Archives and Special Collections are open by appointment only, limited to UMN affiliates. Appointments must be made one week in advance of your visit. Contact or the curator of the collecting area you wish to use for assistance. We continue to provide scans of requested research materials when possible, especially for our non-campus clientele.

The Associates of the James Ford Bell Library were organized in 1963 to support the mission and activities of the James Ford Bell Library. Over the years, they have worked on or contributed to projects as diverse as publishing, acquisitions, and outreach. Each year they fund History Day prizes, supporting K-12 historical research, and the Carol Urness Student Writing Award, which supports the work of University of Minnesota students who use the resources of Bell Library. They also are the primary sponsors of the Annual James Ford Bell Lecture, now in its 50th year.

To learn more about the Associates, visit their Web site at

To become a member:


History Day Topical Prize
Carol Urness Student Writing Award

Annual Lecture

Each year the Bell Library hosts an annual lecture, supported by the Associates, by a scholar on a topic related to the Bell collection. This year (2016) the annual lecture is part of a semester-long series of events Celebrating Venice: At the Center.More information

Board of Directors

James Hurd Anderson, chair
Wilson Yates, vice president-planning
Jennifer I. Johnson, vice president-communications
Ellen George, treasurer
Marguerite Ragnow, curator, secretary; ex officio
Jaden Hansen
Victoria Keller
David Lanegran

Ford W. Bell, Honorary Director; ex officio

Judith Anderson Brindley, emeritus trustee (d. 2020)
Martin Kellogg, emeritus trustee (d. 2019)
Charles Hann, emeritus trustee
John Larkin, emeritus trustee (d. 2019)
Curtis Roy, emeritus trustee (d. 2018)