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Minnesota State Law Library

Minnesota Legal History

Digitized historical documents from Minnesota's history.

Library History

The Minnesota State Law Library is the oldest continuing library in the state of Minnesota and also one of the state's oldest institutions. The Library and the Territory of Minnesota were created by the same act of Congress on March 3, 1849. Section 17 of the act provided a $5,000 appropriation to establish a library that would be located at the seat of government. The Library was set up in the summer of 1849 in a small candlelit room on the second floor of St. Paul's "Central House," a tavern that also functioned as the home of the new territorial government. Since it's establishment the library has collected many volumes important to the history of Minnesota, which have become brittle and vulnerable to damage.  In some instances, the library has chosen to preserve these titles through digitization.  You can find these documents in the Minnesota Reflections Collection.  

So Minnesota

Library in the News

Article about 1881 fire

Minneapolis Tribune March 2, 1881 Loss of the library collection

Library new books 1884


In our positions as librarians, not lawyers, we can suggest resources but cannot give legal advice (such as which form to file) or legal opinions (such as how a statute might apply to particular facts). To do so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law. Even though we try to suggest materials that will be of help, more research is often required to find a complete and correct answer. For many questions, the best answer may be to consult an attorney.