University of Minnesota
Immigration History Research Center

Immigration History Research Center's home page.

IHRC News Online January 22, 2004

Best wishes
for 2004
from the staff
at the IHRC

This is the Immigration History Research Center's monthly newsletter. If you would like to be notified by email when each issue has been published, please contact the IHRC to sign up.

The IHRC website has a new address: Be sure to bookmark it!

This issue contains:

Note: Originally Headline News, IHRC News Online is the IHRC's primary communications vehicle. The News Online is posted once a month, generally at mid-month. Please send any comments or news relating to the IHRC to Editor Judy Rosenblatt.

Feature Story

IHRC receives gift from Andersen Foundation for Vecoli Endowed Chair

Photo, April 7, 2000: With assistance from University administrators, Eleanor and Elmer Andersen cut the ribbon officially opening Andersen Library.

A major gift from the Elmer and Eleanor Andersen Foundation has been awarded to the IHRC to support the Rudolph Vecoli Endowed Chair in Immigration History Research. The gift of cash and stock totaling $40,000 will enable an additional $10,000 match from the Challenge Grant awarded to the University for the IHRC by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Former Minnesota governor Elmer Andersen is the philanthropist for whom the IHRC's home, the Andersen Library, is named.

This generous gift brings the total raised so far for the Vecoli Endowed Chair to just over $750,000, three- fourths of the goal amount of $1 million (counting gifts, investment returns, matching funds, and pledges/bequests made so far). The IHRC is deeply grateful for the Andersens' confidence and support of its mission. 

The endowed chair/director of IHRC position is the highest priority goal of the IHRC's endowment campaign. Just as Professor Vecoli's leadership of the IHRC has enabled the Center to rise to international prominence, this chair will underscore the IHRC's critically important role in immigration scholarship and the University's long-standing commitment to immigration history research. The endowment fund will assist the IHRC and the College of Liberal Arts in recruiting, supporting, and retaining an outstanding faculty member, providing a margin of excellence above and beyond core faculty funding from other sources, and will ensure the IHRC's leadership continues long into the future. 

The $1million fund will establish a perpetual endowment managed by the U of MN Foundation. The NEH Challenge Grant is matching gifts made to the Vecoli Chair that are received by July 31, 2005, with one dollar for every four raised. Additional donations pledged to the campaign this year will be counted toward the match goal immediately, although payment does not need to be completed until July 2005.

The IHRC greatly appreciates the generosity of the Andersens, as well as the gifts of the many other supporters who have contributed to the Vecoli Chair fund thus far. For more information about the Vecoli Chair and how you can help to make it a reality, link to the fund here or in the endowment section below, or contact the IHRC office.

Return to Top

Collection Development

Papers of Ladislav Krizek, 3 linear feet, ca. 1917-1930s.
Ladislav Krizek was among about 400 Czech Americans from Cleveland who volunteered to join the Czechoslovak Legion in France during World War I. After his return to the United States, he served as president of the Czechoslovak Legionnaires Abroad and was otherwise involved in Czech American life, both in Cleveland (including Sokol Cleveland) and on the national level.

Post card from Krizek collection. English translation of caption in Czech: "Departure of American Czechs from Cleveland to join the Czechoslovak Army in France, Nov. 25, 1917."

Collection contains materials documenting Mr. Krizek's experiences with the Czecho- slovak Legion in France, his postwar correspondence with Czech American organizations and their leaders, photographs, news clippings, and post cards.

The collection was donated to the IHRC by Ladislav Krizek's children, Patricia Krizek De Voe, Rockville, MD; Eugene Krizek, Lorton, VA; and Donald Krizek, Silver Spring, MD. Asst. Curator Daniel Necas picked up the collection in Rockville, MD.

Return to Top

Announcements & Events

Dr. Raymond W. Wargelin
(June 25, 1911-December 12, 2003)

Ray Wargelin was the last president of the Finnish American Lutheran Church-Suomi Synod and the last surviving of the four presidents who led their church bodies into the merger that created the Lutheran Church in America in 1963. He had a distinguished career as a minister, church leader, church historian and educator, and promoter of Finnish and Finnish American culture. Long a prominent member of and advocate for the Finnish American community, he will be greatly missed. 

