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Hennepin County Library’s James K. Hosmer Special Collections may be a hidden gem to many library patrons, but its wealth of information has been discovered by many authors and other serious researchers at Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. You can learn all about the Library’s Special Collections when tpt premieres a new documentary, “Treasures Collected, Treasures Shared” at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16 on tpt MN. The 27-minute documentary will be rebroadcast on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on tpt MN, and at noon on tpt LIFE. 
The documentary is a collaboration between Hennepin County Library and tpt and was funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Interviews with staff and five local researchers offer a glimpse of the tens of thousands of resources available in the Library’s Special Collections, which is located on the fourth floor of Minneapolis Central Library. They include books, photographs, videos, DVDs, sound recordings, oral histories, news clippings, annual reports, yearbooks, pamphlets, government documents, programs, catalogs, postcards, flyers, advertisements, maps, posters, and drawings.
Because of the huge scope of the collection, librarian Ted Hathaway, Special Collections manager, said it’s difficult to describe it in just a few words. “We have so many different kinds of resources here that people use for many different reasons,” he said. Librarians are available to help patrons find what they need.
Penny Petersen, historian and researcher at Hess Roise Historical Consultants; Dan Chouinard, musician and storyteller, Minnesota Public Radio; Joyce Wisdom, executive director of the Lake Street Council; Linda James, librarian, researcher, and producer of tpt’s “Lost Twin Cities” series; and Chris and Rushika Hage, authors of “Nicollet Island: History and Architecture,” discuss how using the Library’s Special Collections has enhanced their knowledge and understanding of history to share with others — in books, on the radio and on television, and when creating historic walking tours.
“My first trip to Special Collections was two years ago as I was writing a show for the Minnesota Historical Society about the construction of I-94 between the downtowns and the impact it had on neighborhoods and land along the route,” Chouinard said. “I was guided to boxes of newspaper articles from the 1950s and 1960s and cartoon brochures selling the freeway idea to Twin Cities residents — ‘The Automobile Is Here to Stay. What’s the Answer? FREEWAYS!’ It was a fascinating look at what regular folk were reading in the daily papers and getting in their mailboxes, and much of what I found wound up in my script and on the screen.”
“I’ve made use of Special Collections for three writing projects now, with at least another two on deck,” he continued. “I know I’ve barely scratched the surface and I’m looking forward to making use of the tremendous staff expertise and the vast content, especially the World War II collections which I’ll be using in a show for MPR in January.”
Hathaway invites the public to visit the Library’s Special Collections to pursue their interests, whether researching World War II, writing Wikipedia articles, or undertaking any of the many other types of research that patrons do.
DVD copies of the documentary will be added to Hennepin County Library’s collection and will be available for checkout at Minneapolis Central Library and other libraries after the documentary airs on tpt.
Additional short videos produced by tpt about the Library’s Special Collections, including the Kittleson World War II Collection and house history resources, will be posted on Hennepin County Library’s YouTube and Vimeo channels.
For more information about the Library’s Special Collections, contact librarian Ted Hathaway at 612-543-8200 or go to http://www.hclib.org/specialcollections.

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