A project of HENNEPIN HISTORY MUSEUM
The Hennepin History Museum is one of the Twin Cities' most unique social history museums.
The Hennepin History Museum is one of the Twin Cities' most unique social history museums. We offer superb exhibits, an historic mansion setting, and archival collections of priceless scholarly value. HHM has evolved from the Hennepin County Territorial Pioneers Association in 1858 to the County Historical Society in 1938 to an award-winning history museum embracing a diverse range of cultures and social histories. Our exhibition and education programs have grown from a focus on original Hennepin County settlers to documenting the wide range of people who make up the county today. As one of Minnesota's most rapidly growing and diverse counties, Hennepin includes urban, suburban, and rural communities. You can find all of these stories in the exhibits, library, and outreach programs at the Hennepin History Museum.
The Library and Archives: The Hennepin History Museum library and archives encompass a vast number of items which provide information on any number of subjects relating to the county's history. Photography is one of our most-used collections, but personal papers, business and government documents, ephemera, and maps also provide researchers with valuable information about Hennepin County's history. Estimates put our archives at over 100,000 items with new items being added daily.
Exhibits: The Hennepin History Museum has long been known as a museum that presents exhibits about unique topics in history and gives one the opportunity to see history in a contemporary light by creating relevant pathways. In short, we make history fun and interesting. From our most recent curiosity, Icons for the Bereaved: traditions and artifacts of mourning, to the much anticipated The Works of Josephine Lutz Rollins (1896-1989), the HHM is constantly striving to share our county's collection and create new audiences. Watch for the stimulating public programming that accompanies these exhibitions!
Outreach: Known for exhibits that link the present with the past, and fine art with historical artifacts, the Hennepin History Museum (HHM) is now sharing its creative curatorial approach with a new generation. The HHM seeks to fund the second year of its Junior Docents program, which piloted in spring 2009. The program brings together a diverse group of young teens for five half-day Saturday work sessions. Using museum resources with staff guidance, the teens conceptualize and create an exhibit on a local history topic of their own choosing, using HHM artifacts and drawing on their research in the museum's extensive archives. They also learn preservation techniques and present hands-on history activities in elementary classrooms through a public school partnership. (The St. Louis Park public schools were the 2009 partner, but school affiliations will change from year to year.) The program culminates in an opening celebration at the HHM, with the junior docents serving as guides. Help us to send these teens into the community as history ambassadors!
The Museum Collection: The HHM collections hold a great number of items which provide information on any number of subjects relating to Hennepin's history. Among our most popular artifacts are objects like toys and dolls, quilts, Native American artifacts, household items, decorative arts objects, hundreds of paintings, and costumes.