University of Minnesota

Digitizing documents from IHRC's formative era and Minnesota Iron Range

In the following months, the IHRC will develop a new section of its web site dedicated to the beginnings of the Center in the early 1960s. The goal of the project is not to write a definitive history of the Center or to define the larger context in which the Center came to existence in the interaction with the developments in the related scholarly fields or with the social transformations of the 1960s. Rather, the aim is to provide access to the sources that may facilitate further study of these subjects.

Among the first steps is the digitization of 5 unpublished essays which were written as a result of a research project conducted in the early 1960s on the iron ore mining ranges of northeastern Minnesota by Hyman Berman, Clarke Chambers, Timothy Smith and William Wright of the History Department at the University of Minnesota. The following essays authored by Berman, Chambers and Smith are held by the IHRC. The papers themselves are not dated, however, the fact that the latest sources (interviews) cited by all three authors are dated in the summer months of 1963 suggests that their writing was completed in 1963 or shortly thereafter.

The first essay made available here is Timothy Smith's "Factors Affecting the Social Development of Iron Range Communities". Soon to be digitized are: "Educational Beginnings, 1884-1910" and "School and Community: The Quest of Equal Opportunity, 1910-1921" (both by T. Smith); "Social Welfare Policies and Programs on the Minnesota Iron Range - 1880-1930" by Clarke Chambers; "Education for Work and Labor Solidarity: Immigrant Miners and Radicalism on the Mesabi Range" by Hyman Berman. All of these essays were produced in rather a plain attire - or so they appear now as typescripts on plain paper, some originally bound in three-hole ring binders, later re-bound in brown card stock. The current web presentation makes use of one other source from the IHRC holdings in order to assist readers in visualizing the Iron Range.

This is the "Amerikan Albumi", published in 1904 by the Finnish National Bookstore publishing house in Brooklyn, New York. It is a collection of photographs documenting Finnish American settlements around the United States compiled by an anonymous editor. Since it includes a significant number of photographs from the Minnesota Iron Range taken at the time with which Timothy Smith's essay is concerned, selected images were used to accompany each page of the essay. (DaN, December 2007)

Continue to read and view images.


To learn more about the development of the im/migration studies at the University of Minnesota, please read also Donna Gabaccia's article "The Minnesota School of Immigration and Refugee Studies" (2007).

(PDF version here)


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