A Nod to Red Wing Pottery

A Nod to Red Wing Pottery

MLIS students volunteer to preserve the iconic Minnesota brand
By Pauline Oo

WHEN the Pottery Museum of Red Wing decided to bulk up its research library, it turned to St. Kate’s. Molly Hazelton, adjunct professor of library and information science who teaches courses in digital archiving, answered the call.

Hazelton thought the opportunity to catalogue a pottery industry’s early years was perfect for the students she advises in the University’s Society of American Archivists (SAA) chapter.

Seven members — all enrolled in St. Kate’s Master of Library and Information Science program — signed on: Katie Dierkes, Andrea Hoff, Luke Johnson, Joyce Lopez, Kate McManus, Anne Thayer and Stewart Van Cleve. Long a collector’s item, Red Wing Stoneware and Red Wing Pottery date back to 1861 when a local potter began making bowls, jars and jugs from clay found in the area. Following an orientation in Red Wing, the students got to work.

“We established both an intellectual and physical arrangement so the collection — eight crates of papers, ledgers and other historical documents — would be accessible to researchers,” says Hoff, SAA chapter president. “We also created a finding aid so users can read about the resources and easily locate what they need.”

The group met three times on campus over the course of three weeks in January, but the bulk of the work was completed in a few hours over two afternoons. “This was our chapter’s first community project and we were thrilled to help,” she says. “We all worked so well together that it didn’t even feel like work.”

Photo courtesy of the Pottery Museum of Red Wing.

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Pauline Oo MAOL Cert ’14, MBA '16

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