University of Minnesota
Digitizing Immigrant Letters

Survey of Minnesota repositories with holdings of immigrant letters

This survey was conducted in 2010 by the IHRC with support from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Over 250 local historical societies and university/college special collections and archives in Minnesota were contacted by mail or email and asked to fill out questionnaires regarding their holdings of immigrant personal narratives. Summary of the data returned can be found below. Additional information is available for institutions whose names are highlighted as links.

Institution Name







Unpublished memoirs




Oral_Histories Transcripts


Number of Collections

Language 1 Language 2 Language 3
1877 Peterson Station Museum


Y Y 10 Norwegian
Argyle Historical Society


Y Y Y 14 English
Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota

St. Paul Y Y Y Y Y Czech English
Dodge County Historical Society

Mantorville Y Y Y N N ca. 10 English German
Douglas County Historical Society

Alexandria Y Y Y Not cataloged
Hennepin History Museum

Minneapolis N Y Y N N 70
Hmong Archives

St. Paul Y Y 100 Hmong English Lao/Thai
Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

Minneapolis Y Y Y Y Y ca. 30-50 English Finnish Italian, Croatian, Slovene, Ukrainian, Latvian, Czech
Iron Range Historical Society

Gilbert N N Y Y Y 3 English
Iron Range Research Center

Chisholm Y Y Y Y Y 20 English Finnish Slovene, Croatian, Bulgarian, German, Italian
Lac Qui Parle County Historical Society


Y Y N N N Few Mostly English
Lakeville Area Historical Society

Lakeville Y N N N N 1 English
Lanesboro Historical Museum


Y N N N N 10 Norwegian
McLeod County Historical Society

Hutchinson Y Y N Y Y Not cataloged English German Czech
Minnesota Historical Society

St. Paul Y Y Y Y Y Multiple languages
Moose Lake Area Historical Society

Moose Lake N N N Y Y 200 English
Morrison County Historical Society

Little Falls Y
New Brighton Area Historical Society

New Brighton

Y Y Y 47 English
Northeast Minnesota Historical Center

Duluth Y Y Y Y Y 10
Northwest Minnesota Historical Center

Moorhead Y Y Y Y Y
Polish Cultural Institute of Winona

Winona Y Y 50 letters, 5 hours Polish
Sauk Centre Area Historical Society

Sauk Centre

Y Y Y 30 English
Scott County Historical Society

Shakopee Y Y 15-20 German Czech English
Southern Minnesota Historical Center

Mankato Y Y Y Y 5 Norwegian German English
Stearns Historical Museum/Research Center

St. Cloud

Y Y Y Y Y 25 English German Norwegian, Slovenian, Swedish
West Central Minnesota Historical Research Center

Morris Y Y Y Y Y 9 English German






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