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University of Minnesota

Kathryn A. Martin Library

Historic Glensheen Estate and the Congdon Family

Using the Archives during COVID-19

The UMD Archives is currently closed, but we can answer questions by email and phone, and provide a limited number of scans of requested research materials. Please let us know if you are a current UMD student, staff, or faculty member who needs archival materials for a class or work related project as we will prioritize those requests. 

During June 2021, the UMD Archives will be unable to respond to most research requests because the staff will be focusing on a collections maintenance project. We are sorry for the inconvenience to researchers and look forward to working with you again soon. 

Questions? Contact us at libarchives@d.umn.edu or 218-726-8526.

Please contribute to the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archive Project.

Digital Resources

A portion of the Glensheen and Congdon records have been digitized and are freely available online. These include Congdon family photographs; Congdon family diaries and letters; and newsletters, photographs, and other documents from the Glensheen historic house museum.

Resources Available at the Archives

A portion of the Congdon Family Papers is open to the public, but is not available online. These materials may be viewed at the UMD Archives by appointment. See the link above for a complete list of available materials. Please contact us at libarchives@d.umn.edu or 218-726-8526 to make an appointment. Available records include:

  • Photographs: Photographs of the Congdon family, the Glensheen estate, and various employees and friends of the Congdons. Materials date from 1843 - 1983.
  • House, Grounds, and Staff: Materials related to the Glensheen house, outbuildings, and grounds, their care and maintenance, and the people employed at the estate. Topics include construction, household contents, and gardens. Congdon Trust files are also included in this series. Materials date from 1899 - 1985.
  • Business, Financial, and Political records: Materials related to the Congdon’s finances, business interests, and Chester A. Congdon’s political career. Materials date from 1882 - 1993.
  • Pacific Panorama: Materials from Chester A. Congdon’s 1914 trip around the Pacific Ocean, including stops in Tahiti, Rarotonga, New Zealand, Australia, Canton, Java, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. The majority of this series is a collection of hand-colored glass lantern slides. The slides were numbered and titled with hand-written labels. The titles of the slides were written at the time of the trip in 1914, and reflect the attitudes of Congdon and his fellow travelers at that time. Numbers and titles of slides were also recorded on typed lists included in folder 25. The original numbering system and titles were used in an item-level inventory of the slides. Also included are postcards, correspondence, and Chester A. Congdon’s diary of the trip, which was printed and distributed to family members by Robert Congdon in 1938. The diary in this collection is Clara B. Congdon’s copy. Materials are dated February - June, 1914.
  • Correspondence: Contains correspondence to and from members of the Congdon family and the Wyness family. Correspondence in this series is of a personal nature. Correspondence related to the construction and maintenance of Glensheen can be found in “Series 2: House, Grounds, and Staff,” and business and political correspondence can be found in “Series 3: Business, Financial, and Political Records.” Materials in this series date from 1856 - 1982.
  • Diaries: Contains diaries written by members of the Congdon and Torrey families. Travel diaries, daily planners, and gift diaries are included. The majority of the diaries were written by Clara Bannister Congdon. Materials in this series date from 1861 - 1948.
  • Publications and Ephemera: Contains publications and ephemera collected and used by the Congdons and their household. These include catalogs, maps, travel ephemera, magazines and journals, City of Duluth charters and ordinances, and other materials. Included in this series are copies of Patriotism by Chester Adgate Congdon. Also included are ephemera from You’ll Like My Mother, the 1972 horror movie filmed at Glensheen. Materials in this series date from 1870 - 1987.

Contact Us:

Email: libarchives@d.umn.edu

Phone: (218) 726-8526

Location: Kathryn A. Martin Library
Library Annex 202 (see map)