University of Minnesota
Immigration History Research Center

Immigration History Research Center's home page.

Financial Donations

Stories Worth Remembering, Stories Worth Telling

"People want to know where they come from. We're doing this [research] so our history, our heritage, won't be forgotten. It helps us understand  our common bond."

-Alex Batinich, whose $250,000 gift to the IHRC established the Mary Ellen Mancina-Batinich and Alex Batinich Fund for Research in American Immigration History.

Ensuring the future of the Immigration History Research Center

Join us in building upon endowments to enhance the IHRC's efforts to preserve immigrant and ethnic heritage.

The University of Minnesota's Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) provides international leadership in documenting, preserving, and promoting US immigration history. For 40 years, the center has been recognized as the nation's foremost historical resource on ethnic groups with origins in southern, central, and eastern Europe and the Near East, as well as on immigration history generally.Elmer L. Andersen Library building

The IHRC's home, the Elmer L. Andersen Library, is a state-of-the-art archives facility in the heart of the University's West Bank campus. The move to this building provides enhanced capacity for collections growth and better access for students, researchers, and the general public.

The legacy of immigration cannot be underestimated as a defining feature of the United States. Over 20 million immigrants entered the country between 1891 and 1924, for example. Since 1965, 20 million more newcomers have arrived. Helping to make sense of such movement is a major aspect of the IHRC's mission.

For preservation, interpretation, and appreciation of the value of our diversity, the IHRC seeks support to continue and expand its role. Private funding for an endowed chair/directorship, archival services, community outreach, and research and scholarship will ensure the IHRC's leadership in immigration history for many years to come.

The Rudolph J. Vecoli Endowed Chair in Immigration History Research

Rudolph J. Vecoli Photo

Photo by Tom Foley

The University of Minnesota's Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) has provided international leadership in documenting, preserving and promoting United States immigration history.  The center's preeminence has relied on the hard work and personal contributions of thousands of Minnesotans who have shared their individual and family stories and memorabilia.  As a result, countless researchers from around the world have studied in the archives and shared their scholarly findings.

No one person has contributed more than Professor Rudolph J. Vecoli, longtime director, scholar extraordinaire, caretaker, listener, and activist.  The College of Liberal Arts is pleased announce the establishment of the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History Research.

Dedicated to the advancement of teaching, research, and learning, this endowed chair will serve to underscore this University's long-standing commitment to immigration history research. Just as Professor Vecoli's leadership of the IHRC has enabled the IHRC to rise to international prominence, this chair will underscore the IHRC's critically important role in immigration scholarship.

The purpose of the endowment fund is to assist the IHRC and the College of Liberal Arts in recruiting, supporting, and retaining an outstanding faculty to serve in the role of director of the center.  The endowment fund will provide a margin of excellence above and beyond core faculty funding from other sources and ensure the IHRC's leadership continues long into the future.

This prestigious chair will be awarded by the dean of the College of Liberal Arts to an outstanding member of the college's faculty or to a candidate from another institution, and will be held by that faculty member during his/her tenure as director of the IHRC.

Resources from the chair endowment may be used to

  • Facilitate the chair holder's program of research.
  • Advance and promote the scholarship of the IHRC.
  • Help prepare those courses taught by the chair holder as well as secure materials and guest speakers who will enhance the courses offered by the chair holder.
  • Provide programmatic support (including research assistants and publications) to the IHRC.
  • Seed strategic IHRC initiatives.

The minimum private funding for this initiative is $1,000,000.  The funding requested will be used for the above programs of the IHRC and will support a perpetual endowment managed by the University of Minnesota Foundation.

Ethnic Studies Funds

The IHRC's research collection is extraordinarily diverse and dynamic. The center has successfully obtained and processed thousands of linear feet of quality archival materials. This part of the endowment supports care for individual ethnic group collections, attracts graduate research assistants and helps them develop as scholars, and serves more student, scholar, and community researchers as archival holdings expand and are more accessible-including through electronic media. We invite you to join us in continuing our endowments which enhance the IHRC's efforts.

Albanian Croatian* Italian* Romanian
Arab* Czech Jewish (East European) Russian
Armenian Estonian* Latvian* Serbian
Belarusan Finnish* Lithuanian Slovak
Bulgarian Greek Macedonian Slovenian
Carpatho-Rusin Hungarian Polish Ukrainian

* denotes a related fellowship or scholarship fund listed below.

Research & Scholarship

The IHRC has earned worldwide recognition for promoting and supporting scholarly attention to the role of immigration in American society. With these funds, the IHRC offers grants-in-aid for doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers; provides summer fellowships for visiting scholars to become aware of the value of IHRC holdings, carry out their research, and deliver public lectures; publishes Spectrum, the annual research periodical, from which selected articles will be posted on the IHRC's website; and holds an annual University of Minnesota Symposium on American immigration history, to assess research trends and chart new directions for immigration and ethnic history.

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Community Outreach

The IHRC is dedicated to the University's mission to "extend, apply, and exchange knowledge between the University and society." In collaboration with ethnic and cultural groups, thechildren in ethnic costumes IHRC sponsors successful public programs, exhibits, performances, workshops, and educational activities attended by thousands of people each year.

With funding, the IHRC will deepen alliances with ethnic communities and expand the Center's services to new and undeserved populations in the state and nation; begin an Ethnic Heritage Development Initiative to assist ethnic, historical, and cultural organizations to document, preserve, and promote their history; and provide enhanced support of primary and secondary education by creating an Education Coordinator staff position to develop teacher and student materials and teacher in-service workshops on immigration and ethnic studies.

Photo: Children's Festival, 1964, International Institute of Los Angeles. Photo from the collection at the IHRC of immigration and Refugee Services of America (Stan art Photo, Los Angeles, CA)

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Stories Worth Remembering, Stories Worth Telling

This 19-minute video presents the IHRC's mission, collections and services--and the Center's relationship to the ethnic communities whose heritages it helps to preserve.  It engagingly incorporates images and moving pictures from the archives and the videotape of the IHRC's 30th Anniversary Variety Show, along with appreciations from representatives of many ethnic communities. 

Stories Worth Remembering, Stories Worth Telling is a perfect discussion starter for family and group occasions.  IHRC staff are available to complement showings of the video.  It comes in two versions: one with and one without a brief message on the IHRC's Endowment Campaign

The video was produced for the IHRC by Randy Croce, AV technician with the UM Labor Education Service, with assistance from IHRC Program Associate JoAnn Hanson.  Funding was provided through the Friends of the IHRC by the Minnesota Humanities Commission in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Minnesota State Legislature. [Photo: Background painting from artist's proof by Jim Daly, © 1991]

You may download and view the entire video online using Apple QuickTime or Windows Media Player (download players).  Depending on the speed of your Internet connection (direct, broadband, 28k modem), download and/or buffering time may range from a few minutes to an hour.  This video is also available for a nominal price in both VHS cassette and CD-Rom formats. 

Learn more about the Stories Worth Remembering Endowment Campaign
Contribute to the Endowment Fund.

We gratefully appreciate and acknowledge the assistance of our partners on this video project:

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