Guest blog post from one of our hard-working volunteers, Ben:
Special Collections only deals with books and records on paper right? Follow me and prepare to have your mind blown. Correct it is a collection of tapes and CDs, and no, you probably didn’t see them when you walked in. What are they? Oral histories and they cover many topics about Minnesota that you might want to know more about. That’s right pure uncut history coming right out of the mouths of those who experienced it. You can hear about the construction of Guthrie Theater from people who knew Guthrie himself. Hear about the Great Depression from people who lived in the area at the time. You can even listen to a former president of Pillsbury talk about the history of milling. All of this and more can be yours if you just take a look at the oral history webpage.
Overwhelming? Well here is a place to start:
Lillian Cohn (# 100): If you have ever wanted to hear about how people were personally affected by the Great Depression here you go. It even includes a nice story about former Governor Floyd B. Olson, the keys for the Foshay tower, and Jewish activism in Minneapolis and beyond.
John Lewin (#106-107) If you ever wanted to hear the life story of a sort of neurotic actor and playwright these are the tapes for you. This guy met Guthrie, and it changed his life. Super entertaining, informative, and includes information on a play based on the Crimean War.
John Cowles Jr. (#88) Ever wanted to build a theater? Well this guy helped build the Guthrie, and it was no easy feat. Hear about all of the drama of serving on the board of directors at the Guthrie.