This list of resources is intended for people who have a desire to pursue an investigation into the history of a building, whether it be a house, office, apartment building, or any other. Most of these sources can be found in public and academic libraries.
Titles of city directories change with baffling frequency. For this list, we have traced the family history of two sets of publications, one for Minneapolis and one for St. Paul.
There are, of course, later titles for directories that cover more recent years. This is merely an example of the changes one must trace in order to get a complete run of information.
This set of directories culminates in what are known as the "Polk" directories for the city of St. Paul,MN:
A. Bailey's Saint Paul Directory for ..... St. Paul:1863
Saint Paul Directory for... St. Paul,MN: Groff & Bailey. 1864
McClung's St. Paul Directory & statistics record for... St. Paul,MN: J.W. McClung, 1866
Rice & Bell's Annual Directory to the Inhabitants <etc.> St. Paul, MN:Rice & Bell, 1869-1870
Rice & Co's....annual directory to the inhabitants<etc> St. Paul, MN: Rice & Co., 1871
St. Paul City Directory St. Paul,MN: R.L. Polk & Co., 1874-1888/89
R.L. Polk & Co.'s St. Paul City Directory St. Paul,MN: R.L. Polk & Co.,1889-1927
This set of directories traces the chain of titles for the city of Minneapolis,MN:
Merwins directory of Minneapolis & St. Anthony Minneapolis,MN: Heman Merwin, 1855-1872
Minneapolis City Directory for... Minneapolis,MN: C. Wright Davison, 1873/74-1893/94
Davison's Minneapolis City Directory Minneapolis,MN: Minneapolis Directory Co., 1894/5-1925
The following is another example of a city directory:
The Dual City Blue Book St. Paul,MN:R.L. Polk & Co.,1885-1923
Andreas, A.T. Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Minnesota Chicago,IL:A.T. Andreas, 1874
Hopkins.G.M., Atlas of the environs of St. Paul,including the whole of Ramsey County,Minnesota: from official records,private plans and actual surveys., Philadelphia,PA: G.M. Hopkins, 1886
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, NY: Sanborn Map Co., 1884-1950
Talcott, Orlando. Building Map of Minneapolis, <n.p.>,1857
1940 Atlas of the City of Minneapolis,Minnesota, Minneapolis,MN:Work Projects Administration, 1941
Title changes occur in the area of newspaper publishing as well. We have listed here a set of changes for some of the more prominent journals that might be consulted in area libraries.
Evening Journal (Minneapolis,Minn.) Minneapolis,MN: Geo. K. Shaw, 1879?-1888
Minneapolis Journal Minneapolis,MN: Minneapolis Journal Printing Co., 1888-1939
Minneapolis Tribune Minneapolis,MN: Tribune Publishing Co.,1876-77
Tribune (Minneapolis,Minn.) Minneapolis,MN: Tribune Publishing Co., 1877-1882
Daily Minneapolis Tribune Minneapolis,MN: Tribune Publishing Co., 1882-84
Minneapolis Daily Tribune Minneapolis,MN: Tribune Publishing Co., 1884-86
Minneapolis Tribune Minneapolis,MN: Tribune Publishing Co., 1886-1909
Minneapolis Morning Tribune Minneapolis,MN: W.J. Murphy, 1909-1930
Pioneer & Democrat St. Paul, MN: Pioneer Printing Co.,1860-62
St. Paul Pioneer St. Paul,MN: Pioneer Printing Co., 1862-67
St. Paul Daily Pioneer St. Paul,MN: Pioneer Printing Co.,1867?-1875
Saint Paul Daily Pioneer-Press St. Paul,MN: Pioneer Press Co.,1875-76
Pioneer-Press: St Paul,MN: Pioneer-Press Co., 1876-1879
Daily Pioneer Press St. Paul,MN: Pioneer-Press Co., 1879-1909
St. Paul Pioneer Press St. Paul,MN: Pioneer-Press Co.,1909-1984
Andrews, C.C. History of St. Paul,Minn., with illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Syracuse,NY: D.Mason & Co., 1890
Atwater, Isaac. History of the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota. NY: Munsell & Company: 1893
Illustrated St. Paul St. Paul,MN: St. Paul Dispatch, 1891-1893
Castle, Henry Anson. History of St. Paul and Vicinity. Chicago & New York: The Lewis Publishing Co.,1912
Kane, Lucille. The Falls of St. Anthony: the Waterfall that Built a City. St. Paul,MN:Minnesota Historical Society, 1987 (Updated edition of: The waterfall that built a city.)
