The NEW Minnesota Genealogy Center is fabulous!

The New Minnesota Genealogy Center!

I saw it yesterday and am impressed. Workspace, computers, subscription websites, books, periodicals, vertical files, microfilms (and readers and a scanner), microfiche, maps, atlases, and, and, and.

In the 1980s, the MGS “library” was stacked in boxes in my small home office in Saint Paul. Most items the Minnesota Genealogical Society received were donated to the Minnesota Historical Society, but some items were brought to meetings, especially the mail that I picked up a couple times each week. MGS was in need of dedicated space and the steps toward that took place in our living room. Inquiries were made about sharing space with various libraries, but the ultimate decision was to have MGS’ own space.

Arrangements were made with J. W. Hulme Co. on W. 7th Street in Saint Paul and the sign was hung. A dedicated group of volunteers scrubbed, begged for donations of chairs, tables, shelving, stationery supplies, a copiers, and more. It was real! MGS had it’s own library and office space in the storefront.

As the holdings grew and the Hulme Co. needed its own space for expansion, MGS found another home on W. 7th. Eventually MGS was in 3 more places around the Twin Cities.

Shortly after the first library opened, I decided that MGS needed to have classes on various aspects of family history research. I began teaching at a donated wooden dining room table in the first space and was soon joined by some other instructors. Until 2003 I was involved with the library in a variety of capacities. I enjoyed them all but needed some time to handle personal things in addition to earning my living in the field of genealogy.

Over the years, many capable people have worked to make sure the MGS Office and Library survived and thrived. Now the Minnesota Genealogy Center is the result. It’s large, has free parking, multiple classroom spaces, is clean and bright, and is welcoming. It now has real library shelving. MGS Interest Groups , Branches, and Affiliates are included in the new space, too!

The Center opens for research on November 29th and a big open house celebration will take place on January 13th to usher in the new year.

The expansive collection is being changed over to the Dewey Decimal System and a new catalog reflects that. The new catalog enables most of the holdings to show up on WorldCat!

Check the MGS website at, look under the Library button for the catalog, prepare your list of what to check, peek at the open hours, and plan for research time at the brand new Minnesota Genealogy Center. There will be some additional volunteer training soon and I plan to volunteer as I am able to in between seminars I travel to present.

Library admission is free to MGS, branch, and affiliate members; non-members require $10 day-use fee. Hint: join MGS and also get the journal and free research access!

The new location is suite 100 at 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Mendota Heights, Minnesota The corner of Pilot Knob Road and Mendota Heights Road is easy to find and the Center is right there.

Coming from out of the area? A Courtyard by Marriott and Fairfield Inn are a half mile away. Their websites say airport but that’s across the river. They are closer to the Minnesota Genealogy Center.

p.s. I have been asked for pictures. I didn’t take any yesterday because I am waiting until he new window signage and permanent bookshelf signage is ready.

© 2017, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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8 comments on “The NEW Minnesota Genealogy Center is fabulous!

  1. I think your count of past MGS locations is 1 short, Paula. After the 2nd spot on Fort Road (AKA W 7th) we were actually at 4 more Twin Cities locations rather than 3 more:
    1. 678 Fort Rd / Saint Paul (Oct 1985-April 1988)
    2. 965 Fort Rd / Saint Paul (April 1988-Dec 1988)
    3. 1101 Fort Rd /Saint Paul (Dec 1988-Dec 1991)
    4. 1650 Carroll Avenue / Saint Paul (Dec 1991-Mar 1998)
    5. 5768 Olson Memorial Highway / Golden Valley (Mar 1998 – ?)
    6. 1185 Concord St. N / South Saint Paul (? – Oct 2017)

    So (not counting the floor of your home office!) I think the Mendota Heights location is #7.

  2. Thank you for the links, Paula! Will be spending some time exploring what’s online and looking for local references to help digging for my elusive Swedes.

  3. The new facility is clearly an improvement. And it’s nice to learn more of the history going back before I started volunteering at the location near Snelling and I-94, before the move to Golden Valley, before the move to South St. Paul. I hope that many more people check out our facility and resources, and join us in this very addictive hobby of discovering more about our family history.

  4. Thanks Paula. We have had many positive comments similar to yours. This one “really looks like a library.” This whole thing came together only because of many, many volunteer hours of some of our most dedicated people. My thanks goes out to every one of those people.

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