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Duluth Public Library photograph collection

Identifier: S3766

Scope and Contents

The Duluth Public Library has been the recipient over the years of photographs and other historical documents. To ensure security of these materials the Library made copy slides and transferred the originals to the Northeast Minnesota Historical Center.

The collection consists of original and copy prints and negatives of Duluth, buildings, sites, views, parks, and development of the area.


  • 1869-1986


Biographical / Historical

The Duluth, Minnesota Public Library was first established by a group of citizens in 1869. Following the financial panic of 1873 the library closed for a few years in the late 1870s, reopening through the efforts of the Ladies Library Association in 1880. In 1889 the Opera House that housed the library was destroyed in a fire, all of the books were lost. $500 in insurance money from the Association and the support of Duluth's mayor, John Sutphin, resulted in a publicly supported library.

The new library opened in 1890 in the Masonic Temple at Second Avenue East and Superior Street. A new Carnegie library building at Second Street and First Avenue West opened in 1902. The current library at Fifth Avenue West and Superior Street was built in 1980.


2.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


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.


This collection is owned by the Minnesota Historical Society, but is housed at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives.
Guide to the Duluth Public Library photograph collection
Finding Aid Authors: Staff.
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