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James Taylor Dunn Family Papers

Under the supervision of Sherelyn Ogden, Head of Conservation, a project to survey and preserve the James Taylor Dunn Family papers was undertaken. Mr. Dunn was a long-time employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, and he and his family were prominent residents of Marine-On-Croix, Minnesota. Upon the death of Mr. Dunn, an endowment fund was established by the Dunn family to promote and preserve the history of the St. Croix River valley.

With a grant from this fund, Dee Olson was hired in April, 2006 to survey the collection to determine preservation needs. Dee examined approximately 150 volumes, 2000 documents, and 135 sketches/illustrations, all of which were housed in 35 boxes. A special emphasis of this survey was to identify volumes that needed additional protection by the construction of custom housings. Dee spent approximately 40 hours examining each item in the collection and compiling a list that stated which items had preservation needs, what the needs were, and in which box the items were located.

Once the survey was completed, volunteer help was utilized to meet the identified needs. In July, volunteer Lauren Calcote was trained by Bryan Johnson, book conservation assistant, in the construction of the two types of custom housings specified. Upon the completion of her volunteer commitment, Gary Buchner was brought in to continue the project. Between the two of them, they contributed 82 volunteer hours and constructed 58 phase boxes and 74 wrappers. Gary also changed 150 folders from letter to legal size to make folders in the collection uniform throughout, thus enhancing the preservation of the documents housed within them. Tim Herstein, paper conservation assistant, provided custom housings for the art work in the collection. He constructed 3 sink mats, 21 "L" sleeves, and 55 paper folders. He contributed 14 hours to the project.

The Society's collection of Dunn family papers has now been stabilized and returned to climate-controlled storage in the History Center where it is preserved for Minnesota's citizens and other researchers, present and future. The Society is grateful to the Dunn family and to the volunteers who made the preservation of this important collection possible.