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Immigration History Research Center

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IHRC News Online March 19, 2004

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

"America in a Different Mirror: Re-Visioning Our Nation's Past."

Presented by Ronald Takaki, professor of ethnic studies at University of California, Berkeley, since 1972 on Wed., April 28, 2004, wine and cheese reception, 6 p.m.; talk at 7 p.m.; book signing immediately after  the lecture at 8 p.m. 

Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center, 301-19th Ave. S, Minneapolis (West Bank Campus) The Immigration History Research Center is a cosponsor of this event, part of the Great Speaker Series of the U of MN Humanities Institute. Everyone is invited to attend.

Ronald Takaki, a pioneer in the field of ethnic studies, was born in 1939 in Honolulu, Hawaii, the grandson of immigrant Japanese plantation workers. Today he is an outspoken defendant of multiculturalism and multicultural education as a teacher, writer, speaker, and frequently controversial thinker, regarded by many as the founder of modern multicultural studies.

Takaki has traveled extensively to share his works and views. He has appeared on numerous television shows to discuss race relations, ethnicity, multiculturalism, and affirmative action and has written 20 books on ethnic topics, focusing recently on the immigration and adaptation of Asian peoples into American culture. The Journal of American History reported that one of his works, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (Little Brown and Company, 1993), "has enriched the scholarly debate" as it relates to "culture, ethnicity, and historiography."

Among his other books are Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb (Back Bay Books, 1998), and Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans (Back Bay Books, 1996), both of which, along with A Different Mirror, will be on sale at the event. More recent works are Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II, and Debating Diversity: Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in America, a collection of essays he edited that highlights the intellectual disagreement between Takaki and Frederick Jackson Turner, Nathan Glazer, and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

More about Professor Takaki can be found at the website of the Lavin Agency, which represents him as a speaker for campus events and from which much of this information was extracted. Go to

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Collection Development

Microfilm of Polish American newspaper added to collection

The IHRC has received a donation of nine reels of microfilm of the Polish newspaper Narod Polski  (1972-2002) from the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America (Chicago, IL) for its Polish American collection. This newspaper is the organization's official publication. The microfilm is available to use at the IHRC. In an accompanying letter, Executive Editor Kathryn G. Rosypal wrote, "This donation will be an important addition to your collection of Polish American newspapers and provide Minnesota historical and genealogical researchers with valuable information, since it is a nationwide newspaper."

Online searchable database, North American Immigrant Letters, 
Diaries and Oral Histories, under construction by Alexander Street Press; 

IHRC Curator Joel Wurl is general editor

A new online searchable database, North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories (IMLD), being compiled by Alexander Street Press, currently includes 342 authors and approximately 37,500 pages of information. Selection is under the direction of faculty advisers, including IHRC Curator and Asst. Director Joel Wurl, the project's senior adviser and general editor. Some IHRC collection materials are included.

The contemporaneous letters and diaries, oral histories, interviews, and other personal narratives included provide a unique and personal view of what it meant to immigrate to America and Canada between 1840 and the present (materials focus heavily on 1890 to 1920). By early in 2005, the database will contain 100,000 pages of text, with selected associated images and audio files, and be a rich source for scholars in a wide range of disciplines. Special software will enable in-depth browsing and searching of.

The database is available on the Web now (although it is not yet completed), either through one-time purchase of perpetual rights or through annual subscription. For more details on this project, see the publisher's information on which this article was based, at or both the bibliographic and the full-text elements within the database. 

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Announcements & Events

IHRC-sponsored Research in Progress Colloquium

"South Slavic Immigrants and the Breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s"

Presented by Matjaz Klemencic, professor of history, University of Maribor, Slovenia
Wed., April 7, 2004, 5 p.m.; light refreshments provided Andersen Library, Conference Room 308, 222-21st Ave. S, Minneapolis (West Bank) Cosponsored by Friends of the IHRC; free and open.

To request disability accommodations or to RSVP with name, phone number, and how many attending (appreciated but not required), contact the IHRC office, <> or 612-625-4800. Find directions and parking information at

Professor Klemencic is a frequent researcher at the IHRC and has written extensively about the South Slavic peoples located in Southeastern Europe, mostly on the Balkan Peninsula, across the Adriatic Sea from Italy (in Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia) and the immigrants from that region to the United States. During the Communist years, most of the area made up Yugoslavia.

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

U of MN Duluth and U degli Studi di Palermo, Italy, are sponsoring a conference in Duluth in conjunction with the Italian American Festival 2004, an extravaganza of theatrical and cultural events being held over several months in late 2003-spring 2004 in Duluth and Palermo. 

