Archive for January, 2011

Do you have a group that wants to meet at MAC?

MAC members often use the annual MAC meeting to connect with colleagues, visit with fellow alumni, and collaborate on tools or projects.  If you have a group that wants to meet during the MAC meeting and you need suggestions of places to meet, or if you are looking to connect with a specific group of people and do not know who to contact, the Local Arrangements Committee can help.

Please contact Jennifer Johnson, Jennifer_I_Johnson@cargill.com, or Jamie Martin, Jamie.Martin@target.com, for assistance.

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We’re thrilled that many of you are already making your travel plans to attend the MAC conference in Saint Paul. To make reservations at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, you can use the direct reservations link (http://bit.ly/etf4of ) or contact the hotel by phone at 651-292-1900.  Even if you choose not to take advantage of the conference room rates, please remember to mention when making reservations that you are with the Midwest Archives Conference.

See the MAC website for more details on room rates and reservation deadlines.

For additional information on the Crowne Plaza Saint Paul-Riverfront Hotel, see the hotel website at http://www.cpstpaul.com

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Although the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis have a good-natured rivalry[1], most St. Paulites admit that the city across the Mississippi River can also be worth a visit.  Here are some of our favorite attractions and activities.

Archives and Libraries

Elmer L. Andersen Library (University of Minnesota) – Andersen Library, which opened in 2000, is a state-of-the-art facility that houses most of the University’s archives and special collections units.  There will be an official tour on Wednesday afternoon following the EAD workshop, and the building will also be open to visitors on Thursday and Friday. (http://special.lib.umn.edu)

Minneapolis Central Library – located in the heart of downtown, Minneapolis Central Library is worth a visit to view the building itself.  The special collections department, located on the fourth floor, is open to MAC attendees this week. (http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/specialcollections)

Museums and Cultural Attractions

The Hennepin History Museum, located in a historic mansion south of downtown, documents the social history of Hennepin County.  It also contains a library and archives, open from Wednesday through Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00.  (http://hennepinhistory.org)

Mill City Museum – operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, the museum is built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill.  It is located on the Mississippi Riverfront and focuses on the history of the flour industry in Minneapolis.    (http://www.millcitymuseum.org)

Minneapolis Institute of Arts – the MIA is a fine arts museum south of downtown Minneapolis, 1/2 block from the Hennepin History Museum.  Its collections span 5000 years of history and a diversity of cultures across the continents.  The MIA does not charge an entrance fee except for special exhibitions.   (http://www.artsmia.org)

Walker Art Center – the Walker is one of the country’s premier contemporary art museums.  Located just north of Minneapolis’s Uptown district, the center also includes an outdoor sculpture garden (including the famous “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture) operated jointly by the Walker and by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.  (http://www.walkerart.org)

Outdoor Recreation

Chain of Lakes – southwest of downtown lie five of Minnesota’s 10,000+ lakes, connected to one another by a twelve-mile system of pedestrian and bicycling paths.  The Chain of Lakes is part of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, a 50-mile network of paths circling the city. (http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=4&parkid=235 and  http://www.minneapolisparks.org/grandrounds/home.htm)

Fort Snelling State Park – the park is located at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers south of downtown Minneapolis.  It contains 18 miles of hiking trails (or cross-country skiing trails, if we have one of our rare end-of-April snowstorms) and includes trails that lead up to Historic Fort Snelling.  The original fort, operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, was built in the 1820s.  (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/fort_snelling/index.html and  http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/hfs)

Sports and Entertainment

Children’s Theatre Company – the largest children’s theater in North America, located in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts facility.  The current production is Annie.  (http://www.childrenstheatre.org)

The Guthrie Theater – located in downtown Minneapolis, the Guthrie is renowned not just for its outstanding performances but for its stunning architecture.  The Guthrie offers backstage and architectural tours, both guided and self-guided.  The two current productions at the theater are Arsenic and Old Lace and Arms and the Man.  (http://www.guthrietheater.org)

Hennepin Theatre Trust – the State, Orpheum, and Pantages theaters are all located in downtown Minneapolis in the Theatre District.  Jersey Boys is currently playing at the Orpheum.  (http://www.hennepintheatretrust.org)

The Minnesota Orchestra ranks among the country’s best ensembles.  Along with traditional classical music, the orchestra offers performances of genres ranging from rock, jazz and Big Band to Latin, country and world music.  (http://www.minnesotaorchestra.org)

The Minnesota Twins are at home against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday and Thursday.  This is the second year that Target Field, the Twins’ new outdoor ballpark, is open, so tickets will go fast.  (http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com)

[1] And sometimes not so good-natured: in 1890, according to Wikipedia, the two cities arrested and kidnapped each other’s census takers so that the population of the opposing city would not be listed as larger than their own.

