The Minnesota History Center, which opened in October of 1992, is home to the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections and provides a place for visitors to discover their connections to the past. This landmark building houses a museum, library, classrooms, and conference rooms, the 314-seat 3M Auditorium, two museum stores and the renowned Café Minnesota.
Collecting items from the state’s past helps illuminate Minnesota history. The museum’s innovative, interactive exhibits showcase the collections. Visitors can climb aboard a 24-ton box car or experience the extremes of Minnesota weather in a multimedia show that recreates the power of a tornado.
Through the library’s centralized reference area, researchers can gain access to 1,120,000 archaeological objects; 230,000 artifacts; 174,000 books; 346,000 photographs; 19,000 maps; 6,000 paintings, prints and drawings; 36,000 cubic feet of manuscripts; 53,000 cubic feet of government records; and four million issues of 4,000 Minnesota newspapers and periodicals.
These items are kept at the History Center in about 100,000 square feet of storage space. The building’s 427,000 square feet also include 44,000 square feet of museum space and 12,800 square feet of classroom space.
The Minnesota History Center has been called the finest building constructed in Minnesota since the State Capitol was completed in 1905. The building, its art and architecture, and the resources it holds, together form the history – and future – of Minnesota.
2017 will mark the 25th anniversary of the History Center's Grand Opening.