Special projects

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 ascref@umn.edu 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.

screenshot of History of Minnesota's Synagogues map

History of Minnesota's Synagogues Map project

In 1856, a group of German Jews established the first synagogue in Saint Paul, two years before Minnesota would receive statehood. As the population of Minnesota grew, more Jewish families immigrated to the Upper Midwest and established places of worship. These synagogues changed locations often, opened and closed, merged and broke away. This project aims to map the locations of synagogues and their corresponding cemeteries throughout Minnesota from 1856 to the present.


stacked bound copies of the American Jewish World newspaper

Digitizing the American Jewish World newspaper

The American Jewish World is a weekly Minnesota newspaper dating back to 1915 that has covered decades of local, national, and international events as they related to the local Jewish communities. The volumes have been digitized and can be viewed and searched on UMedia.


close up of black, white, and red hand-drawn map with circles plotted onto the map that link to more information

Near Northside Minneapolis map project

This map, created circa 1960 by Clarence Miller in partnership with the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, is part of the collection of the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives. The map illustrates an area of North Minneapolis, where many Jewish immigrant families lived, as it was during the 1920s. In this project we are attempting to pin information found online – from photos to oral histories – to locations illustrated on the map in order to better understand a neighborhood that has passed into memory.


image of Minnesota Immigrants web page that shows oral histories from Soviet Jewish women

Minnesota's Immigrants

The Minnesota's Immigrants project explores the stories of the citizens who have immigrated to Minnesota. Through Minnesota Digital Libraries, the project pulls together different cultural organizations throughout the state to capture and expose the myriad stories of the citizens who make up Minnesota. The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives has contributed an oral history collection -- Soviet Women: "Old Lives, New Lives" Oral History project.