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Collections

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Latest Collections News

Material Collections

ASI maintains a collection of more than 7,000 objects related to Sweden and Swedish America as well as generational collections documenting immigration and settlement in America. Among its many treasured objects, ASI is fortunate to have one of the finest collections of Swedish art glass outside of Sweden, plus an exemplary collection of flat-plane wood carvings. Access to ASI’s material collections is by appointment only.

Material collections include:

  • Artwork and objects pertaining to the Turnblad Family and the American Swedish Institute
  • Fine and decorative arts by Swedish-American and leading Swedish artists
  • A textile collection of both Swedish and domestic textiles, fine art pieces and textile tools all dating from the late 19th to mid-20th century
  • The Värmland Gift, a friendship gift given to ASI from the church parishes of Värmland, Sweden, in 1952
  • Swedish folk and vernacular clothing from the 1880s to the 1960s
  • Objects reflecting the daily lives of Swedish Americans

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Library & Archives

The Wallenberg Library

The Wallenberg Library collection is older than ASI with volumes collected by ASI’s founder Swan Turnblad and his family during the early 20th century. Over the decades, the library’s non-circulating collection has grown to include more than 17,000 volumes that offer both the public and scholars an opportunity to explore an array of topics related to Swedish and Swedish-American life. Access to the library is by appointment only.

ASI’s Library materials relate to the following subjects:

  • Swedish life in America
  • Swedish arts and culture
  • Swedish sheet music and songbooks
  • Nordic cooking and food
  • Swedish children’s books

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Archives

Since its founding in 1929, ASI has amassed unique archival collections containing personal papers, correspondences, diaries, photographs, and other unpublished materials that enable inquiry into subjects pertaining to the immigration, resettlement, way of life, and culture of Scandinavian-Americans who lived throughout the United States. Access to the archives is by appointment only.

ASI’s archival materials relate to the following subjects:

  • The Turnblad family, the Turnblad Mansion, and the Svenska Amerikanska Posten
  • American Swedish Institute history
  • The history of Swedish and Scandinavian immigration to America in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Records from clubs or organizations that that pertain to Scandinavian culture and history

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Collection Donations

The American Swedish Institute collects donations on a very limited basis.

The decision to accept donations is a complex one involving many factors, including relevance and substance of materials, available documentation, condition and associated legal issues, and cost and storage concerns. Please contact ASI’s Collections Manager before bringing in any materials for donation. Unsolicited materials that are dropped off may be discarded at the discretion of ASI staff.

 

The library collects published material relating to:

  • Swedish life in the Upper Midwest with preference given to materials focusing on the immigrant experience in Minnesota
  • Swedish art, culture, and design
  • Nordic cooking and food
  • Swedish children’s books

Preference is given to English-language publications published after 1975; religious material is not generally collected.

 

The archives collect unpublished materials relating to:

  • The Turnblad family, the Turnblad Mansion, or the Svenska Amerikanska Posten
  • Swedish-American life with preference for materials focusing on the immigrant experience in Minnesota
  • Records from clubs or organizations that pertain to Scandinavian culture and history

 

The museum collects physical objects relating to:

  • Artwork and objects pertaining to the Turnblad family, the Svenska Amerikanska Posten, and the American Swedish Institute
  • Fine and decorative arts, particularly works by Swedish-American or leading Swedish artists
  • Objects reflecting the daily lives of Swedish Americans

Contact

For questions related to ASI’s Library, Archives, or Material Collections, to schedule an appointment, or to discuss a donation, please contact Inga Theissen, Collections Manager

Email Inga

Other Resources

Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society’s Library contains a great deal of information on Swedish immigration to Minnesota. Search their catalog, which includes many images relevant to Swedish immigration.

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Swedish-American Newspapers

This online portal allows users to explore more than 300,000 pages from 28 different Swedish-American newspapers, including the Svenska Amerikanska Posten, which flourished under the leadership of ASI founder Swan Turnblad.

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Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center

The Swenson Immigration Research Center at Augustana College, Rock Island, IL also has an extensive catalog of information on Swedish immigration. Their website offers many links useful to researchers.

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The Swedish Institute

“The Official Gateway to Sweden” is a website produced by the Swedish Institute in Sweden and offers extensive information on the culture, society, and history of Sweden.

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Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota

The Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota is the preferred link not only for general information on Swedish-American genealogy but for resources and people who can help you with your genealogical research.

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Minnesota Digital Library

Discover more than 55,000 images of Minnesota scenes from museums, collections and repositories throughout the state.

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Tell G. Dahllöf Collection of Swedish Americana

Housed in Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota, the Dahllöf Collection of almost 7,000 books, periodicals, newspapers, and other publications documents American history seen from a Swedish perspective, including the history of Swedish emigration to and Swedish culture in North America.

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