Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version.
Minnesota Historical Society Oral History Project: Interview with Janis Obst
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Janis Obst began working at the Minnesota Historical Society in 1958 as an assistant to the head of the museum department. She became head of the historic houses department in 1969 and continued in that position until her retirement in 1980. In 1977 she was granted a year's sabbatical leave to research and work on her writings about the life and activities of Abigail Adams and the Adams children at Fort Snelling, and on "Minnesota interiors of the nineteenth century." Since retirement, Obst has done volunteer work at Murphy's Landing near Shakopee, Minnesota, and has been active in the American Association for State and Local History. She also has started a local chapter of the Victorian Society and done consulting for other historical societies and organizations. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Obst describes conditions at the Minnesota Historical Society in 1958, her duties as an assistant to the head of the museum department, storage problems, loan policies, and the relationship of the museum to other departments. She also discusses the growth of the Historic Sites program in the 1960s, reorganization of the archaeology department, her duties as head of historic houses, including restoring the Comstock, Ramsey and Griggs houses and opening them to the public, and her research on the furnishings of the commandant's house at Fort Snelling. Obst also talks about her work with county historical societies, her associations with MHS staff including Donn Coddington, Russell Fridley, June Holmquist, Alan Woolworth and others, discrimination against women as professionals, chauvinism, political patronage, and volunteerism.
1.5 hours sound cassette
42 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
01:33:13 running time
Interviewee: Obst, Janis
Interviewer: Gilman, Rhoda R.
Made in: Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 82.9 (Library Call Number)
AV1990.139 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota Historical Society Oral History Project'