Research Center

“Always something to learn each trip I make. The genealogical research library is among the top I have visited in the state. Organized and helpful, knowledgeable staff. “

Visiting Genealogist

Research Center
Just part of the Research Center

Our Research Center located in the Log Museum in Prairie Village has a wide variety of research materials, most of which focus on helping families find their roots. We have¬† Norman County newspapers from the Ada Index and Twin Valley Times, as well as some of the earlier newspapers no longer in existence. Our collection also has a wide variety of church histories, plat maps, obituary records, township records, yearbooks, family histories, photographs and so much more. A job that will never be completed is our Master Index of information on individuals that at one time lived in Norman County. Currently, this Index includes over 100,000 separate pieces of information indexed by the individual’s name and where that information is located in the Research Center. This Index can be such a time saver when looking for particular family members.

If you want to start your own research project but are not sure where to begin, you can always stop by. We have a wonderful Executive  Director/curator (Solveig Kitchell), and knowledgeable volunteers who have been conducting research for years and would love to give you some pointers. The Research Center is open during regular museum hours or by appointment. The coffee is always on and volunteers are available to direct you to what you need.

“Recently visited this museum and the Genealogy section specifically. I was able to find family photos, obituaries and if my relatives had marriage records at the courthouse — I found all at their Ada location. The people who helped me were wonderful and so knowledgeable. Would highly recommend – next trip to Minnesota I will go back for more information and records.”

Visiting Genealogist
MN Genweb
Member of the MNGen Web Project

If you can’t come into the Research Center, our online genealogy has an amazing wealth of searchable records. These include the Aalgaard Photo Index from 1923-1951, marriage and death records indexes along with a wide variety of other information. This is a great place to start your search if you are from a distance.

Obituary Collection
Obituary Books

Our faithful volunteers have compiled a vast collection of newspaper obituaries of people who lived in Norman county from the early 1890s to the present day. The Obituary Index can be found on online genealogy Individual obituaries can be obtained by request.

Aalgaard Photo Collection

In 2015 NCHS was awarded a Legacy Grant from the Minnesota Historical Society to digitize the over 10,000 negatives of Norman County families photographed by Arnie Aalgaard taken from 1923 to 1973. We have finally completed the scanning and indexing of the entire collection and the Index is located in the Research Center. The Index online is for the years 1923 to 1951. Check out the index to see if any of your family is in this treasure chest of photos. Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of a photo may order copies from NCHS.

Sorting negatives
Selecting negatives to scan
Aalgaard negatives
Just some of the negatives already scanned
Norman County Cemetery Books

In addition to cemetery resources published over the years by various groups, our members have compiled amazing cemetery books on many of the cemeteries in Norman County. These books contain church history, headstone photos, location in the cemetery, and biographies on many of the people buried in the cemetery. These books are housed in the Research Center in the Log Museum in Prairie Village in Ada and the Red River Museum located in Shelly.

Cemetery Books
Sample Cemetery Book page