The international academic conference, "Crossing the Waters: Italian American Connections," will be held April 29-May 1, 2004. IHRC Director Rudolph Vecoli is on the planning committee.
Confrence Schedule:

Thurs., April 29, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.       Italian Footsteps,  American Soil: The Immigrant Experience
Fri., April 30, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.           Italian Culture and History
Sat., May 1, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.     Cultural Conversations 

Featured speakers: 

Fred Gardaphé, Professor of Italian American Studies, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY
Emilio Franzina, Professor of History, U of Verona, Italy
Rudolph Vecoli, Professor of History and Director of IHRC, U of MN, Minneapolis
William Boelhower, Professor and Chair of American Literature, U of Padua, Italy
Some conference sessions will  include panel discussions, storytelling, folklore, and music related to the conference theme.

For more information and/or registration materials, contact Dr. Judith Kritzmire, 218-726-8260 or   <>. Find more information about the entire festival at the festival website,

"New Americans" series on PBS at end of March;follow-up forum on MN immigrants to be April 4

A PBS documentary mini-series from the makers of the award-winning "Hoop Dreams" will be broadcast on Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) and nationwide March 29, 30, 31 at 8 p.m. (Check listings for your area.)  The documentary, "The New Americans," tells the stories of a diverse group of contemporary immigrants and refugees from Nigeria, India, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the occupied West Bank as they leave their homelands to make new lives in the United States. Amazingly, the filmmakers identified the families they wanted to follow while they were still preparing to leave their homelands, so the entire process of their emigration/immigration is documented.

The League of Women Voters of Minnesota (LWVMN) is working with TPT on a follow-up Town Hall Forum with new Minnesotans, to be broadcast on TPT 17 on Sunday, April 4, at 8 p.m. The IHRC's Curator and Asst. Director Joel Wurl will provide a short history of immigration to Minnesota at the beginning of the program. 

For an expanded version of this news item, go to the Friends Community Events and Announcements.

New book: Rome in America

The IHRC has been given a copy for the collections of a new book by Peter D'Agostino, assistant professor of history and Catholic studies at the U of Illinois at Chicago: Rome in America; Transnational Catholic Ideology from the Risorgimento to Fascism (Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina Press, April 19, 2004). D'Agostino spent a summer doing research at the IHRC in 1991, recipient of a Giovanni Agnelli Foundation grant-in-aid. In his preface to this book, he thanks Dir. Rudolph Vecoli for being "a helpful teacher." The Center's Maurice Marchello Papers is cited as a source. Rome in America was awarded the Brewer Prize by the American Society of Church History.

Explore special collection resources at "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. 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. 

Remaining schedule:
April 2, 2004    Emancipation  (associated exhibit, "Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation,"  is on display  weekdays through April 30, Andersen Library first floor gallery. For information about the exhibit,  see the new American Library Association website, and search for or "Forever Free.")

May 7, 2004    Mish-Mash, Misc., Etc.: The Weird, Bizarre, and Different

IHRC distributes information at International Women's Day Celebration,  held March 6 at U of MN Law School

The IHRC was a cosponsor of the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights' ninth annual free and open International Women's Day event in the Twin Cities, attended by hundreds of women (and a few men) on Saturday, March 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mondale Hall (U of MN Law School), Minneapolis. Speakers, workshops, and entertainment promoted understanding and tolerance in our communities, highlighted advancements in women's rights and equality, encouraged activism, and educated participants about human rights issues that affect girls and women everywhere. Many of the workshops featured issues pertaining to refugee and immigrant women. The IHRC information table was staffed by Judy Rosenblatt and Friends of IHRC board member Roma Kehne.

For more about the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, see its website

Carl Ross, radical activist and independent scholar of the labor movement and the Finns in America, died March 1 in Minneapolis of complications related to Parkinson's disease, just six weeks after his wife of 60 years, Marge, died of cancer.

IHRC Director Rudolph Vecoli commented in a note to Carol Klitzner, the Rosses' daughter, "Carl was indeed a good friend of the IHRC. I was honored when he asked me to write the Foreword to the Finn Factor [in American Labor, Culture and Society], a very important work which really launched Finnish American Studies. He played a critical role in bridging the chasm between the 'Red Finns' and the 'Church Finns.'"

The Minnesota Family History Research Project, in which Carl Ross was a consultant, led to the 1980 publication of Handbook for Doing Finnish American Family History, by Ross and Velma Doby. The family histories gathered during the project were donated to the IHRC, where they are available to researchers. In 1986, the IHRC published Women Who Dared: The History of Finnish American Women, a book of essays edited by Ross and K. Marianne Wargelin Brown that was sponsored by the Reunion of Sisters project. Ross wrote many other monographs, book reviews, and articles.

>Carol Klitzner has asked that donations in Carl Ross's honor be made to the IHRC's Finnish American Studies Fund, which will support curatorial staff to care for the Finnish American collection. She wrote, "My father had been affiliated with the IHRC over his 30 years of historical research, and Finnish Americans and their role in American life was a subject close to his heart. The Finnish American archives mattered greatly to him, and he in fact donated part of his papers to the collection. My father knew that a curator is necessary for the archive to be a resource for scholars in the future. I know he would be pleased that donations in his memory will help the Finnish American archive to prosper."

