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September 2022 Newsletter

Out with the Old, In the with New!

An epic tale of the Cathedral Archives…
By Marilyn BurnettCathedral Archivist

It all goes back to the winter of 2021. The pandemic necessitated that the Cathedral shut down to visitors and loyal parishioners watched Mass live-streamed over Facebook. Throughout this period, I spent quality time in the Archives working on cataloging and entering data into the museum database, and I almost froze down there!
The old boilers remained unusable, so the now retired Cathedral Maintenance Supervisor Jerry Adam brought me two portable heaters to go with the coat and blanket I used to stay warm. While the archives stayed at a balmy 66 degrees, the foyer area experienced even cooler temperatures. I realized that the extreme temperature changes could be damaging to our artifacts and many photographs. Additional storage areas containing wood and cardboard may also have detrimental effects on items in long-term storage.

Cathedral Archivist Marilyn Burnett and intern Allison Simms rolling up documents to prepare for new storage facilities.

After assessing the situation, I decided to write and submit a grant proposal to the Minnesota Historical Society for new archival storage units to address these issues. We gratefully accepted a one-year grant in July of 2021 for $6779.00 to cover the costs of a new flat file cabinet and vertical art storage unit. I ordered these items and expected to receive them in November 2021. Due to supply chain issues, both items arrived finally at the end of March 2022.
Thanks to archival assistants Jessy Saffell-Busch and Allison Simms, we have relocated all the items into their new archival homes!

Marilyn Burnett sorting the Cathedral’s archival treasures.
Intern Allison stored documents in the new vertical cabinet.
Safely stored in the new metal cabinets are the “blueprints” of Cathedral architect Emmanuel Masqueray’s sketches.
This project was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

We still need your help!

As mentioned previously, we are in the process of creating a multi-language virtual guided tour. We need translators and voice talents with expressive reading voices to help record the narration.
With a recent $5000 grant from the Hubbard Broadcasting Foundation, we have the ability to create quality recordings with your help.

We have enlisted native speakers in the following languages:Hmong, French, Spanish, Chinese, Ukrainian. We are still looking for native speakers for Italian and Japanese translations and voice recordings.
There will be 25 chapters to record – ranging between1-2 minutes in length. Financial compensation will be provided. Reach out to Carolyn Will at [email protected] or 612-414-9661 if you would like to assist with this project.

Pictured: Translators on tour: Chia Lor (Hmong), Frederique Toft (French), and Silvia Alvarez de Davia, Ph.D. (Spanish)