Explore Our Legacy: The MPHA Records Collection

Read the April 2021 funding announcement of the $10K grant to the records collection owner, the University of Minnesota Social Welfare History Archives, of the Legacy Amendment grant from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society for the digital preservation and access project Public Health in Minnesota: Digitizing Recordings of “A Public Health Journal” TV program.

How to Access and Use the Records Collection

The Minnesota Public Health Association records collection holds a treasure trove of various print and visual materials, covering a 70+ year period. This collection helps us to connect the long history of our multi-disciplinary association, grounded in social justice and health equity pathways, to current and future policies, programs and practices. It is a rich resource that documents historical perspectives to tell a story.  Click here to download this information in a .pdf file: MPHA Records Collection Instructions

What kind of materials will you find in this collection?  

     governance papers 

     annual meetings and reports 


     policy and advocacy positions and partnerships 

     media items (e.g. photographs, posters, audio and visual tapes), including an extensive series of A Public Health Journal cable television program tapes from 1985  

What topics and challenges are addressed across time?   

     tobacco and substance use

     confidential health services

     water quality

     vaccine preventable diseases

     nutrition and physical activity

     lead exposure

     organization of public health services

     immigrant and refugee health

     health care reform

     and more!

An online inventory to guide users is currently being updated.

Where is the MPHA records collection located?

MPHA archived its records collection at the Social Welfare History Archives (SWHA) in March 2017. SWHA is part of the Archives and Special Collections Department of the University of Minnesota Libraries and is located in the Elmer L Andersen Library on the west bank campus in March 2017. Public health is an important addition to SWHA’s historical sources on social welfare organizations, reflecting the impact of poverty, race and housing on health and well-being, since the late 19thcentury.   SWHA provides a permanent home for the MPHA records.  The records are stored are in archival quality folders and boxes in a secure underground climate-controlled facility.  Library conservation staff will handle any materials needing conservation or repair.

Who can access the MPHA records collection?

The MPHA records are a valuable historical resource and are meant to be used to better understand the history of public health in Minnesota and nationally.  Members are welcome to make an appointment to use the records. They are also available to students, teachers, health professionals, faculty, researchers, and citizens.  These historical records are raw materials to create new knowledge.  Research purposes may involve documenting historical context and intersections; reflecting about health trends, changes or impact; or evaluating the effectiveness of a campaign, legislation, or program addressing a specific health challenge. Records can be used for a range of outcomes, such as: to produce a public or class presentation, an article or book for publication, papers or dissertations for degree programs, exhibits or displays, podcasts or documentaries, artistic works or performances, and related print and digital projects. 

How do I search the collection?

1.     Go to Minnesota Public Health Association records collection guide

NOTE: The guide is a work in progress and SWHA is currently working in the background to add more detail. Please check back in again in the future!

2.     To get more information on an item in your search results, click the blue heading for that item.

  • You will see the item heading and date 
  • The box and folder numbers are in green
  • The box and folder numbers are in green
  • The text in the gray bar shows the archives, the collection title, and the series of folders in that collection where the items is located.
  •  For help using the online guide, contact the archives at ande3748@umn.edu. 

3.    To request the item, give the collection title, item title, box and folder informationto the archives staff by emailing swharef@umn.eduor ande3748@umn.edu

How do I get the materials?

    1.    Request appointment from Social Welfare History Archives Library (ande3748@umn.edu). 

    • Include the collection title, item title, box and folder information, so materials can be pulled ahead of time for you.

    2.     The Social Welfare History Archives is located in the Elmer L. Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota

    • 222 21st Ave S., Minneapolis MN, 55455
    • Information on Andersen Library hours
    • Pay parking is available in a surface lot or nearby ramps. The library can also be reached by light rail. 

    3.    Check in at the reception desk in the Maxine Houghton Wallin Special Collections Research Center on the lower level near Room 15.

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