Minnesota Historical Society

Creating a Connection to Minnesota’s History

Splitrock Lighthouse

A Site Upgrade Offers an Opportunity

The Minnesota Historical Society provides a vital link to our past. TEN7 helped reimagine how their website could serve audiences in the future.

What We Did

The Challenge

In 2020, the Minnesota Historical Society was facing two simultaneous challenges. First, with Drupal 7 set to expire, they had a looming deadline to upgrade to Drupal 9. Second, with the COVID-19 pandemic preventing people from visiting their historic sites, they needed to re-think how they connect with audiences and discover new ways to use their website to bring Minnesota history to life.

They decided to tackle both challenges together, using the Drupal upgrade as an opportunity to think through their audiences, strategy and content to better position their website for current and future needs.

Our Solution

Rather than simply migrating the old site to Drupal 9, we used the upgrade as an opportunity to reimagine the MNHS website. TEN7 has laid out a blueprint to lead clients through this process. Our strategist helps the client organize an internal team looking at technology needs, best practices, audiences, and how to create a sustainable content governance process.

The Minnesota Historical Society has a wide variety of teams under one umbrella, ranging from historic sites to the creation of a sixth-grade high school history curriculum. In order to understand and address all of the audiences that MNHS serves, it was important to get those voices represented on the working team.  TEN7 helped organize a discovery process with internal and external stakeholders, coming up with a roadmap to guide the website upgrade and content strategy.

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Increase the sustainability of the website

TEN7 worked with MNHS to develop a process to manage ongoing needs for upgrading and maintaining their website. This included an analysis of their internal resources and discussions about how to optimize those resources to allow the right level of ownership and oversight. We asked questions about how content is developed and who needs to be involved in the decision making. This included a broader look at the institution objectives and how content strategy can help them achieve their goals.

By re-focusing on the audiences and their specific needs, we helped the internal MNHS team come up with a plan that would help them with the immediate upgrade needs and also the longer term goals of maintaining and improving the site down the road.

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Enhance the accessibility and inclusivity of MNHS content

The pandemic put a spotlight on the need for greater accessibility to MNHS resources for people who are not able to physically visit a historical site. TEN7 helped lead strategic discussion about creating a website that serves as another access point, allowing virtual exploration of Minnesota history from home.  

We worked to develop plans for the website to both enhance the experience of visiting sites, and to allow people to have a robust, inspiring and educational experience when engaging with MNHS online. This included online benefits for membership and a more seamless way to promote engagement with content, membership and donations to support the MNHS mission.

Love from the client

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Hear from Jennifer

We are a very mission focused organization. Our mission is to transform people's lives, using history.  So to have us come together, to be able to create something digitally that really serves our customers is really the best of all worlds. Yeah, we've been feeling like it's been a good fit for both of us. 

Smiling Jennifer Sly Headshot
Jennifer Sly
Manager at MNHS