He donated a small collection of unpublished writings to the IHRC in 1986, followed by an unpublished autobiography in early 1991. The core collection of the Raymond and Kaarina Wargelin papers (22 linear feet) was donated later that year, consisting of correspondence, resources used for his publications, books from his library, and a large volume of sheet music for choirs. The music was collected by Kaarina, his wife, who was organist and choir director in several congregations and compiled Favorite Finnish Hymns. The IHRC and Wargelin family members sponsored a reception recognizing donation of this large collection on November 10, 1991. Kaarina passed away in November 1998. 

The surviving family of Ray Wargelin, including his daughter Marianne (honorary consul of Finland in Minnesota, researcher and writer on Finnish American history, and a longtime supporter of the Center), have asked that memorial contributions be made to the IHRC in honor of Raymond Wargelin, to support the study of Finnish American Lutheran Church history. Such contributions should be made payable to the U of MN Foundation, with the memorial noted on the check's memo line or accompanying instructions.The funds will enable the IHRC to enhance its Finnish American resources and make them more accessible to researchers.

Finn Forum VII "Call for Papers"; conference to be at U in October '04

The planning group for Finn Forum VII, an interdisciplinary conference in Finnish and Finnish-North American studies, has issued a Call for Papers to be presented at the conference, entitled "Cultural Encounters: Migration, Ethnicity, and Identities," to be held at the U of MN Twin Cities Oct. 28-30, 2004. Proposals are due by March 26, 2004, and may relate to any aspect of Finnish or Finnish-North American society, history, and culture. Selected papers will be published following the conference. U departments and centers collaborating with the Planning Committee include the European Studies Consortium; the Finnish Studies Program in the Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch, and the Department of Geography;.and the IHRC. Find the call, with all details, at

Director Vecoli to speak at February "First Fridays at Andersen Library"

At "First Fridays" events, curators and archivists provide an insider's look at U of MN special collections. The free and open sessions are held noon to 1 p.m., Rm. 120 Andersen Library, 222-21st Ave. S, West Bank Campus. LIght refreshments are served; lunches are welcome. After brief presentations, attendees are welcome to stay for conversation and answers to questions or to tour Andersen. The series is made possible by a gift from Gov. and Mrs. Elmer L. Andersen in honor of Dr. Edward B. Stanford, a former University Librarian. For more information, contact Tim Johnson, or 612-624-3552. 


Feb. 6, 2004 Controversy and Civil Liberties Rudolph Vecoli will discuss IHRC collection material about Italian anarchists.  Three other special collections representatives will also make presentations on materials in their collections relating to civil liberties controversies.
March 5, 2004  Women's History
April 2, 2004 Emancipation
May 7, 2004 Mish-Mash, Misc., Etc.: The Weird, Bizarre, and Different

Printed newsletter mailed

The fall/winter issue of the IHRC printed News was mailed to Center constituents in November. The monthly online newsletter you are reading serves as the IHRC's main communications piece, but printed newsletters are sent out twice a year. The printed newsletter is also available online, so if you did not receive a copy, you may read or print out the Web version.

Events and announcements between issues of this newsletter and items of general interest are publicized in the "Community Events & Announcements" section of the Friends of IHRC page. Changes are made frequently, so check it often. Both Twin Cities area and national items are listed.

Some of the current listings:

- International academic conference "Crossing the Waters," part of 2004 Italian American Festival in  Duluth, MN, and Palermo, Italy

- Art exhibits and conferences

- Minnesota Community Campaign organizes around "New Americans" TV mini-series. Meeting Feb. 5 at Walker Art Center.

Return to Top

IHRC Endowment Campaign: "Stories Worth Remembering"

Signed poem by Garrison Keillor available as gift premium

A limited number of signed copies of the Garrison Keillor humorous poem "The Finn Who Would Not Take A Sauna," one of Keillor's most popular writings, are available to contributors of $500 or more to the Timo Riippa Fund for Finnish American Studies. The poem begins

In northeast Minnesota, what they call the Iron Range,
Where a woman is a woman, and some things never change,
Where winter lasts nine months a year, there is no spring or fall,
Where it gets so cold the mercury cannot be seen at all...

For more information, contact the IHRC.

