Skip to main content

Duluth Birth History Project records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S6144

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of oral history interviews and research materials on the history of giving birth in Duluth, Minnesota. Oral history materials include sound recordings, transcripts, and photographs, all in digital format. Research materials, in digital format, include a summary article “Birthing Progress: The History of Giving Birth in Duluth”, an annotated bibliography, digital copies of source material for the article, and summary documents covering the contents of the digital files. The introduction to the oral history project, the summary article, and the summary documents are also in print format for reference purposes.


  • 2010-2013


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The Duluth Birth History Project incorporates two grant-funded projects sponsored by the Duluth, Minnesota based organization Birthing Ways – Doula Connection. Anne Pilli, Birthing Ways- Doula Connection Executive Director acted as project manager. Primary contractor Gina Temple-Rhodes, owner of Cedar Story Services, performed the research and conducted interviews.

The goal of the Duluth Birth History Oral History Project was to capture stories of birth locations (maternity hospitals, home, regular hospitals), practitioner techniques for prenatal care and birth, attitudes of women and family and friends about birth preparation and birth support in the pre-WWII era. Interviews were conducted by Gina Temple-Rhodes to record the memories and experiences of women who gave birth in Duluth before WWII. Ten interviews with twelve narrators ages 89-101 about the subject of birth and early baby care were conducted in 2010 and 2011.

The History of Birth in Duluth Research Project was designed to complement and expand the information gathered during the Duluth Birth Oral History Project. The goal of the project was to gain more detail about the history of giving birth and birth practitioners in Duluth, focusing mostly on the era before WWII. Research was conducted in 2013 by Gina Temple-Rhodes and Heidi Bakk-Hansen. The results of the project include a summary article, annotated bibliography, recommendations for materials that might be used for a future audio-visual product, and digital copies of sources reviewed for the project, such as news clippings and organizational records.

Both projects were financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.


35.80 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



The collection consists of oral history interviews and research materials on the history of giving birth in Duluth, Minnesota.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.

Physical Description

Digital Files + 1 folder of printed material

Guide to the Duluth Birth History Project records
Finding Aid Authors: M. David.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526