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Robert J. Jansen papers

Identifier: S6023

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of family papers and photographs, organization records, and business records. The papers span Jansen’s life from grade school through college, political activities of the 1990s, Jansen's activism as a gay man, teaching career from Cal State Fresno through The College of St. Scholastica including the CSS grievance over tenure (1982-1983), the beginnings of his gay bar The Main Club, and the purchase and renovation of a Victorian house (his home in Duluth (1215 East Second Street) which was featured in a tour of the Duluth Preservation Alliance in 1995. The papers are organized but not fully processed.


  • 1949-2001


Biographical / Historical

Robert John Jansen was born June 16, 1949, in Wisconsin. He is a local teacher, small business owner, and political activist. After earning his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin Superior, he taught in the theater department at California State University Fresno from 1973-1976. He returned to the Twin Ports intending to teach theater. He founded the Daisy Hill Theater as an assistant professor at a small, private college in Duluth, The College of St. Scholastica. In 1980, the Daisy Hill Theater was selected to host the First Annual Children’s Theater Festival in the state of Minnesota. His teaching career ended at The College of St. Scholastica in a complex legal action over denial of tenure that concluded with a monetary settlement, based on the perception that Jansen was fired because he was gay. Jansen then bought and rebuilt an old, modest tavern in Superior, Wisconsin that he refurbished. The establishment became The Main Club, a popular gay bar on the main street of Superior, Wisconsin.


12.00 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 part of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, which are housed in the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives at the Kathryn A. Martin Library, and are on permanent loan from the St. Louis County Historical Society.
Guide to the Robert J. Jansen papers
Finding Aid Authors: P. Maus, 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