Swedish Emigrant Institute

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Swedish Emigrant Institute in Växjö

Swedish Emigrant Institute (Swedish: Svenska Emigrantinstitutet) was a research center and museum designed to preserve records and memorabilia relating to Swedish-American migration.[1]

Statue of Vilhelm Moberg near Emigrant Institute, Växjö

Background[edit]

The Swedish Emigrant Institute was founded on September 11, 1965. The Swedish Emigrant Institute is located in The House of Emigrants (Swedish: Utvandrarnas hus) located in Växjö in Smaland, Sweden. Its purpose is to collect and register source material dealing with Swedish emigration to the United States. This building contains a Research Center with Archives, a Library and Museums all of which focus on the peak period of Swedish Migration to North America. The Institute houses a large collection of emigration history including archival materials and library references, provides assistance in genealogical research, sponsors scholarly research and academic conferences, and mounts exhibitions on migration to and from Sweden.[2]

The Institute was supported by Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg who donated the complete source material from his famous Emigrant Series which told the saga of Karl Oskar and Kristina’s immigration from Smaland to Chisago County, Minnesota. This unique collection of Moberg memorabilia also includes Axel Olsson's sculpture entitled The Emigrants which portrays the main characters featured in the novels.[3]

Due to financial difficulties, the Swedish Emigrant Institute Foundation was disbanded by the Board of Directors for the Institute on November 12, 2013.[4]

Museum Exhibitions[edit]

  • The Dream of America - This museum tells the story of Swedish emigration to America, reflecting the background, cause and result of the mass exodus of Swedes between 1843 - 1930.[5]
  • The Moberg Room - This museum illustrates the 12 years of work that Vilhelm Moberg sent writing his immortal emigrant novels. On exhibit are Moberg’s original manuscripts, excerpts, notes, photographs and other documents.
  • The Research Center and Archives - The manuscript collection consists of original documents, microfilms, sound recordings and photographs. The repository consists of thousands of documents, including the Vilhelm Moberg collection.
  • The Library - This facility contains Sweden's most complete book collection on emigration.

Main Collection[edit]

The main collections available in the Swedish Emigrant Institute dealing with emigration research and other source materials are:

  • Swedish parish records
  • Swedish passenger lists
  • Swedish American church archives
  • America letters and diaries
  • Passport journals; summary census reports from various parish offices
  • Emigrant organizational archives of lodges in most sizable Swedish settlements and mutual aid societies
  • Printed source materials dealing with emigration and Swedish pioneer settlers such as autobiographies, oral history and literature from Swedish emigrant communities

References[edit]

  1. ^ Your Swedish Roots: A Step by Step Handbook (by Per Clemensson and Kjell Andersson, Ancestry Publishing, 2004)
  2. ^ Tracing Your Swedish Ancestry http://www.explorenorth.com/library/history/tracingyourswedishancestry.pdf
  3. ^ The House of Emigrants http://www.visitsweden.com/sweden/Sweden-Facts/Worth-knowing-about-Sweden/Heritage/
  4. ^ Ernstsson, Lennart (2013-11-13). "Emigrantinstitutet läggs ner - kassan är tom". Smålandsposten. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  5. ^ The Emigrants From Småland, Sweden. The American Dream (by Ken Sawyer. July, 1999) http://fantasticsweden.co.uk/emigrants/theemigrantsfromsmalandsweden.pdf

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°52′32″N 14°48′32″E / 56.8756°N 14.8090°E / 56.8756; 14.8090