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Special Resources – Things you won’t find just anywhere!

Did you know that the Anoka County Historical Society has more than 13,000 photographs of Anoka County places and people?

The library and archives has thousands of letters, diaries, personal papers, photographs, newspapers, obituaries, and much, much more! In addition to our books, documents, and photographs, we have almost 19,000 objects in our collections as well. These resources will help you research the people and places of Anoka County. Our collections are used by students of all ages, by local citizens interested in the stories of the places where they live and work, and by genealogists researching family history, among many others.

Our library specializes in Anoka County resources.  Staff is available to assist patrons.


Vital Statistics Indexing

  • Birth, death, marriage and church records indexed by last name
  • Obituaries copied from local papers since 1974 (with some earlier years)
  • Index of birth, deaths and marriages in the Anoka Union to 1910
  • Thurston Mortuary Records


  • Road surveys from pre-statehood
  • Plat maps showing land ownership
  • City and county maps from 1850’s to current


  • Anoka Area newspapers as early as 1863
  • Naturalization papers for Anoka County
  • Census material on Anoka County from 1857 to 1920
  • Selected church and civil records


Newspaper collections from various publications in Anoka County, including:

  • Bethel Banner/Booster
  • Blaine Banner
  • Circulating Pines
  • Columbia Heights Record (selected issues only)
  • Minneapolis and St. Paul papers of significant events and dates
  • Stars and Stripes (various years and military conflicts)

Unpublished Books and Articles

  • Anoka County Civil War soldiers
  • History of Fridley
  • Annotated history of Circle Pines and Lexington
  • St. Genevieve’s Church early church records
  • Cemetery index books and maps
  • History of the Rum River

Archival Collections (Manuscript Files)

The archival collections contain a large variety of materials, including diaries, family photographs and scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, hand written notes, letters, play programs, personal journals, advertising, compiled histories, and more!

If you are coming into ACHS to do research, these files can be searched or browsed through our PastPerfect database.

Please click here for more details on our archival collections!

Photograph Collection

These are arranged by topic and community. The photograph collection is currently at more than 13,000 cataloged photos from the earliest days of Anoka County to today. Topics include:

  • Street scenes
  • Farming
  • Homes and residences
  • Businesses and firms
  • Transportation
  • Portraits
  • Clubs and organizations
  • Military
  • Schools
  • Fairs and parades
  • Recreational areas
  • Industries
  • Rivers
  • Logging, and more.

Check out the online photo gallery for some examples from our collection.

Oral History Collection

We have more than 250 oral interviews on a variety of topics. Interview topics include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and memories of Anoka County people, places and events from long-time county residents.

All oral interview audio files and typed transcripts can be reviewed in the ACHS Reading Room.

Please click here for further access to our Oral History Collection.

Research Requests

Can’t make it to the Anoka County History Center and Library? The Anoka County Historical Society can conduct research for you. See the Research Request page for more information.

ACHS has many contacts throughout the community, leading to resources that can’t be cataloged or indexed. Ask our staff for help with the really puzzling Anoka County questions!

Library Materials

We carry two types of library materials at ACHS:

1) Patrons may request ACHS as a hold location for library materials, and check out those materials here. We also serve as a drop-off site for all Anoka County Library materials.

We cannot provide or renew library cards, or accept payment for overdue fines here; please visit any main Anoka County Library branch for those services.

2) We have a collection of books here in the ACHS Reading Room that serve as a research library. **Please note that none of these items may be checked out from the History Center Library. They may be used within the building.**

Please use the Anoka County Library catalog to see if we have a particular item.

If you would like to browse all of the library materials available in the History Center, go to the Anoka County Library catalog, choose the “Advanced Search” option (located at the far right of the search bar), and then select “The Anoka County History Center and Library” from the “Library” drop-down menu. Do not fill in any other search fields, and click the blue “Advanced Search” button at the bottom right of the screen. This will bring up a list of all library items located at ACHS.

**Once again, please note that library materials located at the History Center MAY NOT be checked out. Only items requested from other library branches and kept on hold at ACHS may be checked out here.**