Norwegian American Historical Association (NAHA)

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The heart of the NAHA archives is its extensive manuscript collection, which includes letters, diaries, journals and ledgers, newspaper clippings, obituaries, congregational records, family and local histories, and other resources related to Norwegians in America. The archival collection also includes photographs illustrating all aspects of Norwegian-American history. The archives are available to NAHA members and non-members, but fees are charged for most services.


Visit the NAHA Website to find out about fees and other information.

Return to Norwegian American Archives

Genealogical Materials

Rowberg File 200,000+ clippings of biographical articles on Norwegian Americans from Norwegian-American newspapers, English-language country weeklies, church and lodge magazines, obituaries, Golden Anniversary celebrations, etc. Mounted on 3x5" cards filed alphabetically. Women are usually listed under husbands or male relatives. Reference cards to longer articles are mounted in over 120 binders. Coverage: Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and where there were pockets of Norwegian settlements. The main time period covered is 1914-1980's.

The Andrew A. Rowberg Biographical File, 1914-1978, is a 1600 microfiche set. Beginning in 1914, Rowberg searched Norwegian American newspapers and other publications to find obituaries, wedding and birth announcements, honors and tributes, and Norway visits pertaining to Norwegian Americans. His collection of some 125,000 items is arranged alphabetically by name.

Rowberg Supplement 50,000+ recent obituaries, mainly from North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota. Women are usually listed under their own names. A few older obituaries are also included.

Carl G. O. Hansen File Clipping collection (1900-1950) of the Minneapolis Norwegian-language newspaper. Index is in the last 13 drawers of the Rowberg File, giving number of envelope in the collection of 136 boxes.

Family History Collection Collection P0539, 39 boxes. Check card file index under Inventory cards. (This also includes cards for bound family histories in the library collections.)

Manuscript Collection Searchable online with Leif or at NAHA office with inventory and index cards.  Here you may find the name of an ancestor, and then make appointment with Archivist to view Norwegian American church record(s).

Biographical Directories Pastors, teachers, etc. Directory of congregations.

Emigration Lists Oslo (Kristiania) 1867-1901. Trondheim 1867-1926, with indexes 1891-1925. Kristiansand from 1873. Bergen list (1874-1924) on microfiche, with indexes by first name, surname. For Rogaland emigrants, see large red volumes with copies of parish "udflyttede" lists All the NAHA microfilms are located in the Rolvaag Library.

See also lists of emigrants from Hallingdal, Hjartdal (Telemark), Lesje, Ringebu, Vang (Valdres) in NAHA. Also in the library: Østfold (JV6734.U8). Biri/Snertingdal, Vardal/Gjøvik (E184.S24088); Land (DL576.L3B6 v.4); Nordmøre (JV6734.S56); Hjørunfjord, Vartdal, Ørsta (HV6734.S7).

Maps — Series M 711 Check index map; filed alphabetically, in the Archivist's office.

Online Research

Online researchers can search the NAHA archives in three different ways.

Leif, is the online search engine for NAHA manuscripts and photographs. It allows keyword searching of collections, groups of documents and images.

• A published [ guide to the archives is available in PDF format.

• The NAHA site index searches the volumes of Norwegian-American Studies that have been scanned and are available online.

Online Resources

Norwegian-American Studies Volumes 1-33 of Norwegian-American Studies, our scholarly journal of Norwegian-American History, are available online in a printable format.

• A list of Norwegian-American newspapers published in the United States is available. Search by newspaper name, state or city of publication, or browse the entire list.

Norwegian-American Images Our developing online image collection can be searched in a variety of ways. Image reproduction fees are detailed below.

Hovland Index (Rolvaag Library holdings of Bygdebøker) See also: HovlAND Map index. Search the Hovland Index to identify which Bygdebøker (Norwegian Community History Books) are located in the Rolvaag Library, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN.

Links These external web sites may assist you in conducting research on Norway, Norwegian Immigration and the Norwegian language.

Other Norwegian-American Resources at St. Olaf

Norwegian-American books and newspapers belonging to NAHA are housed in theSt. Olaf College Library and may be identified with the St. Olaf-Carleton on-line catalog, Bridge. Rare Norwegian-American imprints (books and pamphlets) are housed in the library vault, as indicated in Bridge.  Access to these materials can be requested through the on-line catalog Bridge by clicking on "Schedule an Appointment" and completing the request form. The library also houses a rich collection of Norwegian-American materials of its own, including bygdebøker.

Reference Works

The following genealogical and reference materials are located in the Reference Room of the Rølvaag Library.

• Norwegian encyclopedia (AE43.A75) 12 volumes. Useful for place names and histories of communities.

• Postal directory (1972): HE7093.N7. Lists farms, churches, towns, etc., telling what community (kommune) and county (fylke) they are in.

• General genealogical guides: CS (e.g., Scandinavian Genealogical Research Manual).

• Norwegian biographical encyclopedia (CT1293.N6) 19 volumes.

• Norske gardsbruk (DL418.N85) Farm directory, southern counties, 1950-1970s.

• Norway handbook (DL419.N8).

• Bibliographies of local history (DL448.F94).

• Telephone books (DL576-581).

• Rygh's Norske gaardnavne (PD2695.R9). 21 volumes. Lists all main farms (and some subdivisions) by community (herred or kommune) and parish (sokn, sogn). Index for each fylke, general index for set.

• Norge: land og folk, geografisk leksikon atlas-register (DL419.N7), 4 volumes. General Collection The following genealogical and historical materials are located in the stacks of the Rølvaag Library. • Bygdeboker - bygdebooks: local histories of Norwegian communities (DL576.A-Z; DL596.AZ). Located on level 5.

• Books on Norwegian-American history: E184.S3, level 5. Includes publications of the bygdelags (E184.S26). Lovoll's A Folk Epic (E184.S24L66) has bibliography. [Some lag publications with periodicals or in Special Collections Vault collection.]

• American local history (county histories, Norwegians in states or counties, etc.): F536-Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota. Level 5.

• Norwegian-language newspapers on microfilm: Bikuben, Budstikken, Decorah Posten, Emigranten, Emigranten og Fædrelandet, Fædrelandet, Norden, Nordisk Folkeblad, Skandinaven. Some on paper in Special Collections. Church magazines (before 1960) on Level 1.

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