University of Minnesota

Ross, Carl, Papers

Finding Aid

VITRAGE

IHRC

Immigration History Research Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: Ross, Carl
Dates: 1935-2000
Abstract: Papers (1935-2000) of Carl Ross (1913-2004) consist of correspondence, brochures, photographs, newspaper clippings, essays and other published materials relating to the Minnesota Finnish American Family History Project; the founding and activities of the United Fund for Finnish American Archives (meeting minutes, by-laws, press releases, letterhead, and other materials) and the organizing of two Reunion of Sisters conferences (1986 and 1987).
Quantity: 3 lin. ft.
Language: English, Finnish
Collection ID: IHRC2288

PROVENANCE

Collection acquired from Carl Ross in 1997, and from Carol Johnson in 2010. It was processed in 2011 by IHRC Student Collections Assistant Mia Overly working with Research Archivist Daniel Necas.

HISTORICAL SKETCH

Carl Ross was born on July 22, 1913, in Hancock, Michigan, and grew up in Superior, Wisconsin, where he graduated from high school in 1931. His father was a Finnish immigrant and his mother was born of Finnish immigrant parents. Ross was active in youth, labor and radical movements. Among other organizations, he was involved in the Labor Sports Union and the Finnish American newspaper "Tyomies." From the 1930s into the 1950s he served in a variety of leadership positions at the national level in the Young Communist League and the Communist Party. After leaving the Party in 1957, Ross developed a successful electrolyting business. Upon his retirement in 1972 he became an independent scholar, devoting his time to research and writing about Finnish American, radical, and labor history. In 1977, Ross published "The Finn Factor in American Labor, Culture, and Society" which Rudy Vecoli, then the Director of the Immigration History Research Center, deemed "a very important work which really launched Finnish American Studies. He (Ross) played a critical role in bridging the chasm between the ‘Red Finns’ and the ‘Church Finns."

The Minnesota Finnish American Family History Project (1979-1981) led to the publication of "Handbook for Doing Finnish American Family History," co-authored by Ross. All of the family histories gathered for this project are available to researchers at the IHRC. Ross was active in the United Fund for Finnish-American Archives in the 1980s. This organization launched the project "1983: Year of the Finnish-American Archives," an awareness and fund-raising venture. Ross was vital in the assembling of the photo exhibit "Courageous Enough" which would eventually develop into the publication Ross co-edited and contributed to, "Women Who Dared: The History of Finnish American Women" (1986). He also co-authored a book, published in 2006, two years after his death, "By the Ore Docks: A Working People’s History of Duluth." Carl Ross died on March 1, 2004, in Minneapolis.


DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION

The Ross collection consists generally of material documenting Ross’ professional life. Series I (Biographical and personal) includes few materials regarding personal and family life of Carl Ross. Series II (Projects), which makes up the bulk of the collection, is divided into sections pertaining to various projects Ross was involved in, for many of which he was the director or coordinator. Series III (Written works) consists of materials that were written by Ross. This material is in draft form for the most part, though some of these drafts evolved to become published works. Series IV (Miscellaneous) contains materials on a large variety of topics, some including political research Ross did to find out more information about individuals, a collection of other people’s writing (alphabetical by last name), photos, and correspondences with no specific regard to a particular project Ross was working on. Series V (Heritage Preservationist) Materials in this series were donated by Carol Johnson and regard her work with Carl Ross on the Finnish-American newsletter, “The Heritage Preservationist.”


ORGANIZATION OF MATERIALS

Series I. Biographical and Personal

Series II. Projects

Subseries I. Courageous Enough Photo Exhibit

Subseries II. Finn Fest

Subseries III. Minnesota Finnish American Family History Project

Subseries IV. Radicalism, 20th Century

Subseries V. Reunion of Sisters

Subseries VI. United Fund for Finnish American Archives

Series III. Material by Carl Ross

Series IV. Miscellaneous

Series V. Heritage Preservationist


ACCESS RESTRICTIONS

The Ross, Carl collection is available for public research.