A memorial service for Carl Ross is planned for Saturday, September 11, 2004, 1 p.m., at the Cremation Society, 4343 Nicollet Ave. S, Minneapolis.

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. Categories and section headings have been added, to make it easier to navigate through the list. You may submit news of ethnic events to the editor for posting.

Some of the current listings (if "more" takes you to the beginning of the section, scroll down to the item listed):

Talk April 1 by Asst. Curator Daniel Necas on Czech and Slovak immigrant publications. 

Finn Forum VII, October 2004; proposed papers due March 26.

Sicilian Nights, play based on folktales, in Minneapolis during March.

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IHRC Endowment Campaign: "Stories Worth Remembering"

Florida Ukrainians support IHRC endowment.  At a program in Florida led by Sr. Assistant Curator Halyna Myroniuk, members of the Ukrainian American community made donations to the Ukrainian American Studies Fund totaling almost $900. See report below.

Endowment Funds

A National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant to the U of MN for the IHRC has provided $300,000 in matching funds so far ($1 from NEH for every $4 in donations in cash and pledges to the Center's endowment), as the Center has raised a total of $1,875,000 in cash, pledges, and bequests. The Center's goal for July 2004 is another $800,000 in contributions. To qualify for the full $500,000 NEH grant, the IHRC must raise a total of $2 million by July 31, 2005.

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. See the support section of  this website for the specific funds and the goals they will support, also more about how you or your organization can contribute. You may also request printed information that outlines the four general campaign goals or describes individual funds.

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. 

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Researchers and Visitors

Class visit.  On March 9, Curator and Asst. Dir. Joel Wurl met with and gave a tour to U of MN Prof. Ron Aminzade's graduate student class Sociology 8890 (Historical Sociology), to introduce them to the IHRC's resources and research methods.

Daniel Trudeau, a PhD student at the U of Colorado, did research for his dissertation on how issues of immigrants' social integration have been addressed by institutions of the welfare sate and voluntary agencies/charities in the Twin Cities during the last 80 years.

Abraham Wise, a U of MN undergraduate, did research for a course investigating the legal satus of Mexican immigrants and the social repercussions of legal status.

Pa Vang, a U of MN graduate student, did research for a course, looking into discourse analysis about the Americanization movement.

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. 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.

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The IHRC welcomes two new volunteers:

Janis Robins. Mr. Robins is an active leader in several Twin Cities Latvian American organizations and has organized Latvian community events. He is fluent in Latvian and began this month to work one morning a week at the Center, helping process additions to the Latvian print collection.

Peter Dress. An enthusiastic participant and leader in AHEPA (Greek fraternal organization) activities in the Minneapolis area and nationally, Peter chairs the organization's national Archives Committee. A strong supporter of the IHRC's mission, he is devoting one day a week to helping with IHRC publicity and fund raising.

IHRC Curator Wurl joins dialogue on "Culture Preserved,"
activity related to "Immigrant Status" exhibit in Minneapolis

On March 13, IHRC Curator and Asst. Director Joel Wurl participated in the dialogue "Culture Preserved" with other local experts, community leaders, and students who are actively working to ensure that immigrant culture is preserved. This activity was held in conjunction with the three-part exhibit "Immigrant Status," on display at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis through April 18. The Intermedia Arts website has more information about the exhibit, including other activities related to it (click on "events"), or call 612-871-4444. 

Sr. Asst. Curator Myroniuk meets with Florida Ukrainians

Left to right: Dr. Volodymyr Korol and three Halynas: Halyna Pankiw, Halyna Myroniuk, Halyna Korol (all identified below) at the St. Andrew Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center.

During a trip to Florida in February, Sr. Asst. Curator Halyna Myroniuk  met with members of the Ukrainian American community of North Port, FL, to give a presentation about the IHRC and its Ukrainian American Collection and related activities. She spoke at the St. Andrew Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center, where she met with the president of the Center, Dr. Volodymyr Korol, and the cultural program coordinator, his wife, Halyna Korol

She also met with Halyna Pankiw (pen name Hanna Cherin), a writer whose papers the IHRC holds. Pankiw participated in the presentation Myroniuk gave about the IHRC's Ukrainian American Collection and its founder, the late Prof. Alexander A. Granovsky. Pankiw also donated some more material to her papers. 

"The support of the people I spoke with was very gratifying," said Myroniuk. "They understand the importance of what the IHRC does."

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,  work on the annual report, and design of other printed documents and promotional materials. Add to your portfolio! If you are interested in this position, please contact the Center.

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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).

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About the IHRC

Find out more about the IHRC from the About section and the Welcome section. Under "Welcome," 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.

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