Fundraiser by Daughters of Penelope-Antigone Chapter benefits 
Greek American  Studies Fund of IHRC endowment

The Greek American Studies Fund of the IHRC endowment has been the beneficiary of a series of charitable fundraising events sponsored by local AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope chapters. The commitment of these groups to the preservation of their heritage at the IHRC has been truly extraordinary, and the IHRC commends their enthusiastic support as a wonderful example for other ethnic organizations.

The latest event in this series was a special matinee performance by nationally acclaimed Greek American comedian "Basile" on Sun., Nov. 23, 2003, sponsored by the Daughters of Penelope, Antigone Chapter 35 (Minneapolis area). Tessie Bourdamis, representative of the chapter on the Friends of IHRC Board of Directors, forwarded to the Center a $250 contribution for the IHRC's Greek American Studies Fund as the IHRC's share of the proceeds, which also benefited several other charitable organizations.

John Lambros birthday gifts directed to IHRC 

John Lambros, representative of the District 14 (MN, IA, ND, SD) AHEPA Past District Governors' Club on the Friends of IHRC Board of Directors, sponsored a party of family and friends on December 13, 2003, to celebrate his 80th birthday. He asked that in lieu of gifts to him, wellwishers contribute to the Greek American Studies Fund at the IHRC. IHRC Director Rudy Vecoli and Asst. Director Joel Wurl were among the attendees and noted that this was but one example of Lambros's contributions to the Greek American collection and the IHRC in general. In gratitude for his steadfast support, they presented Lambros with a certificate of appreciation from the Center. 

Polish American Historical Association contributes to endowment 

The Polish American Historical Association has made a $1,000 contribution for the Polish American Studies Fund of the IHRC endowment. The first goal of that fund is to endow a curatorship for the IHRC's world-recognized Polish American collection, one of the Center's largest ethnic collections. The check was handed to Director Vecoli at the organization's awards dinner in Washington, DC, January 9 (see description below).

Independent Endowment Funds

As a result of contributions made in support of the campaign, several endowment funds have reached the threshold of money raised to become independent named funds. The IHRC salutes the contributors who have made this possible. Now, more contributions are needed to complete the funding. The independent funds include:

Click on a fund to find out more about it. See the Support section of  this website for the specific goals the endowment funds will support and more about how you or your organization can contribute. You may also request a printed brochure that outlines the four campaign goals.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has granted the U of MN a prestigious matching grant for the IHRC ($4 in donations to the Center's endowment are matched with $1 from NEH). The camaign has met its second-phase goal, having raised $500,000 during the period August 2001 through July 2003. See the feature story in the August Online News. The campaign ends July 31, 2005.

This is a good time to make a pledge. Follow the directions in ways you can help the campaign.

Make a contribution

If you appreciate the IHRC's work, make a contribution to the Annual Appeal (to help fund general day-to-day expenses) and/or to the Endowment (for investment in the long-term future of the Center). Your help is urgently needed and greatly appreciated.

This is a good time to make a pledge. You have until July 2005 to complete payment. Follow the directions in ways you can help the campaign.Thank you for supporting the documentation, preservation, and promotion of the history of our nation's immigrant experience.

Return to Top

Researchers and Visitors

Halyna Sarancha, a PhD student of history at the Ternopil State Pedagogical University in Ukraine, spent 10 days in October researching information for her dissertation on the social-political adaptation of the third wave of Ukrainian immigrants to the USA (after World War II to 1954). She looked at materials documenting the first steps in creation of communities and organizations among the immigrants. "They were a highly educated group," she noted. "I am interested in how they used their knowledge and maintained their ethnic community." Among the materials she used were correspondence from the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee collection, items in the Alexander Granowsky collection (he sponsored many immigrants), and articles in the newspaper Svoboda. She "found a wealth of material" and hopes to return next year to spend more time at the IHRC.

Michael Weissberger, a student at the College of William and Mary, researched Muslim integration into Western society for a course.

Stephanie Sommer, a U of MN graduate student, researched women writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

Matthew Mormino, a student at the U of Pennsylvania, did research for several days in January for a senior thesis on the Order Sons of Italy in America, specifically how it helped unite Italian immigrants and create a community.

Amy Hickman, a student at the University of Chicago, also worked on a senior thesis with an Italian American topic: the Italian American letter-writing campaign of 1948. (The Order Sons of Italy in America asked Italian Americans to write to relatives in Italy to urge them to vote against the Communist Party candidates in the Italian general election.)  She was at the IHRC for four days in January.