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History Pub Crawl: St. Paul Sampler
Wednesday April 27th, 7-9 p.m.

Photo by Henry Varley, 1900. Minnesota Historical Society

Discover how Gilded Age robber barons, vaudeville impresarios and influential politicians transformed a down-and-dirty river port into the gleaming power center of St. Paul, then ride up Summit Hill where you’ll be regaled with stories behind the epic rise, fall and rise again, of the city’s most fashionable historical address. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stops at two of St. Paul’s best pubs.


  • Sign-up available on first come basis same time as conference registration.
  • Pick up and drop off at convention hotel.
  • Participants must be 21 or older.
  • Drinks purchased separately.

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Pub Crawl not for you? Then join us at Target Field Wednesday April 27th at 7:10 p.m. to watch Minnesota Twins vs.Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  There will be 25 tickets available in the price range of $20-25 each.  More details to come.

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Saint Paul offers a number of exciting attractions for MAC meeting attendees to explore. Here are a few of our favorites.

Archives and Libraries

James J. Hill Library – founded by James J. Hill in 1921, the Hill Library houses a world-class collection of practical business information resources and is considered one of the most comprehensive business libraries in the country. Constructed of Tennessee marble and Minnesota sandstone, it is both a living monument to “the Empire Builder,” James J. Hill, and a Saint Paul touchstone. The library is situated on picturesque Rice Park in the heart of downtown. (http://www.jjhill.org/index.cfm)

St. Paul Public Central Library –the Central Library opened at its present location in 1917. The building, which also contains the James J. Hill Library, is Italian Renaissance revival in style. The library holds a number of special collections, including the Severson Collection of rare World War I aviation books. (http://www.stpaul.lib.mn.us/locations/central.html)

Museums and Cultural Attractions

Minnesota Historical Society – serving over 1.6 million people every year, the Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available items that document the history of Minnesotans. Collections include nearly 550,000 books, 37,000 maps, 250,000 photographs, 165,000 historical artifacts, nearly 800,000 archaeological items, 38,000 cubic feet of manuscripts, 45,000 cubic feet of government records, and 5,500 paintings, prints and drawings. MHS also oversees 26 historic sites and serves as the state’s archival repository. A tour of the Minnesota History Center, where the majority of the Historical Society’s holdings are housed, is scheduled for Thursday, April 29th. (http://www.mnhs.org)

The Landmark Center was built in 1902 and originally served as the Federal Court House and post office for the Upper Midwest. In the 1970s, the building was saved from demolition and restored. It reopened to the public as the Landmark Center in 1978. Today, the Landmark Center serves as a cultural center for music, dance, theater, exhibitions, public forums, and hosts countless special events. A tour of the Ramsey County Historical Society, one of several museums located in the Landmark Center, is scheduled for Friday, April 30th. (http://www.landmarkcenter.org/index.html)

Science Museum of Minnesota – located along the banks of the Mississippi River, the Science Museum of Minnesota includes over 70,000 square feet of exhibition space. On display are five permanent exhibits on paleontology, physical science and technology, the human body, peoples and cultures of the Mississippi River, and the museum’s collections. The traveling exhibit is “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” will be showing during the MAC conference. A tour of the collections area is scheduled for Thursday, April 29th. (http://www.smm.org)

Minnesota Children’s Museum – A museum just for the kids! Seven galleries of hands-on learning and discovery designed for children aged six months to ten years old. Admission is $8.95. (http://www.mcm.org)

Minnesota State Capitol – After 12 years of planning and construction, Minnesota’s State Capitol opened on January 2, 1905. Designed by architect Cass Gilbert, the unsupported marble dome is the second largest in the world. Guided tours of the Capitol leave on the hour, no fee. (http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/msc)