OWNERSHIP & LITERARY RIGHTS

The Ross, Carl collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRC.


CITE AS

The Ross, Carl Papers, Finnish American Collection, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

Index Terms

Finnish
Labor
Political activity
Women
Socialists

Description of Series

This section briefly describes each series in the collection. A more detailed description of the contents of each series may be found in the following section.

SERIES 1. Biographical and Personal

This series contains financial and personal information on Hilda Rasi, an abreviated resume of Carl Ross, personal recollections (in Finnish), secondary sources about Ross' life, photos, and personal correspondences.

SERIES 2. Projects

SERIES 3. Written works

Material in various draft forms written by Carl Ross.

SERIES 4. Miscellaneous

SERIES 5. Heritage Preservationist

This series was donated by Carol Johnson regarding her work with Carl Ross on the Finnish-American newsletter, The Heritage Preservationist.


Detailed Description of the Collection

SERIES 1. Biographical and personal

This series contains financial and personal information on Hilda Rasi, an abreviated resume of Carl Ross, personal recollections (in Finnish), secondary sources about Ross' life, photos, and personal correspondence.
BOX 1.
FOLDER 1. Biographical and personal


SERIES 2. Projects

SUBSERIES 1. Courageous Enough Photo Exhibit
Courageous Enough: A Photo History of Finnish American Women. The exhibit is sponsored by the Reunion of Sisters project of cooperation between women in Finland and America. Courageous Enough is the story of Finnish American women in photos and text.
BOX 1.
FOLDER 2. Explanations/ Descriptions of exhibit 1985
FOLDER 3. Exhibit Research
FOLDER 4. Correspondence Nov 1984 - April 1987
FOLDER 5. Publications and Signs 1985 - 1987
FOLDER 6. Finances 1986
FOLDER 7. Guest Lists 1986
Visitors lists to Ottertail county exhibit showing
FOLDER 8. Guest Book Finnfest
Finnfest Hancock MI Suomi College
FOLDER 9. Guestbook 1985 - 1986
SUBSERIES 2. Finn Fest
This subseries contains correspondence, program from FinnFest 1987, newspaper articles about FinnFest 1984, Ross' registration form 1987, etc.
BOX 1.
FOLDER 10. Finn Fest 1983 - 1987
This folder contains correspondences, program from FinnFest 1987, newspaper articles about FinnFest 1984, Ross' registration form 1987, etc.
SUBSERIES 3. Minnesota Finnish American Family History Project
Overview and example of questions, brochures about the project, examples of family histories, publication in Siirtolaisuus Migration 1982 (in Finnish). The Minnesota Finnish American Family History Project is a program for all Minnesotans tracing their ancestry to Finland.
BOX 2.
FOLDER 1. Minnesota Finnish American Family History Project 1981 - 1983
Overview and example of questions, brochures about the project, examples of family histories, publication in Siirtolaisuus Migration 1982 (in Finnish)
SUBSERIES 4. Radicalism, 20th Century
20th-Century Radicalism in Minneosta was a two-year project to research and document the history of 20th century Minnesota radicalism, launched by the Minnesota Historical Society. Ethnic radicalism is a special focus especially as it related to the experience of Minnesotans of Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, South Slav, Jewish, Italian, and Finnish descent. Voices of Dissent, brochure 20th-century Radicalism in Minnesota, Newspaper articles about Ross and this project, Grant Application/Explanation of Project and draft pages, a call for the round-table discussion of labor history, correspondence urging Ross to write an autobiography Aug. 18 1983, national reunion of ASU and SDS 1986, correspondence 1982
BOX 2.
FOLDER 2. Radicalism, 20th Century 1982 - 1988
Voices of Dissent, brochure 20th-century Radicalism in Minnesota, Newspaper articles about Ross and this project, Grant Application/Explanation of Project and draft pages, a call for the round-table discussion of labor history, correspondence urging Ross to write an autobiography Aug. 18 1983, national reunion of ASU and SDS 1986, correspondence 1982
SUBSERIES 5. Reunion of Sisters
Project Summary: A 2 year program of cooperation between Finnish American women and women in Finland to explore the feminist tradition and experience of these two groups that share cultural roots but have had a different historical experience over several generations. The object is to derive a better understanding of the unique character of Finnish feminism both in America and Finland and to learn about the influence of ethnic heritage and culture in the lives of American women.
BOX 2.
FOLDER 3. Project Description Aug 1984 - Aug 1987
FOLDER 4. Correspondence June 1984 - Apr 1987
FOLDER 5. Publications 1985 - 1987
FOLDER 6. Grant Materials 1984 - 1986
SUBSERIES 6. United Fund for Finnish American Archives
Correspondences, Heritage Preservationist (UFFAA publication), Microfilming Newspapers Project, Finances, etc.
BOX 2.
FOLDER 8. Correspondence I 1983 - 1984
Raymond W. Wargelin, Susan Grigg, Velma Doby
FOLDER 9. Correspondence 1982 - 1988
BOX 3.
FOLDER 1. Publication I 1982 - 1983
FOLDER 2. Publications II 1983 - 1984
FOLDER 3. Microfilm Newpaper 1970 - 1987
FOLDER 4. Reports and Meetings Dec 1982 - June 1984
FOLDER 5. Finances Dec 1982 - May 1984
FOLDER 6. List of names and Misc


