While we are doing our best to add things online, there are still many materials in our archives that are still only available in the archives reading room. These things include:
Platbooks showing property ownership in Clay County for the following years: 1898, 1901, 1909, 1916, 1920, 1925, 1933, 1939, 1946, 1951, 1957, 1961, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1973, 1976-1978, 1980, 1982-1985, 1990-1991, 1993-1997 and 2000. Many of these also include listings of all rural residents whether land owners or not. We have online the 1933 rural resident list, the 1933 Clay County village residents list and property ownership plat maps from the 1909 Standard Atlas of Clay County, the 1920 Ownership Map and Guide of Clay County, Minnesota, the 1899 Complete Atlas of Clay County, Minnesota and the 1916 Clay County Plat Book.
We have tens of thousands of photos in our collections. Most are indexed by names of the individuals, events or places depicted. Copies of nearly all can be provided. Contact the Archives for details. Our best collection is the Flaten/Wange Glass Plate Negative Collection, some 12,500 negatives taken by two Clay County photographers. O.E. Flaten worked in Moorhead between 1879 and 1929. We have about 800 images he took of street scenes, businesses and events in Moorhead. S.P. Wange worked in Hawley from 1893 to about 1939. About 1,500 of his images are scenes in and around Hawley. Most of the remaining 10,000 plus pictures are studio portraits of local residents. Most are identified and can be a gold mine for genealogists with relatives from the eastern Clay County.
The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online. Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Hanley Ranch will return records associated with Hanley OR Ranch). If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type in AND between the two words. To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Rocky Pine Ranch"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive.
The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching White in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the White family, without having to sift through black & white photographs. You can also search People and Creator records through Advanced Search. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.
The catalog buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalog. If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within that catalog without performing a search. Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing catalog searches.