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Immigration History Research Center

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IHRC News Online January 2005

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.

This issue contains:

Feature Story
Researchers and Visitors
Friends of IHRC
Collection Development
Endowment Campaign
About the IHRC
Announcements, Events

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.

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. You may submit news of ethnic events or information to the editor for posting. Some current listings:

Wednesday, February 16, 6:30 p.m. – Arlington Hills Branch Library, 1105 Greenbrier St., St. Paul
Well-founded Fear, free film with discussion about the political asylum system in America: who gets it, who deserves it, and who decides. See Friends.

U of MN offers Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellowships; application deadline February 21. See Friends.

Feature Story

Tom MachamanThomas Mackaman, PhD student at U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and one of the two students who received the IHRC's first Michael G. Karni Scholarships to assist with research expenses, began his two-week research sojourn at the Center January 12. He is using materials in the Center's Finnish and Italian American collections (and possibly others) for his dissertation, which compares worker consciousness and radical activity of several different immigrant groups, 1914–1924. He posits that strike activity and radicalism were among the driving forces in the changes that came about in trade unions (AFL) and radical politics (Socialist Party and Industrial Workers of the World [IWW]). Mackaman received his undergraduate degree at the U of MN and was a part-time curatorial assistant at the IHRC in 1998–1999.

Research in Progress Colloquium - free and open to the public
"For More Than Bread and Butter: New Immigrant Workers
and the Remaking of the American Left, 1914–1924"
by Thomas Mackaman, Ph.D. candidate, U of Illinois
Thursday, Jan. 27, 2005, 4:30 p.m.
Room 308 Andersen Library, 222-21st Ave. S, Minneapolis
RSVP (requested, but not necessary to attend): Email or call 612-625-4800

Light refreshments will be served

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Collection Development

FinnFest USA photographs added to collection

FinnFest USA, Records, 1983-2000, 6 lin. ft. (supplement to the existing 38 linear feet of FinnFest materials)
Documents and photographs pertaining to the FinnFest USA cultural festivals held annually since 1983 were received in December 2004 and have been added to the existing collection containing minutes, correspondence, publicity, videotapes, and other records of the festivals. Selected photos will also be considered for inclusion in the graphics database COLLAGE.

The six-box supplement contains photo albums, framed photographs (about 4,000 photographs in all), and other items documenting the FinnFest events and Robert Selvala's involvement in them as well as in other Finnish community activities in the United States and Canada. The material was donated by Mae Selvala, Owatonna, MN, widow of Robert Selvala, one of the founders of FinnFest and organizer of the event for its first 18 years (from 1982 until his death in 2000).

Microfilm Resources Acquired:
"Records of the INS" - The IHRC has acquired "Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service," 17 reels (positive).
Series A: Subject Correspondence Files; Part 2: Mexican Immigration, 1906–1930,
produced by University Publications of America in its series Research Collections in American Immigration, general editor IHRC Director Rudolph Vecoli.

OSS "Foreign Nationalities Branch Files, 1943–1945,"
Index and Microfiche Collection
Published by Congressional Information Service, Inc., the indexes and microfiche (more than 18,000 documents on 2,450 microfiche) of documents of the Foreign Nationalities Branch of the US Office of Strategic Services are an important resource for researchers. This branch was the only US government agency that focused in a comprehensive way on foreign nationals and ethnic groups during World War II. It developed an extensive network of contacts and systematically collected information among foreign nationality groups to enable the US government to understand, anticipate, and influence political developments in Europe. The records reveal information on a vast array of cultural, social, and economic subjects. (Information from printed introduction to the collection.)

This collection is drawn from the OSS Archive maintained by the Military Reference Branch at the National Archives and Records Administration and includes:

Reference Bibliography - title, date, other data for each document; subject terms under which item is indexed;
Index by Subjects and Names - access by subject, organization, or personal name;
Index by Document Numbers - access by FNB-assigned numbers.

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Announcements & Events

Andersen Research Forum: A new occasional program of lectures begins with talk January 31 by historian Joseph Amato. The first event in the Andersen Research Forum, a new program of occasional lectures, will be a talk by Prof. Joe Amato on January 31. He will discuss his use of the University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives in his work - including research for his recent book, On Foot, A History of Walking. In the book Amato takes the reader 'from the first human migrations to marching Roman legions and ancient Greeks to strolling courtiers and romantic ramblers to mall walkers.

"On Foot: A conversation with Joseph A. Amato"
When: Monday, January 31, 4:00–5:30 p.m.
Where: Room 120, Elmer L. Andersen Library (for location and parking, see

Founder of the Center for Rural and Regional Studies and professor emeritus of history and rural and regional studies at Southwest State U, Marshall, MN, Amato is teacher, author, and publisher of Crossings Press. He is a longtime friend of the IHRC, having researched previous books at the Center and been featured speaker at IHRC programs and a Friends of IHRC annual meeting.