Return to Top


Vecoli visits Washington, DC, for meeting, award

Director Rudolph Vecoli was in Washington, DC, over the weekend of January 9-11, primarily for two events:

1. "A Summit on Italian American Studies at U.S. Universities," sponsored by the American Italian Historical Association. On Friday, Vecoli was one of four panelists involved in Italian American studies who addressed "Visioning the Future of Italian American Studies at Our Universities." This session was followed the next day by a panel discussing "Strategies and Tactics for Implementing the Future of Italian American Studies: An Action Plan." Several Italian American organizations, including the Order Sons of Italy in America and UNICO National, have in recent years made donations to fund Italian American studies and endowed chairs at institutions around the country. Both of these organizations have also contributed to the IHRC's Italian American Studies Fund.

2. Award from PAHA. Vecoli received the Amicus Poloniae Award from the Polish American Historical Association, presented by Mary Erdmans, president. PAHA is a non-profit organization devoted to the study of Polish American history and culture. Founded in 1942 as part of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, PAHA became an autonomous scholarly society in 1948. The award recognizes significant contributions enhancing knowledge of the Polish and Polish American heritage by someone who is not part of the Polish American community.

Awardees in various categories were honored at a ceremony and banquet at the Polish Embassy in DC on Friday, January 9. Many PAHA members who have been researchers or staff members at the IHRC attended.  Vecoli's framed certificate reads "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the understanding of the Polish experience in America."

PAHA also presented to him a $1,000 contribution for the Polish American Studies Fund of the IHRC endowment (see endowment item, above).

Asst. Curator Necas participates in conference on Czech and Slovak archives

On November 22-23, 2003, Asst. Curator Daniel Necas participated in a conference on Archival Materials of the Czechs and Slovaks in the United States and Canada, held at the Czech and Slovak embassies in Washington DC, and organized by the embassies and the SVU (Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences). He presented briefly on the IHRC's Czech and Slovak holdings and then raised some important archival issues: 1. care needed when considering splitting archival collections among multiple repositories, 2. efficacy of sending ethnic American archival materials back to Europe, 3. necessity for processing collections and making them available, etc. There were several responses and some discussion of these issues.

Part-time Research Specialist position available at IHRC
A 20-hours-per-week Research Specialist position, supported by the National Park Service's "Save America's Treasures" award, is available at the IHRC. The successful applicant will assist in the development of COLLAGE, the Center's online database of digital images of archival documents and photographs from its collections. Work will involve research, selection, and description of materials for digitizing, in coordination with the project coordinator and IHRC curatorial staff.

Visitors to IHRC welcome.This newsletter frequently reports on visitors, sometimes from foreign lands, from university classes learning about using the resources, or from representatives of supporting organizations. The staff want to make it very clear that everyone is welcome to visit the IHRC, whether researcher, supporter, or the merely curious. If possible, contact the Center to inform the staff when you are coming so someone will be available to show you around. The IHRC is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You will receive a warm welcome, despite the January wind chill outside.

New volunteer.Deb Reierson, a former Minneapolis librarian with a master's degree from the College of St. Catherine in library information science, has begun working two mornings a week at the IHRC, processing gift books among other duties. She notes that her background is in fine arts; she graduated from the U of MN, where she studied in "that funky old art building right across the street" [which, by the way, is scheduled to be demolished any day now, having been replaced by a new art facility-Ed.] She still paints watercolors and works in pastels, and declares, "Libraries have always been my other love, and I have now found a way to include both of them in my life."

Graphic design volunteer needed. The IHRC is seeking a volunteer or student intern (unpaid) to help with graphic design projects during the year. Projects will include a redesign of the Center's information brochure, the annual report, and other printed documents and promotional materials. Add to your portfolio! If you are interested in this position, please contact the Center.

Volunteers recognized at holiday party

Volunteers who are doing curatorial or administrative tasks currently (or did recently) and members of the Friends of IHRC Board of Directors were invited to join staff members for a holiday party at the IHRC on December 18. The Center used the occasion to recognize these supporters for their dedication by giving them certificates of appreciation. Curator and Asst. Director Joel Wurl (standing in photo) did the honors in the absence of Director Vecoli, who was vacationing in Iceland. Those who were unable to be present are receiving their certificates by mail.

