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University of Minnesota

Kathryn A. Martin Library

Researching the History of a House or Building in Duluth

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 or 218-726-8526.

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

Historic House Photographs

Collections included in the House Photograph Index:

Some smaller collections may also contain photographs of houses. Please ask the archivist for more information.

City Directories

Duluth City Directories include alphabetical listings of Duluth residents and businesses by name. Beginning in 1930, directories include a listing by address. Track the residents of a house by starting with more current dates and moving backward. 

The UMD Archives holds City Directories for Duluth and some surrounding towns. Duluth City Directories date from 1882 - 2002, with some volumes missing. City Directories are also available at the Duluth Public Library.

Other resources for City Directories:

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Originally created for fire insurance companies to assess liability, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps show a footprint of buildings to scale. They may also indicate the type of material used to construct a building, and in some cases may include other information.

Subject and Biographical Files

Subject Files include files on some important buildings in Duluth. Biographical Files contain information on notable Duluth residents. These files contain printed material, primarily newspaper clippings. The amount of material and the date range varies considerably by topic. 

Contact Us:


Phone: (218) 726-8526

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