Cathedral of St. Paul – Sitting on the highest point in downtown St. Paul, the Cathedral, designed by E. L. Masqueray, is an example of Beaux Arts architecture. In 2009, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops declared the Cathedral of Saint Paul to be a National Shrine of the Apostle Paul. Tours are offered Monday-Friday at 1pm. (http://www.cathedralsaintpaul.org)

The James J. Hill House served as the family home of the “Empire Builder” from 1891-1925. The house of 36,000 square feet was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. Tours are offered on the half hour, Wednesday-Saturday 10am-3:30pm and Sunday 1pm-3:30pm. $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and college students, $5 for children 6-17, free for children under 5 and Minnesota Historical Society members. Reservations recommended. (http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/jjhh)

Ramsey County Courthouse/St. Paul City Hall – Art deco skyscraper built during the Great Depression. Because of the stock market crash of 1929, the cost of labor and materials was much less than anticipated. As a result, the building was finished with expensive domestic and foreign woods and marble and artistic details were woven into its structure. A tour of City Hall is scheduled for Friday, April 30th. (http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=2085)

Outdoor Recreation

Rice Park features a beautiful fountain and is surrounded by the Saint Paul Hotel, Landmark Center, Ordway, and the Downtown Central Library. A tour of the park and its surroundings is scheduled for Thursday, April 29th.

Harriet Island/Padelford Riverboats – In 1900, Harriet Island was given to the citizens of St. Paul by Dr. Justus Ohage. Today the island is a recreational retreat for St. Paulites and hosts various festivals, including the Irish Fair. Leaving from Harriet Island are the Padelford Riverboats, offering a variety of cruises on the Mississippi.

(http://www.nps.gov/miss/planyourvisit/harrisla.htm)  (http://www.riverrides.com)

Como Park (Como Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory) – Como Park is a 384-acre park located within the city. Visitors can experience a wide range of attractions geared towards all age groups. The Park offers a large area surrounding Como Lake dedicated to family and individual activities. Visitors can make use of 1.67 miles of paved paths, a fishing pier, picnic shelters, pavilions, paddleboat rentals, an amusement park, a golf course, a historic carousel, and mini-golf. The zoo features a seal island, a large cat exhibit, a variety of aquatic life, primates, birds, African hoofed animals and a world class polar bear exhibit. The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is a half-acre indoor and outdoor facility with a number of different wings dedicated to a variety of plant life including bonsai trees, ferns, orchids and seasonal flowers. Open 10am-6pm, no fee. (http://www.comozooconservatory.org)

Summit Avenue begins just west of downtown St. Paul and continues almost five miles west to the Mississippi River. It boasts one of the largest concentrations of Victorian residential architecture in the country. The Cathedral of St. Paul, the Governor’s Mansion, the James J. Hill house, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald house all lie along Summit Avenue. For an audio tour of Summit Avenue see: http://discussions.mnhs.org/tours/category/summit-avenue

Grand Avenue – Running parallel to Summit Avenue, St. Paul’s main shopping district lies along Grand Avenue. An eclectic mix of shops and restaurants has something for everyone. (http://www.grandave.com)

Sports and Entertainment

Xcel Energy Center – One of the premier sports/entertainment venues in the nation, the “X” is home to the Minnesota Wild (hockey) and the Swarm (lacrosse). It also hosts large musical stage shows and serves as the home of this year’s NCAA Men’s Frozen Four. (http://www.xcelenergycenter.com/index2.jsp)

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts opened in 1985. It includes a 1900-seat theater hall and the more intimate 306-seat McKnight Theater. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Schubert Club, and the Minnesota Opera call the Ordway home. Performances during the conference include concerts by the Schubert Club on Thursday, April 28th and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra on April 29th and 30th. (http://www.ordway.org)

Fitzgerald Theater – Built in 1910, the Fitzgerald Theater is Saint Paul’s oldest surviving theater space. Originally called the Sam S. Shubert Theater, it was one of four special memorial theaters erected by entertainment-industry magnates Lee and J. J. Shubert after the death of their brother Sam. The Fitzgerald Theatre hosts a variety of musical acts, plays, and interviews and is the home of “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. (http://fitzgeraldtheater.publicradio.org)

Penumbra Theatre – Founded in 1976 by artistic director Lou Bellamy, the Penumbra Theatre is Minnesota’s only professional African American theater, and it is one of three in the United States that offer a full season of performances. The performance scheduled during the conference is I Wish You Love. (http://penumbratheatre.org)

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