Amato's publications fall into two basic categories, cultural and intellectual explorations and rural/regional/local studies Among the former is Dust: A History of the Small and Invisible , U of California Press, chosen best non-fiction book of 2002 by the Los Angeles Times; it was widely reviewed and translated into German, Italian, and Spanish. Recent work in his second area of interest is Rethinking Home: The Case for Local History , U of California Press, published in February 2002. It has been widely reviewed and featured at several regional and national conferences. It has also been the subject of a lengthy interview with Amato in Speaking Historically (Fall 2003) and the subject of talks he has given regionally and nationally.

On Foot, 384 pages, published 2004 by NYU Press, $29.95, cloth, is available at a 20% discount from the Press if you mention the code "Foot04." See <>, call 1-800-996-NYUP, or fax 1-212-995-3833.

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IHRC/Dept. of History May Conference

IHRC/Dept. of History immigration history conference May 12-14, 2005, to honor service of IHRC Director Rudolph J. Vecoli. A conference on the history of immigration studies at the U of MN,and celebrating the career of Rudolph Vecoli, Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) director and professor of history, will be cosponsored by the Dept. of History and the IHRC at Andersen Library on May 12-14, 2005. The conference, "The Past and Future of Immigration History at the University of Minnesota," will look at the past, present, and future of immigration scholarship, with a particular focus on the contributions of scholars from the U of MN to this field. Each conference session will be structured to include attention to earlier migration and migrant communities of the period up through the mid-20th century and the "new" migration and migrant communities of the late-20th century through the present. Both graduate students and established scholars will participate.

The opening keynote session on Thursday evening, May 12, will feature Jon Gjerde, professor of history at UC-Berkeley, who received his PhD in history at the U of MN in 1982. He worked as a research associate at the IHRC 1982-1983. He is a leading scholar of the immigrant experience in rural areas, particularly in the Midwest (and Minnesota specifically). His research and publications have also focused on Norwegian and German immigrants, transnationalism, religion, and demography. His recent publications are the Minnesota Historical Society Press's volume Norwegians in Minnesota, written with Carlton C. Qualey (update to their chapter on Norwegian immigrants in They Chose Minnesota), and Major Problems in Ameican History, two volumes, written with Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.), both published in 2002

A banquet will cap the conference Saturday evening. For more information, contact conference assistant Andrea Burns at Tentative session titles:

Friday, May 13, 2005
1: “Against the Melting Pot,” Immigration History and Historiography
2: Gender and Family in Immigrant Communities
3: Transnational Identities and Communities

Saturday, May 14, 2005
Roundtable 1: Immigrant Community Organizing
Roundtable 2: Language, Literature, and Bilingualism
Workshop: Documenting the Immigrant Experience

New Publication contains reference to IHRC collections among many others:
A Guide to Slavic Collections in the United States and Canada

Researchers of Slavic ethnic groups will be interested in A Guide to Slavic Collections, Volume 5, Numbers 3/4 2004, of the Slavic & East European Information Resources series, compiled by guest editors Allan Urbanic and Beth Feinberg and published by The Haworth Information Press. The volume briefly describes the collections, along with general contact information for their institutions, usually university libraries. It includes a brief (two-page) description for the IHRC's East European Slavic collections. More information on this research resource is available at the press's website:

First Fridays at Andersen Library series

Explore special collection resources at library talks.

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. The presenters remain after each presentation for conversation and questions.

The series is made possible by a gift from the late Gov. and Mrs. Elmer L. Andersen in honor of Dr. Edward B. Stanford, a former University Librarian. For more information, contact Dave Klaassen at or 612-624-4377.

Remaining sessions for this academic year:
February 4, 2005: History Mysteries: Finding Clues in Unexpected Places
--What can archives teach us about local history? This presentation reveals both apparent and hidden connections between archival records and local history. Lance Neckar, professor in the U of MN's College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, discusses his research on the landscape design of the University campus. Neckar will discuss manuscripts from University Archives and examine their role in the development of campus landmarks like the Knoll and the Mall. Historian Randy Getchell relates his discoveries of not only clues but an unexpected story in the University's Social Welfare History Archives. He unearthed a fascinating history of the development of social work in St. Paul and its relationship to social and economic power structures. Getchell is an adjunct reference librarian at St. Cloud State University.

March 4: Documents of Truth, Documents of Shame
IHRC Curator Joel Wurl is one of the presenters at this session, talking about IHRC materials that relate to the deportation of immigrant radicals during the McCarthy era.
April 1: April Fools: Hoaxes, Frauds and Tricksters
May 6: Beyond the Stereotype: Documenting Mothers and Motherhood

Revised, enlarged guide to OSIA records and papers available

The IHRC's revised and enlarged guide to the lodges, leaders, and activities of the Order Sons of Italy in America is available from the Center. OSIA is the oldest and largest Italian American fraternal organization. See the May-June online newsletter for a more detailed feature story about the book. To order, go to the IHRC online catalog or download an order form to print out. See for more information about OSIA.

Guide to the Records of the Order Sons of Italy In America  Second Edition
Compiled by Jennifer M. Guglielmo; first edition compiled by John Andreozzi
267 pages + unpaged middle section with 53 black and white photographs
ISBN: 0-932833-16-0    Cost per book: $19.95 + $1.40 sales tax (Minnesotans) + $2.00 postage+ $3.00 handling per total order    Total:   $26.35 (MN)      $24.95 (non-MN)  Please make check payable to Univ. of MN.

