Recently in Northwest Architectural Archives Category

by Christine Avery, Archives Assistant and Kate Hujda, Assistant Archivist/Processor

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As spring slowly makes its way to Minnesota, the Manuscripts Division decided it was time to take down our "Winter in the Archives" exhibit in place of a more spring-like display. The recent hire of two new staff members, as well as additional student workers, has allowed the Manuscripts Division to really dig into previously unprocessed collections - which has given us much to be cheerful about!

The increase in processing in our division is largely due to money provided by the Cultural Heritage Initiative. A funding campaign sponsored by the Friends of the Library, the Cultural Heritage Initiative strives to preserve our literary and performing arts legacies. This $3.3 million campaign has allowed our division the staff, time, and resources necessary to process many of our unprocessed collections.

We decided to take advantage of this recent influx by sharing some of the artifacts our staff has unearthed through processing. Our window display, aptly titled "Incoming Treasures," features collections that are either now available or soon-to-be available for public research. Brimming with items from architects, authors, theater, and dance, our display represents the breadth of the collections we've been processing.

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The highlights of our display include a script from Theatre de la Jeune Lune's Children of Paradise (PA 107), a sketch of the Minneapolis Milling district riverfront (1910s) from the Archie Parish Collection (N256), and Buoyancies: A Ballast Master's Log written by Joseph Amato from the Joseph A. Amato Collection (MSS88). (As this is work in progress, not all finding aids are available at this time.)

Ralph Rapson, Architect (1914 - 2008)

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Long before he died in 2008, the architect Ralph Rapson began working with the then-Curator of the Northwest Architectural Archives (NAA), Professor Al Lathrop, to ensure the establishment of the Ralph Rapson Papers here at the University.


rapson image 2.jpgMr. Rapson's work can be seen every day for people working on the West Bank Campus of the University - Rarig Center is his design (the theater building), and his Cedar Square West high-rise apartments just received historic designation and a facelift. His Guthrie Theater building was recently demolished but still lives in memory as the place where many of us attended the first fabulous productions of the new theater company in the early 1960s.


Ralph Rapson, born in Michigan in 1914, began his architectural studies at the University of Michigan College of Architecture in 1938, moving to Cranbrook Academy of Art to study under Eliel Saarinen. He then joined Saarinen's architectural practice and added furniture design to his portfolio. His work combined all the arts in an interdisciplinary approach to architecture and design. When he became Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota (now the College of Design, or CDes) in 1954 he brought this approach to his teaching and mentoring.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Northwest Architectural Archives category.

Migration and Social Services Collections is the previous category.

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