SERIES 3. Written works

Material in various draft forms written by Carl Ross.
BOX 3.
FOLDER 7. Essays on the Finnish Americans I
1865-1914. This essay was split up and published in intervals in New Yorkin Uutiset from 1975-1976. This essay would go on to be part of the manuscript for The Finn Factor: In American Labor, Culture, and Society.
BOX 4.
FOLDER 1. Essays on Finnish Americans II
FOLDER 2. Essays on Finnish Americans III
FOLDER 3. Essays on Finnish Americans IV
FOLDER 4. Various
Amerikan Kultalaan, Employment in Domestic Service as a Factor in Finnish American History, The Finnish Americans, Reflections on the Finnish American Bicentennial Celebration: Can Old Finns Become New Ethnics, Utopian Vision of Finnish Immigrants
FOLDER 5. Newspaper 1974 - 1976
some clippings, some full newspapers
FOLDER 6. Correspondence and Miisc. 1976 - 1987


SERIES 4. Miscellaneous

BOX 5.
FOLDER 1. Political Research (Communist Party) 1922 - 1976
Political Research (much of it pertaining to the Communist Party), correspondence (Dec 1973-Sept 1976), folder titled "The enclosed is a search for the identity of Finns who were at the C.P. Bridgeman Convention (about 1922-27) From data on the registration forms seized by the FBI", various papers and resolutions passed by the C.P., labor postcards and listing of labor publications
FOLDER 2. Correspondence Dec 1973 - March 1987
FOLDER 3. Various Authors
FOLDER 4. Pictures 1915 - 1958
FOLDER 5. Inventories, Lists, Bibliographies
BOX 6.
FOLDER 1. Newspapers 1917 - 1988
Finnish
FOLDER 2. Newspapers 1977 - 1984
Finnish and English
FOLDER 3. in Finnish
FOLDER 4. in English


SERIES 5. Heritage Preservationist

This series was donated by Carol Johnson regarding her work with Carl Ross on the Finnish-American newsletter, The Heritage Preservationist.
BOX 7.
FOLDER 1. Keith (Carl's Copy)
FOLDER 2. Carl's orig. lists
FOLDER 3. Heritage Preservationist
FOLDER 4. Whodunnit
FOLDER 5. Clip Art - Newsletter Masthead & Page Numbers
FOLDER 6. Paper for Layout
FOLDER 7. Masthead, etc.
FOLDER 8. Mailing List
FOLDER 9. April 1987 Newsletter
FOLDER 10. 1988
FOLDER 11. Fall/Winter 1989
FOLDER 12. Fall/Winter 1990
FOLDER 13. Lists of names
FOLDER 14. Lists of names
FOLDER 15. Carol Johnson


 


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