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.

Our digital resources provide insight into our collection and into the premodern world in a variety of ways.  Below are links to exhibitions, maps, manuscripts, and other primary sources materials.  Note:  these links will take you away from the Bell Library web site; use your back button to return to this page.

Digital Exhibits & Learning Resources

(*Indicates K-12 content)

Rapunzel, Peanuts & Thousand-Year Eggs:  Global Premodern Food Cultures and their Legacies

Early Atlases and How They Shaped the World

Exploring the Historic Mississippi River

Mary Read and Anne Bonny:  Two of England's Most Notorious Pirates*

Martin Waldseemüller and the Map that Named "America"

Nagasaki Harbor, 1741: Navigating the Many Dimensions of a Map*

Olaus Magnus' 16th-Century Map of Scandinavia

Portolan Charts

Ptolemy's World

Captain Cook's Voyages of Discovery

Celebrating Venice: On Land and Sea

"A Long, Troublesome, and Dangerous Passage" from England to India*

Trade and Commerce in 17th-Century England:  Proclamations*

Other Exhibits that Include Bell Library Materials

Something About Cuba

Mapping Scandinavia:  A "How to do History Class Project

Primary Source Documents

The Correct Way to Sail to Lisbon to Calicut

A variety of primary source documents are available through the University of Minnesota Libraries' UMedia Archive.  To find James Ford Bell Library materials, browze by Collecting Organization.  Below are links to just of a few of the documents and archival collections you will find there.  Finding aids (collection inventories) are available for the Jesuit and Izcue y Arias collections, as well as for several other collections, some of which have been digitized and can be found in UMedia.

John Gabriel Stedman Archive & Book Manuscript, 1772-1796. Journal, diaries, letters, and the manuscript "proof copy" of Narrative of a Five Years' Expedition.

Bartholomeus Anglicus, Le propriétaire des choses (ca. 1400). An illuminated and decorated manuscript encyclopedia.

Jesuit Activity in Mexico and South America, 1602-1815.  Link to Finding Aid (collection inventory).

Izcue y Arias (Firm) Records and Related Documents, 1783-1832.  Link to Finding Aid (collection inventory).