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Helpful information on using the Online Catalog

Our online collections catalog works like a library catalog. We have put online a listing of the contents of specific collections. The collections currently online include a complete listing of our Vertical Files (definition below), Obituaries, Oral Histories, Articles and a limited number of photographs, videos and audio. We still have the following collections to put online: artifacts, art, library (published books and media) and maps as well as adding the thousands of photographs still to be scanned and uploaded. Photographs are our current focus and will be added incrementally.

This online collections catalog is a listing of the items at the museum, to gain full access to these items contact the Museum at 218-387-2883 or It is very important that you reference the "Catalog Number" from the online record so that we can help you locate the item in our archival storage facility.

Information on our online collections catalog is for your research and enjoyment. Any reproduction, distribution or use of the materials from the Online Collections Catalog requires written permission from the Historical Society.

"Catalog Number" starts with:
OB = obituaries
OH = oral histories
PH = photographs
VF = vertical files (see definition below)
2011(or another date) = all other items including videos
Obituary "catalog numbers" (for example OB1947) correspond with the year of death. Within the catalog record “Date” indicates the birth-death dates of the individual. “People” will contain the individual whose obituary you are seeing, but often also a spouse (“sp.”) and parents (often listed together). A few obituaries contain the entire text from the newspaper, but most must be requested from the museum at this time.

Oral histories are often audio recordings done on cassettes as well as transcriptions of those recordings. Most oral history records contain a brief introduction or summary of the content of the recording. Very few (at this time) also include a short clip of interest. “Search Terms” also help to indicate the content of the oral history.

Photographs will contain scanned images when available. It is important to remember that these images are for reference only. The Cook County Historical Society requires written permission for all use of items from our collection.

Vertical Files are file folders that often contain multiple items related to the “Subject” and “Title”. Newspaper clippings are one of the most common items within these files, but there are also many other documents in the vertical file collections. “Search Terms” and “People” will relate to contents of the Vertical File.

For more information please, please call (218) 387-2883 or email us History@Boreal.Org

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The permission to use an image from the collections of the Cook County Historical Society is granted as long as the following conditions are met.
  • Possession does not constitute permission - Cook County Historical Society image/media use requires a signed permission agreement.
  • Permission is for one-time, one-project use only. The Society retains all rights to the images, and they may not be used for any other purpose than that listed on the One-Time Use Permission Form.
  • Commercial users must pay for the use fee in advance of receiving a permission form signed by the Cook County Historical Society.
  • Credit must be given to the Cook County Historical Society and the creator of the work, if known.
  • Credit must appear with the image or on a credit page that indicates the page number and position on the page.
  • Seek the creator of the work - If the image is still under copyright and the copyright is not held by the Society, the requestor must seek permission from the creator of the work or from the current copyright holder. 
  • Copyright rules apply - The Cook County Historical Society assumes no responsibility for infraction of copyright laws, invasion of privacy, or any other improper or illegal use that may arise from reproduction of any image. In all instances the applicant agrees to hold the Society and its agents harmless against any and all claims arising or resulting from the use of this image and shall indemnify the Society and its agents for any and all costs and damages arising or resulting from any such unauthorized use.
  • Seek permission if doing major editing. Photos and media may be minimally edited to suit layout or design, but extensive editing must be reviewed and permission granted  by the Cook County Historical Society
  • Permission may be declined - The Society reserves the right to decline permission to publishers and individuals for any reason
  • Copies may be requested - In some cases, the Society will request a copy of the publication be donated to the Society.
*** Download the Terms of Use ***

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If you have any questions regarding the Collections Catalog, please contact the Cook County Historical Museum.
  • Mail:  PO BOX 1293, Grand Marais, MN 55604

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