ORGANIZATION: Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center
Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center
639 38th Street
Rock Island, IL 61201-2296
Denkmann Memorial Hall, Augustana College
3520 7th Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201
9:00am-12:00pm & 1:00pm-4:30pm Monday-Friday
TYPE OF ORGANIZATION: Archive, Library
RESTRICTIONS ON USE/ACCESS: Some individual collections may have restrictions.
Finding Aids: http://www.augustana.edu/general-information/swenson-center/collections/archives
Library Catalog: http://www.augustana.edu/general-information/swenson-center/collections/library
PastPerfect Online Database (photographs, finding aids): http://augustana.pastperfectonline.com
Digital Project--American Union of Swedish Singers: http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/aug_singers
Digital Project--Swedish American Genealogist: http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/aug_sag
Digital Project--Carl Lorimer and Mabel Anderson Letters: http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/aug_carl
Digital Project--Swan Johnson and Josephine Peterson Letters: http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/aug_jjsp
DID YOU KNOW?
While it's true that many of our materials are in Swedish, about 41% of our materials are in English. You can use many of our resources even if you don't read Swedish!
Moline attracted large waves of immigrants from Sweden beginning around the 1850s. Four mayors of Moline were Swedish-born, with three others having Swedish heritage.
The Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, on the campus of Augustana College, is a national archives and research institute providing resources for the study of Swedish immigration to North America, the communities the immigrants established, and the role the immigrants and their descendants have played in American life. This is achieved by promoting and initiating academic research in the field and by collecting and cataloging Swedish-American archival and library materials. Another major role for the Center is to assist people researching their Swedish-American family history.
The Swenson Center houses a large collection of Swedish-American newspapers. The Swedish-American press was the second largest foreign language press in the United States (after German). Some of these papers were even printed right here in Moline and Rock Island!
Swedish-American Church Records
Swedish immigrants frequently joined churches upon immigrating to the United States. Thus, our collection of Swedish-American church records are particularly important for genealogists tracing their family history.
Scandinavian-American Portrait Collection
This collection contains hundreds of photographs of Swedish immigrants, leaders, politicians, clergymen, workers, and more. Many of these photographs have been digitized and can be viewed in our PastPerfect online database (http://augustana.pastperfect-online.com/36000cgi/mweb.exe?request=ks).
Eric Norelius letters
Eric Norelius was a Swedish immigrant to the United States. He was one of the editors of the Swedish-American newspaper Hemlandet and one of the founders of the Augustana Synod (the Synod that founded Augustana College).
The bulk of the letters in this collection were received during the period 1851-1916 when Norelius served as the Augustana Synod President, served as pastor in various pioneer churches in Minnesota and was active in the publishing field. The letters in this collection are mostly from other pastors and leaders active in the Augustana Synod, but individual Swedish immigrants concerned with the establishment of new Swedish congregations and the administration of the Synod are also represented. Included are also letters from family members.
Nils William Olsson library
Nils William Olsson, the founder and former editor of the Swenson Center's journal Swedish American Genealogist, donated his entire personal library to the Swenson Center. Olsson published extensively in the field of Swedish-American studies, with a special focus on biography and genealogy. He served as board member and frequent contributor to Swedish Pioneer Historical Quarterly (today the Swedish American Historical Quarterly).
His library collection is especially strong in Swedish genealogy, local history and regional history and is of particular interest to family historians and others interested in regional Swedish history and culture. Included in this collection are many Swedish works on noble families such as Elgenstierna's Den introducerade svenska adelns ättartavlor med tillägg och rättelse, Svensk Adelskalender and privately printed genealogy of Swedish families.
Upsala College Collection
(Link 1: http://www.augustana.edu/general-information/swenson-center/collections/archives/finding-aids/upsala-college-records Link 2: http://augustana.pastperfect-online.com/36000cgi/mweb.exe?request=jump;dtype=d;startat=1)
Upsala College of East Orange, New Jersey, was a Swedish-American college much like Augustana. It was founded at the annual Augustana Synod meeting in Rock Island, Illinois, in 1893. The school suffered enrollment and economic problems and closed in 1995.
The records cover much of the life and scope of the College from its founding in 1893 to the closing in 1995. Included are the papers of the Presidents, the records from the Dean's offices, the minutes of the Board of Directors, the comptroller, and other administrative offices. The collection also contains faculty publications, records of student organizations such as the Swedish literary society Samfundet De Nio, and photographs depicting early campus life.
American Union of Swedish Singers (link: http://www.augustana.edu/general-information/swenson-center/collections/archives/finding-aids/american-union-of-swedish-singers)
The American Union of Swedish Singers is a national umbrella organization for individual Swedish choirs. Founded in 1892 and still around today, the group arranges national singing conventions and publishes Musiktidning, the group's newsletter and journal.
The collection includes minutes and reports from 1896-1970s; constitution and by-laws; bound volumes of Musiktidning; presidential records and correspondence; records from individual choruses; records from the Divisions; scores of music performed; and photographs.
Musiktidning is currently being digitized and can be read here (http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/aug_singers).