The Minnesota

​Territorial Pioneers

Established May 11, 1897 - Incorporated 1924

1991 Minnesotan of the Year

Minnesotan of the Year

Previous Award Recipients

Nina Archibal


Nina Archibal. Director of the Minnesota Historical Society, was chosen as the 1991 recipient of the prestigious Minnesotan of the Year Award. 


She graduated cum laude in 1962 from Radcliffe College with a B.S. degree in music.  She received an M. S. Degree from Harvard University in 1963 and a Ph.D. in music history from the University of Minnesota in 1979.  Nina Arichibal was on the staff of the University of Minnesota as Assistant Director for the Humanities in the Minnesota Art Gallery from 1975 to 1977.  In 1977 she joined the staff of the Minnesota Historical Society where she was appointed its first woman director in 1987.


Dr. Archibal is active in many professional organizations.  She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center and member of the long range planning committee of the American Association for State and Local History. She has served as a reviewer for the Institute of Museum Services and on the review panel for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Among her other activities she has been a surveyor for the Museum Assessment Program of the American Association of Museums, senior examiner for its accreditation Visiting Committee, serves on the Northwest Area Foundation Board of Directors.  Locally, she serve on the Friends of the St Paul Public Library and she is a member of the Perrie Jones Library Fund Advisory Committees. 


Nina Archibal has led the Minnesota Historical Society in planning and fund raising for the Minnesota Historical Center.  For these activities and her contributions to the history of music, the Awards Committee of the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers chose Nina Arichibal as the 1991 Minnesotan of the Year.


Richard Husband, representing the Award Committee, presented the Award.  The other members of the committee are Kathleen and Laurene Tibbetts, Robert L. Gagne, Sr., and Frank Kelly, chair.


In 1997, Dr. Archibal was honored with a National Humanities Medal.  President Clinton introduced her to those attending the Rose Garden ceremony at the White House in Washington DC as follows:  "To those who know and work with her, she is a fireball who lets no one stand in the way of her mission to preserve Minnesota's history. To the state of Minnesota, she is a bridge builder between native peoples and other Minnesotans, helping them share their stories. To America, she exemplifies how tradition informs everyday life and shapes history."