1800s. The collection consists of two groups of drawings – one half of the drawings are for specific clients, such as the Pillsburys, the Crosbys, the Weyerhauesers and many more; the other half are for stock furniture designs. Over 100 photographs of the furniture pieces are also included in this collection. 

Betsy Bowen Papers 


Minnesota-based author and artist Betsy Bowen has donated manuscript and original art materials related to eight different children’s book titles, including the popular “Antler Bear Canoe: A Northwoods Alphabet Year,” her first publication in 1991, which featured her now iconic woodblock prints.

Melissa Sweet Papers 


Melissa Sweet, who has illustrated more than 100 children’s books, has donated materials related to three publications that she has written and/or illustrated — “Balloons over Broadway,” an ALA Notable book; “Carmine: A Little More Red,” which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated in 2005; and “A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams,” a 2008 Caldecott Honor book, written by Jen Bryant. The materials include manuscript pages and original art, including drawings, watercolors, and mixed media collages. 

DSI Obscenity Trial Records 


This collection was given to the Tretter Collection by defense attorney Ron Meshbesher. Meshbesher defended two Minneapolis men accused of producing and mailing obscene material from their company, DSI, which published materials produced mainly for the gay male community. This important case fundamentally changed access to the postal system for explicit gay oriented publications. The collection includes a transcript, defense exhibits, and other material related to DSI and the trial. 

Michael McConnell Files 


The Tretter Collection continues to receive additional material from Michael McConnell and Jack Baker. This collection is a treasure trove of periodicals, clippings, photos, writings and letters from the early 1970s. As extremely visible gay men, McConnell and Baker corresponded with people from around the country about homosexuality, organizing, and efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. The collection includes material on: F.R.E.E., the gay student group founded on the University of Minnesota campus in 1969; Jack Baker’s campaigns for President of the Student Association, Alderman, and Supreme Court Justice; the earliest Gay Pride marches in Minnesota; and materials from the early 1970s from around the United States. 

Philip Arthur Conard Family Papers 


Philip Conard was a key YMCA worker in South America from 1908-1963 who established YMCAs in Argentina and Uruguay. This new material is mostly family letters that illustrate life in Uruguay and the role of the YMCA in the community, which supplement the organizational records already in our collection and provide a “behind the scenes” perspective. Of special note are a series of letters from Conard’s work with the American Friends Service Committee in Portugal from 1939 to 1946. There he helped care for and resettle European refugees, most notably Jewish children. Related material can be found in two other collections: Records of YMCA International Work in Uruguay and Records of YMCA International Work in Argentina. 

National Recreation and Parks Association 


The Social Welfare History Archives (SWHA) received the records of the National Recreation and Parks Association, along with a generous gift for processing the materials. The 50 feet of documents, photographs, print materials, and media document U.S. parks and recreation in the mid-20th century. The SWHA also holds the records of the National Recreation Association, a predecessor of the National Recreation and Parks Association. Together, these records form a research collection of over 200 feet of material spanning 100 years of work in the fields of recreation, playgrounds, and public parks in the U.S. 

Children’s Theatre Archives 


Founded in 1965, the Children’s Theatre Company is one of the 20 largest regional theater companies in the nation. The company is noted for defining worldwide standards for youth theatre with an innovative mix of classic tales, distinguished international productions, and challenging new work. Children’s Theatre Company is the only theatre for young people to win the coveted Tony® Award for Outstanding Regional Theater under the direction of Artistic Director Peter C. Brosius. The collection includes production materials, directors’ notes, costume-design materials, and organizational records. 

Playwrights’ Center Records


The Playwrights’ Center was founded in 1971 by Greg Almquist, Erik Brogger, Tom Dunn, Barbara Field, Gar Hildenbrand, and Jon Jackoway. Initially named the Minnesota Playwriting Laboratory, the organization was conceived as a means to give playwrights the opportunity to have new work performed, receive feedback from peers, and gain professional support in the development of new work. The collection includes reference files on individual playwrights and donors who have been associated with the Playwrights’ Center since 1978. The collection also contains materials related to fellowships, events, programs, outreach, education, membership, governance, finances, and general administration.

Al Haug/New Riverside Cafe Records


The Al Haug/New Riverside collection provides rich documentation of the Minneapolis folk music/West Bank community from the 1970s through the 1990s. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Alan Haug (1949-2013) spent more than 20 years booking performers for West Bank venues such as Coffeehouse Extemporé, where he was general manager from 1976-1980, and the New Riverside Café, a West Bank restaurant that featured folk music performance from 1970 until its closing in 1997. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Haug also hosted KFAI Radio’s programs “Walk Right In” and “Folk Roots,” which featured lesser-known folk performers. The collection chiefly contains cassette and reel-to-reel audio recordings of performances at the New Riverside Café, as well as administrative, promotional, and personal materials. 

Sage Cowles Papers


Sage Cowles (1925-2013) was a dancer, arts advocate, and philanthropist. As a dancer and co-conspirator, she is best known for her collaborations with dancers Merce Cunningham and Bill T. Jones, with visual artist Suzanne Lacey, and with St. Paul filmmaker Molly Davies. The collection contains materials related to Cowles’ work with Jones, Davies, and the Wisconsin Dance Troupe, with which she danced while a student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The collection includes video recordings, posters, clippings, articles, and interviews.

John Munger Papers


The John Munger Collection at the University of Minnesota contains the papers and collected materials of dancer, choreographer, teacher, and dance researcher John Munger (1946-2013). The collection includes extensive audiovisual materials, including reel-to-reel tapes, CDs, DVDs, audio cassettes, and VHS and U-matic video cassette formats. The collection also contains materials related to John Munger’s life as a dancer, researcher, and writer — performance records, choreography notes, personal papers, ephemera, and teaching materials, as well as records pertaining to Munger’s administrative work for Dance/USA as director of research and information. 

Lewis Hyde Papers


Lewis Hyde is a poet, essayist, translator, and cultural critic. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1967, where he was active in the literary magazine “The Ivory Tower,” along with Garrison Keillor and Patricia Hampl, among others. Hyde is the author of several books, including “The Gift,” “Trickster Makes This World,” and “The Essays of Henry D. Thoureau,” and the essay “Alcohol and Poetry: John Berryman and the Booze Talking.” A MacArthur Fellow and former director of undergraduate creative writing at Harvard University, Hyde teaches at Kenyon College, where he is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing, and at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The collection is especially rich in manuscripts of Hyde’s work and in correspondence from writers such as Robert Bly, John Maxwell Coetzee, Donald Hall, Allen Ginsburg, Patricia Hampl, and Jim Moore, among others.

Stuart Pimsler Dance and TheaterCompany Collection


Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater was founded in 1979 in New York City by Pimsler and his artistic co-director, Suzanne Costello. The company was based in New York and Ohio before arriving in the Twin Cities, where it has resided since the 1990s. The company’s work focuses on making connections, human nature, and the vision of “theater for the heart and mind.” The collection largely comprises audiovisual material, including a large collection of video tapes and reels. The collection also contains programs and flyers organized by season, dating as far back as the company’s 1985-1986 season.

Minnesota Opera


Founded in 1963, Minnesota Opera is one of the nation’s largest and most distinguished opera companies, known for its world-class artistry and innovative productions. The Minnesota Opera collection contains a complete catalog of its artistic, administrative, and educational life, including scale-set models, music scores, Braille programs, and much more. 

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Mark Engebretson

Author Mark Engebretson

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