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Minnesota Genealogical Society

1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
(651) 330-9312 •

Plan your Visit

Knowing what you wish to research when you arrive at the Hoffman Research Library (HRL) will make your time here more productive.  Our online catalog can be searched remotely, so you can make a list of items you'd like to see before you come. Here are some other guidelines for how to make the most of your time at the Minnesota Genealogy Center (MGC).

                    BEFORE YOU ARRIVE

  • The MGC facility is on a single level, so the library, meeting rooms, and offices are all accessible. Free and accessible parking is generally available right outside the front door.
  • Restrooms are available within the MGC, with larger, accessible facilities available just outside the  main meeting room (the Mississippi Room).
  • Pandemic protocols will be in place based on recommendations and requirements from the State of Minnesota and Department of Health. Current practice  will be announced on this website's home page. and the Library home page. Hand sanitizer and wipes are available for patron use in the library and public areas. 
  • Download and/or print a map of the MGC and a list of abbreviations used in our call numbers to familiarize yourself with the layout of the facilities.
  • The HRL collection is non-circulating.
  • Library admission is free to Minnesota Genealogical Society (MGS),  branch, or partner members. Non-members are expected to pay a $10 per visit usage fee.
  • If you would like research assistance from specialists for a particular country or ethnic group, MGS branches and partner groups schedule monthly sessions in the HRL. Consider planning your visit to connect with these experts.
  • Visitors are required to sign the check-in book at the welcome desk. Please indicate your membership affiliation and purpose at the library, 
  • Store briefcases, purses, and bags in free lockers provided in the lobby area.
  • You may bring laptops, tablets, and necessary research papers into the Library.
  • Please use pencils for your notes, to avoid accidental ink damage to the collection.
  • The research area has numerous desktop computers for public use, free wireless Internet access, microfiche and microfilm readers, and a printer/scanner. Consider bringing a thumb drive for downloading items of interest to take home.
  • A variety of genealogy-specific software is installed on the library’s computers.
  • A printer/scanner is provided for visitors. There is a minimal charge of 20 cents per page for paper copies. Unless materials are designated as Fragile, you may also use personal wand scanners, USB drives, and smart phones to capture images at no cost to you.
  • Please place books and materials you’ve used on the "Reshelf Cart" near the reference desk rather than reshelving them yourself. 
  • You are welcome to enjoy your food and beverages in the kitchen area or outside of the library area.


  • Please sign out at the welcome desk as you leave the MGC.
  • Thank you for visiting!

Library volunteers and staff are engaged in a massive project to migrate the HRL collection from a home-grown classification scheme to the Dewey Decimal System.  Both organizational methods currently co-exist on our shelves and in our catalog, so do not hesitate to ask if you are unable to find an item. Our map and list of abbreviations may also help you navigate. The end result of the project will be a consistent, understandable way of bringing materials together, with more searchable subject headings, contents notes for many titles, fresh labels, and barcodes for collection management. This project is assisted by a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

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