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History professors receive grant to preserve Minot's common heritage

The National Endowment of the Humanities recently awarded Professors Bethany Andreasen and Dan Ringrose of the Minot State University History Department a grant to preserve Minot’s common heritage. History students and faculty will host digitization days at the Minot Public Library and area assisted living centers, where members of the public will be invited to share photographs, artifacts, family letters and artworks related to family and community history.

Items will be digitized, along with descriptive information and context provided by the community attendees. Contributors will receive a free digital copy of their items as well as advice on preservation and tips for handling flood-damaged materials.

With the owner’s permission, the digitized materials will be made publicly available through the Digital Minot Project ( Sessions will be followed by electronic exhibits at the Digital Minot Project, as well as by a public presentation on community history in the fall.

Andreasen and Ringrose’s grant proposal identified the motivation for the project as the desire to document the community’s identity at a time when Minot is rapidly transforming after a disastrous flood and by significant population and industrial growth related to the explosion of oil activity in the region.

Andreasen has worked in local history projects for several years, supervising history students in internships as part of the Digital Minot Project.

“I appreciate the opportunity to guide history majors in interacting with the public at these digitization days, and in the research that follows, as it provides them with practical, hands-on experience in the field of history,” Andreasen said.

Ringrose’s work in digital history includes supporting the technology behind Digital Minot, the Veterans History Project and an online archival project digitizing letters from 19th century France.

“This grant supports an exciting partnership with Janet Anderson, Minot Public Library director, to preserve memories and documents from individuals across our community,” Ringrose said.

This grant is among the first of 38 national awards made under NEH’s Common Heritage grant program. Created in April 2015, this program is part of “The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square,” an agency-wide initiative that seeks to enhance the role of the humanities in civic life (

The digitization day at the Minot Public Library will take place in early March. For more information about the project, visit the project webpage at or contact Andreasen at or Ringrose at

Minot's Main Street is pictured in its early days.



Published: 01/21/16

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