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Seaway Port Authority of Duluth records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S2348

Scope and Contents

The collection contains annual reports, 1954-1977, minutes, 1930-1977, correspondence, files by office divisions, legal materials, news clippings, publications, and photographs. Most of the records originate from the period 1962-1978, but the complete set of Board Minutes and Annual Reports expand the breadth of the records.

The collection is divided into twelve series which maintain the order used by the Seaway Port Authority.

Board Minutes and Annual Reports - 1930-1977. Also Includes a few items which describe the structure of the Port Authority's staff and government. Box 1

Office Files - 1962-1978. Arranged alphabetically by topic, and largely comprised of printed material gathered at conferences and conventions. The files contain some correspondence pertaining to the subjects indicated. Box 2-19

Legislative Bills and Related Documents - 1967-1978. Consists primarily of house and senate bills which directly or indirectly affect the Seaway. Arranged alphabetically. Box 20-21

Director of International Marketing and Sales - 1960-1978. Alphabetical office files of Al Johnson, primarily correspondence; includes Mid Continent Warehouse files, 1967-1977. Box 22-24

Assistant Traffic Manager - 1970-1975. Alphabetical subject files of Al Ames. Alphabetical customer files contain order slips, receipts, and correspondence regarding shipments for the years 1974-1975. Box 24-26

Director of Seaway Port Authority - 1966-1976. Alphabetically arranged files of Thomas Burke including European Trade files which contain correspondence pertaining to and printed material gathered at the many European Trade Conferences which Burke attended. Also includes a small amount of information on ports in Europe. Box 26-27

Deputy Executive Director - 1963-1975. Alphabetically arranged Meal Facility Reports, 1972-1975, and correspondence files, 1963-1972, of Robert Smith. Box 28-30

Plant and Equipment - 1957-1974. Alphabetical arrangement of files on building bids, appraisals, construction, and overall development of the Port's physical plant and facilities, as well as day to day operations of the terminal, equipment, and maintenance. Pest control, dock damages and collisions, and Port rules and regulations are filed in this series. Box 31-35

Public Relations Files - 1954-1976. Alphabetically arranged topic and correspondence files including news releases, promotion for community awareness of the Port including receptions, tours, visits of famous people, ship visits, statistics for the Seaway, 1957-1967, and brochures. Box 35-42

Administrative Files - 1954-1978. Files reflect five categories: Federal Maritime Commission Dockets, arranged by docket number, 1962-1965; biographical files called "Politicians" arranged alphabetically includ city, county, and state officials plus General Mills president Harry Bullis, Arthur Clure, and Matt A. Anttila; legal files; subject and correspondence files which include interdepartment correspondence, labor negotiations, employee concerns, and administrator's travel; reports, which include audit and financial reports, 1958-1975, tonnage, traffic, and weekly vessel reports. Box 43-55

News Clippings - 1931-1976. Arranged alphabetically, the topics range from the specific to the very broad and incomplete. Box 56-59

Publications - 1927-1976. Used for reference and organized by subject into the following categories: commodities/food; development proposals; Great Lakes Commission Reports; miscellaneous; pollution; ports; terminal tariffs; traffic reports. Box 59-60


  • Creation: 1927-1978


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

Serving the largest port on the Great Lakes and the 12th largest total tonnage port in the United States, the Seaway Port Authority of Duluth is unique when compared to several governmental units that are called "port authorities" in Minnesota.

The Seaway Port Authority of Duluth operates a public marine terminal, Arthur M. Clure Public Marine Terminal, handles ships and cargo, and has as its primary function to perform the marketing and promotion of Minnesota's only direct import/export outlet to overseas trade. The Port of Duluth competes for ship cargoes with Atlantic, Gulf, and West Coast ports as well as other Great Lakes ports. It also runs the only operational Foreign Trade Zone, #51, in Minnesota. It also operates Harbor Park and Airpark Industrial Park sites in Duluth.

The Seaway Port Authority of Duluth was created in 1955 by the state legislature and is charged with "promoting the general welfare of the port district and the port as a whole; increasing the volume of commerce through the port and region, and to promote the safe and economical handling of such commerce."

Revenues generated by ships and cargoes moving through the public marine terminal are used to cover operational and maintenance expenses, capital improvements, and administrative costs. Revenue is also received from industrial bond issues which the port has provided for maritime industrial development, and income from management of Oneota Industrial Park and Airpark Industrial Park. The state legislature, since 1965, has provided funds for the port's promotional activities as mandated in the original act creating the Authority. The Seaway Port Authority of Duluth is governed by a seven member board of commissioners: two appointed by the governor, two by the St. Louis County Board, and three by the City of Duluth. All appointments are six-year terms.


85.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains annual reports, 1954-1977, minutes, 1930-1977, correspondence, files by office divisions, legal materials, news clippings, publications, and photographs.

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.

Related Materials:

NEMHC Archival Collections S4401 Seaway Port Authority of Duluth illustrated calendars

NEMHC Serials Collection North Star Port

NEMHC Serials Collection Minnesota's World Port

NEMHC Serials Collection Duluth Port


This collection is owned by the Minnesota Historical Society, but is housed at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives.

Guide to the Seaway Port Authority of Duluth records
Finding Aid Authors: Staff, P. Maus.
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