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George H. Hess, Jr. Collection

Identifier: CLRC-1242

Scope and Contents

The George H. Hess collection contains photographs, identification and membership cards, clippings, and certificates related to the life of George H. Hess, Jr., including multiple items related to his work for the Great Northern Railway Company. The collection also contains a small amount of memoribilia related to Hess's collection of dime novels, including a Street and Smith mail-order catalog, as well as several historical letters and collectible ephemera from the 19th and early 20th century. The latter material includes a 3 dollar bill from the Salem Banking company, dated 1822; the signature of Sir Douglas Haig; a brief letter by Charles Sumner from 1846; a rent recept from the Covent Garden theatre dated 1822; a facsimile letter by Robert E. Lee; and a poster regarding a stolen horse and wagon, from 1836.


  • 1822 - 1946


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

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

George H. Hess, Jr. was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1873, before moving to Omaha, Nebraska, in 1880. He graduated from Omaha High School in 1891, after which he became an accountant, primarily in the railroad business. In 1916 he moved to St. Paul, where he worked for the Great Northern Railway Company as an assistant comptroller and then comptroller, before his retirement in 1946. He began collecting dime novels in the late 1920s, amassing a collection of nearly 80,000 items, which he willed to the University of Minnesota upon his death in 1954.

Biograpical source:

"The Hess Collection." University of Minnesota Libraries. 1974.


.44 Cubic Feet (1 flat box)

Language of Materials



Collection includes photographs and various material collected by George H. Hess.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of George H. Hess, Jr.

George H. Hess, Jr. Collection, 1822-1946
Elizabeth Langley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • May 2023: Collection reprocessed and collection guide updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library