On March 12 all of us (Carla, Sara, and both Marks) paid a visit to the Bakken Museum. Located in Minneapolis in a mansion near Lake Calhoun, the Bakken's collection was acquired by Earl Bakken the co-founder of Medtronic and inventor of the portable pacemaker. It is the only institution in the world dedicated to the study of the role of electricity and magnetism in the life sciences and medicine, and we went there to learn more about its resources and the services it offers.
The Bakken's librarian Elizabeth Ihrig gave us a warm welcome. First she took us on a tour of the Museum's exhibits including 'The Spark of Life', 'The Mystery of Magnetism', and 'Electricity in the 18th Century'. Our favorite was 'Frankenstein: Mary Shelley's Dream'. Then we explored the underground vault where hundreds of antique electronic gadgets and thousands of books are kept in climate-controlled conditions. The Library is located in a quiet corner of the building. With its wood paneling, high ceiling, and view of the garden its reading room would be a wonderful place for study. Elizabeth told us that scholars come to the Bakken from around the world do their research and local students visit to work on History Day projects. All in all, the Bakken is a fascinating place to visit. You can learn more about it at www.thebakken.org.
Looking into the Exhibit Hall
Antique Electrical Instruments in the Vault
A Medieval Manuscript in the Collection
A Corner of the Library Reading Room
We took many other pictures, a few of which can be found on our BATS Flickr page.