Volunteer award recipients, whose certificates read "for dedicated volunteer work at the IHRC" and then specify what work has been done, are Melanie Anton, Michael and Elaine Anuta, Vicky Bellon, Tetiana Brynowsky, Rita Drone, Marie Eller, Michael Giga, Joyce Hakala, Maria Hrynewych, Craig Johnson, Jessica Johnson, Stephanie Lindorff, Riikka Morrill, Marija Skutans Netz, Jeanette Pafko, Inken Purvis, Karleen Sheppard, Susan Smith, and Duane Wiita.

Friends Board members, who received certificates reading "for steadfast dedication and enthusiastic support of the Immigration History Research Center and its mission to preserve and promote America's ethnic heritage" are Walter Anastas, Tessie Bourdamis, Darius Balciunas, David Genosky, Etheldoris Grais, Kathy Labriola Gruett, JoAnn Hanson, Edit Horvath, Roma Kehne, Kalju Kubits, Emma Jean Kydd, John and Nancy Lambros, Homer and Mary Mantis, Lou Ann Matossian, Lou Novak, Don Pafko, Steven Potach, Ruta Praulins, John Radzilowski, Celeste Raspanti, Chris Skjervold, and Karen Varian.

Return to Top

Friends of the IHRC

Link here to the Friends section of the website for more information about the organization, including how to join this nonprofit support group for the IHRC (or use the drop-down menu, above).

Revised & expanded Historical Atlas of Central Europe available from the Friends at a 10% discount

The U of Washington Press's revised and expanded edition of the Historical Atlas of Central Europe by Prof. Paul Magocsi, in full-color, 9" x 12" paperback format is available from the Friends organization. This highly regarded atlas has added maps and 11 new chapters that focus on the newly independent countries. 

The book retails at $45.00. By ordering through the Friends, you can get it for $40.50 (plus shipping and handling), a 10% discount. Click here for complete information and order form (pdf format, requires Adobe Acrobat© to download and print).

Announcements of ethnic events. Click on "Community Events & Announcements" on the pull-down Friends menu at the top of the page (or click here.). This list is changed frequently, so check it often.

Board Meeting (note change of date and time from previous meeting schedule). The  Board of Directors meets next on Tuesday, April 13, 2004, in Room 308 Andersen Library. Friends members are welcome to attend board meetings. Email Judy Rosenblatt for more information (or phone 612-624-5774).

Return to Top

About the IHRC

The IHRC, a unit of the University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts (CLA), promotes the study and appreciation of ethnic pluralism by sponsoring seminars, publications, conferences, and exhibits. One of this country's foremost repositories of immigration-related printed, manuscript, and audiovisual materials of national and local origin, the Center is open for research by scholars and the general public. 

The papers and records the IHRC collects and preserves are largely the products of the immigrants, their descendants, and their organizations. A substantial body of materials also documents the activities of groups that provided services to immigrants, worked for policy reform, or educated Americans about immigrant needs and problems.

While it receives basic funding from CLA, the Center relies on supporters around the world to maintain its program. It is currently engaged in a campaign to raise an endowment that will provide a secure future for its collections and activities. Contributions made before July 31, 2005, will be matched 1:4 by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Contributions to the General Fund (day-to-day expenses) are also welcome. The Center appreciates your support.

Note: the IHRC's three-panel display board may be used by local ethnic organizations to inform their members and guests about the Center. On display is information about and examples of IHRC collections and activities, as well as samples of materials from the relevant ethnic collection(s). If your local organization would like to borrow it for a meeting or event (with or without a speaker), contact the IHRC.

Asst. Director Joel Wurl awards certificates of appreciation to volunteers at the IHRC's December 18, 2003, holiday party. Here, Finnish American collection supporter and frequent researcher Duane Wiita displays his certificate.

The IHRC welcomes volunteers to help with both curatorial and administrative tasks.

Look at these resources before you visit:

  • Visiting: how to get to the IHRC by bus or car, parking directions, and nearby places for housing and food. 
  • The "virtual tour," an excellent, detailed introduction to the building, the IHRC offices and collections, and how to conduct research at the Center. 
Return to Top