MNopedia is a new born-digital, open-access encyclopedia of Minnesota. It is a project of the Minnesota Historical Society, one of the largest and oldest historical societies in the nation. Funding so far has come from a special statewide fund established in 2008 by the taxpayers of Minnesota, the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF), a portion of which is specifically dedicated to projects that preserve Minnesota’s historical and cultural heritage.
MNopedia is a growing resource. It launched in August 2011 with approximately thirty articles on a variety of topics and now has over one hundred entries. New articles are created and published on an on-going basis. Contributors come from all over the state. They include in-house staff, volunteers, and commissioned subject area experts. Many contributors use MNopedia as a way to bring attention to lesser known, but still important topics in their communities, lifting up and making available previously unpublished resources. Subject ideas come from a variety of sources, including reader and contributor suggestions, but all final content decisions are made by the in-house editing team.
MNopedia’s target audience is the general public. Each article is meant as a quick, factual introduction to a topic, with short overview text passages accompanied by multimedia, a chronology, a bibliography, and additional related resources, so that researchers, including students, have jumping off points for further study. Content is licensed to be easily shared and a citation function is built into the site. MNopedia won a MUSE award in the Education category from the American Alliance of Museums’ Media and Technology Committee at the Annual Meeting in Minneapolis this past spring. Please visit us and let us know what you think! We welcome your feedback.
~ Molly Huber, Editor and Project Manager