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Historic student magazines digitized by University Archives

The Student, The Mankatonian

Two historic 19th-century student magazines have been digitized.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release [6-3-11]

Two historic student magazines published from 1888-1913 by Mankato State Normal School have been digitized, thanks to a Minnesota Historical Society Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant to Minnesota State University, Mankato’s University Archives.

University Archives used a Digital Conversion and Access Grant to digitize the monthly magazines, The Student (1888-1891) and The Mankatonian (1891-1913). Digitization makes the volumes available to researchers, genealogists, students and all Minnesotans through the university’s digital collections site,

The magazines soon will be available on the Minnesota Reflections site as part of the Minnesota Digital Library at

The Mankatonian and The Student were monthly magazines published by Mankato State Normal School students during the school year and a few summer sessions. The Student was published from 1888-1891, when the name was changed to The Mankatonian, published from 1891-1913.

Both publications included summaries of school activities, poetry and articles, social events and other topics of interest, as well as advertisements from area businesses.

The content provides a students-eye view of the history of the university, the Mankato area and Minnesota higher education at the turn of the 20th century. The text is fully searchable – made possible by optical character recognition software. Before they were digitized, there was no index or way to search the magazines for a topic or an individual.

“This is an amazing resource for researchers, genealogists and those interested in life in Mankato at the turn of the 20th century,” said Daardi Sizemore, archives and special collections librarian at Minnesota State Mankato.

“I think folks will enjoy searching and browsing through the magazines looking for names of Normal School faculty and students and area businesses. It’s also interesting to see what the students were saying about social issues of the time, such as prohibition and suffrage.”

“It is wonderful to see so many communities and local organizations benefiting from the Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants,” added Britta Bloomberg, deputy state historic preservation officer. “Minnesotans should be proud of the unprecedented opportunities these grants provide for organizations to preserve and share our history and cultural heritage.”

Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants are made possible by the Minnesota Legislature, from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, created with passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution.

More information about the project is at

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. Its essence is to help illuminate the past as a way to shed light on the future. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.

Minnesota State Mankato was founded in 1868 as Mankato Normal School, serving 27 students. Today it is a comprehensive university with 15,393 students, part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system.

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