Newson, Thomas McLean. Pen Pictures of St. Paul, Minnesota, and biographical sketches of old settlers, from the earliest settlement of the city, up to and including the year 1857. St. Paul, MN: The author,1886
Neill, Rev. Edward Duffield. Concise History of the State of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN: S.M. Williams, 1887
Neill, Rev. Edward Duffield. The History of Minnesota; from the earliest French explorations to the present time. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott & Co.,1858 (and later editions)
Neill, Rev. Edward Duffield. History of Ramsey County and the city of St. Paul, including the Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota,by Rev. Edward D. Neill, and Outlines of the History of Minnesota by J. Fletcher Williams. Minneapolis, MN: North Star Publishing Co.,1881
Shutter, Marion Daniel. History of Minneapolis, Gateway to the Northwest. Chicago & Minneapolis: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1923
Stevens, John Harrington. Personal Recollections of Minnesota and its people, and early history of Minneapolis. Minneapolis,MN: Tribune Job Printing Company,1890
Art Glimpses of Minneapolis: The City of Homes Minneapolis,MN: The Times Newspaper Co., 1898
Gebhard, David. A Guide to the Architecture of Minnesota. (with Tom Martinson). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1977
Kennedy, Roger G. Minnesota Houses; an architectural and historical view. Minneapolis, MN: Dillon Press, 1967
Koeper, H.F. Historic St. Paul Buildings. St. Paul,MN: St. Paul City Planning Board, 1964
Lanegran, David A. and Ernest Sandeen. The Lake District of Minneapolis: A History of the Calhoun-Isles Community. St. Paul,MN: Living Historical Museum, 1979
Legacy of Minneapolis: Preservation Amid Change. John R. Borchert...<et al>. Bloomington, MN: Voyageur, 1983
Minneapolis Illustrated, Minneapolis,MN: Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade, 1882
Picturesque St. Paul <St. Paul,MN?>:Northwestern Photo Co., 1888
Sandeen, Ernest Robert. St. Paul's Historic Summit Avenue. St. Paul, MN: Living Historical Museum, 1978
Torbert, Donald. Significant Architecture in the History of Minneapolis. Minneapolis, MN: a joint study of the Minneapolis Planning Commission and the Minneapolis Chapter, American Institute of Architects, 1969.
Bezat, Barbara & Lathrop, Alan Drafting a House History. Minneapolis,MN: University of Minnesota, 1979
Cumming, John. A Guide for the Writing of Local History. Lansing,MI: Michigan Bicentennial Commission, 1974
Light, Sally. House Histories: A Guide to Tracing the Genealogy of Your Home. Spencertown,NY: Golden Hill Press, 1989.
Parker, Donald Dean. Local History: How to gather it, write it, and publish it. <n.p.>, 1944
Pope, Wiley R. Tracing Your Ancestors in Minnesota: A Guide to the Sources. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Family Trees, 1987 (4th edition)
Webber, Joan. How Old Is Your House?: A Guide to Research. Chester, CT: Pequot Press, 1978
Blumenson, John J. G. Identifying American Architecture: A Pictorial Guide to Styles and Terms, 1600-1945. Nashville,TN: American Association for State and Local History, 1981 (2nd. edition)
Hitchcock, Henry Russell. American Architectural Books: A List of Books, Portfolios, and Pamphlets on Architecture and Related Subjects Published in America Before 1895. (New expanded edition) NY: Da Capo Press, 1976.
McAlester, Virginia. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Knopf, 1984.
Poppeliers, John C. What Style Is It? : A Guide to American Architecture. Washington,D.C.: Preservation Press, 1983.
Architect, builder and decorator. Minneapolis,MN:<n.p.>, 1893-1895
Better Homes and Gardens. Des Moines,IA: Meredith, 1924-date
Beautiful Homes Magazine. Minneapolis,MN: Keith Corp. Other titles in this series include: Home Builder, Keith's Home Builder, Keith's Magazine on Home Building, Keith's Beautiful Homes Magazine)
Construction Bulletin (continues Improvement Bulletin).Minneapolis,MN: Chapin Publishing, 1946 - date.
Construction Details St. Paul,MN: Construction Details Co., 1912-1915
Home Builder Minneapolis,MN: Keith Corp.
House Beautiful NY: Hearst Corp., 1896-date
Improvement Bulletin: The Construction Weekly of the Northwest Minneapolis,MN: 1893-1946 (continued by Construction Bulletin)
Inland Architect and News Record Chicago,IL: Inland Publishing Co.,1883-1908
Keith's Home Builder Minneapolis,MN: Keith Corp.
Keith's Magazine on Home Building Minneapolis,MN: Keith Corp.
Keith's Beautiful Homes Magazine Minneapolis,MN: Keith Corp.
Northwest Architect St Paul, MN: Craftsman Press, 1936-1975. (continued by Architecture Minnesota)
Northwestern Architect and Improvement Record Minneapolis,MN: 1882-1893
Northwestern Builder and Decorator Minneapolis,MN: 1889-1893
Western Architect Chicago,IL; Minneapolis,MN: 1901-1931
The following brief list contains examples of stock plan books found at the Northwest Architectural Archives. This is only a small sample of the many different ages and types of books available. If no architect's name is found during research, it is possible that the building was constructed using a stock plan.
Bungalows Minneapolis,MN: Architects' Small House Service Bureau, 1937
Homes of Comfort Minneapolis,MN: Carr Cullen Co., ca.1930
Gordon-Van Tine's Grand Book of Plans Davenport,IA: Gordon-Van Tine Co., ca.1910
Homes for All St. Paul, MN: Omeyer & Thori, 1893
Radford's Artistic Bungalows Chicago,IL: Radford Architectural Company, 1908