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IHRC Endowment Campaign

"Stories Worth Remembering"

Following are links to information on the fellowship and scholarship funds that have been established within the IHRC endowment. The only one fully endowed ($150,000) is the "Must" Fellowship in Estonian American Studies. Your contributions to any of the other fellowship funds (as well as to funds for general priorities or particular ethnic group studies) would be very welcome.

Matching funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities are available for contributions to the IHRC's endowment campaign through July 2006. Get more information about the different funds at the endowment page. Thank you to those who have sent year-end or new-year contributions. The IHRC greatly appreciates your support.

If you or your organization would like to endow a named fund, fellowship, scholarship, or internship, please contact the IHRC for information. If you would like a speaker and/or the IHRC's videotape about its mission for a group meeting, contact the office. Email: Phone: 612-625-4800.


Fellowship in Finnish American Studies (new)

American Latvian Association Graduate Fellowship in Latvian American Studies

Francis Maria Graduate Fellowship in Arab American Studies

"Hildegard and Gustav Must" Graduate Fellowship in Estonian American Studies

Louis P. Novak Fellowship in Croatian American Studies (new)

Maurice A. Roberts Fellowship Fund for the History of Immigration Law & Policy

UNICO National Graduate Fellowship in Italian American Studies


Michael G. Karni Scholarship for grant-in-aid of research at the IHRC

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. Make a pledge or one-time contribution for the endowment (you have until July 2006 to complete payment of a pledge). 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.

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Researchers and Visitors

Recent researchers:

William Clayton, a U of MN graduate student, researched the records of the Work People's College, Duluth, MN, for a paper.

U of MN undergrad Daniel Margoles investigated the environmental history of Cumberland, WI, for a paper.

Rose Brewer, U of MN faculty member, did research in ethnic studies for a book.

Paul Waaraniemi, a Minnesota resident, did research on Laestadianism among Lutherans for several articles.

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IHRC Director Rudy Vecoli participated in the International Conference on the Arts and Humanities in Honolulu on January 6-9. He chaired a session and presented a paper based on his research for a biography of Celso Caesar Moreno. Among other episodes in a colorful and eventful life, Moreno served as prime minister of Hawaii for five days in 1880. Vecoli also conducted fruitful research relative to Moreno in the Hawaiian State Archives, the University of Hawaii, the Hawaiian Historical Society, and the Bishop Museum. He did find time for some snorkeling and managed to get a modest tan.

Curator Joel Wurl talked with an ElderLearning Institute / Osher Lifelong Learning Institute class about the IHRC during a session on Thursday, January 13, of the course. "Exploring Special Collections in the U of M Libraries." The January 6–February 10 class was organized by librarian Mariann Tiblin, associate professor emerita with the social science collections at Wilson Library on the West Bank Campus. Several of the Andersen Library curators and other U library representatives are describing their special collections during this course, held on Thursday mornings at U library buildings. For more information about ELI/OLLI membership and courses, see

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Friends of IHRC

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 navigation box at the top of this newsletter).

2004 Annual Meeting Report. See the Friends Web page.

Michael Karni Scholarship Fund (?)

Book sale benefits Karni Scholarship Fund
To raise funds for the Michael Karni Scholarship Fund, the Friends of the IHRC is selling items remaining in the inventory of Michael Karni's company, Sampo Publishing, Inc. They include memoirs, scholarship, poetry (and one music videotape of the Amerikan Poijat brass band), all with Finnish American themes. They are being sold at HALF PRICE, and all the proceeds will be contributed to the scholarship fund. As a gift from the Friends to the Karni Fund, this money qualifies for matching (1:4) from the National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant.

See the catalog and order form to print out
Find out more about or contribute to the Karni Scholarship Fund.

State History Day

Refer to Friends page or July issue of the News for winners of the Friends 2004 junior and senior awards.

The theme for 2005 National History Day is Communication in History: The Key to Under-standing.

Minnesota's History Day will take place in Coffman Union (East Bank Campus) on Sunday, May 1, 2005. The Friends will award prizes to the outstanding junior and senior high school preparers of projects relating to immigration history. Students who have History Day projects relating to immigration history are invited to contact the Center and use IHRC resources.

Friends sell discounted Historical Atlas of Central Europe - Info in Announcements.

Announcements of ethnic events. Click on Friends in the navigation box at the top of the page and then click on "Community Events & Announcements." This list is changed frequently, so check it often. You may also click here.

Board Meeting: The Board of Directors meets next on Saturday, January 22, 2005, in Room 308 Andersen Library. Friends members are welcome to attend board meetings. email Pres. Don Pafko,, for more information or phone 952-831-1440. (Note: this meeting was rescheduled from January 15 because of a forecast of -20 degrees F. for the morning of the 15th.)

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About the IHRC

Find out more about the IHRC from the About section. Click on "Visiting the IHRC" and then "virtual tour," an excellent, detailed introduction to the building, the IHRC offices and collections, and how to conduct research at the Center.

The IHRC welcomes volunteers to help with both curatorial and administrative tasks. Find the opportunities at the Volunteer page.

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