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Quick Summary

The Minnesota Digital Library website recently implemented several new enhancements designed to improve user experience, navigation, and engagement with the digital collections at

Minnesota Digital Library home page screen shot

The mission of the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) is to provide access to unique digital collections shared by contributing organizations across the state. MDL staff are committed to regularly improving the experience of visitors to our website at Over the past few months, we have implemented several new enhancements to support this goal.

These enhancements include:

  • Updated home page elements
  • The ability to create and manage lists
  • Full-text searching
  • Sorting primary source sets by category

Home Page

The MDL home page now has direct links to each type of digital storytelling project we have been developing over the last few years, including our online exhibits, maps, timelines, and primary source sets. We also have a new row featuring more ways to connect, with information on searching and browsing MDL, joining MDL as a contributing organization, and teaching with MDL sources in the classroom.

Create Lists

Users can now create lists to save items they discover while searching MDL’s digital collections. Simply use the “My Lists” button at the top of each page to create a list and manage the lists you have created. Please note: we will publish a more in-depth how-to guide on using this list function on our website and in the Minitex Messenger soon.

Full-Text Searching

We have also expanded the ways users can find resources in MDL. While viewing a multi-page document, users can search by keyword within that item and find out which pages display a match for their keyword. Users can also search the full text of the entire MDL collection from the home page. For example, if you start your search at with a person's name or a topic like "iron ore," it will now return multi-page items in your results set. This may be especially useful if you are researching a topic that can only be found in the text of many different newsletters, letters, or documents.

For more information on full-text searching, visit the Search Tips page.

Primary Source Sets

MDL’s primary source sets provide engaging introductions to topics in Minnesota history and culture. To make it easier for educators and students to discover a set that is relevant to their interests or curriculum needs, we have categorized each set into topic groupings. You can filter the sets by category, such as Agriculture, Transportation, or Arts and Literature. You can also sort them by date added to see what’s been added most recently.

If you have any comments or suggestions on our website enhancements, please contact us.

Written by

Stephanie Hess
Digital Curator, Minnesota Digital Library
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Historical content from Minnesota's cultural heritage organizations, all in one place