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IHRC News Online March 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:

International Film Festival in Twin Cities, April 1–16; see info in events list .

April genealogy conference for Upper Midwest in La Crosse; see info in announcements.

Feature Story

Photo: Donna GabacciaDonna Gabaccia to succeed Vecoli as IHRC director. After weeks of deliberation and anticipation, the results are in of the search process for a distinguished senior academician to become professor in U.S. immigration history - holder of the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in the Department of History - and to succeed Rudy Vecoli as director of the Immigration History Research Center. Donna Gabaccia, Mellon Professor of History at the U of Pittsburgh, has accepted the position offered to her after an intensive recruitment process involving a search committee and history department faculty and students, IHRC staff, and Friends of IHRC board members. Professor Gabaccia is a leading scholar of gender and immigration. Her research and publications have also focused on the Italian diaspora, transnationalism / diaspora, labor history, and American culinary history.

In her announcement of Gabaccia's acceptance, History Department Chair M. J. Maynes noted, "I am immensely pleased that the search has come to such a successful conclusion." Rudolph Vecoli added his endorsement: "She is an exceptionally well qualified person for the position, and will, I am sure, provide vigorous and creative leadership to the IHRC as it enters a new phase of its history." Vecoli will retire at the end of July.

Gabaccia received her PhD in 1979 from the U of Michigan. Before joining the faculty at Pittsburgh in 2003, she had spent 1992-2003 as Stone Professor of American History at the U of North Carolina. Previously she taught at Mercy College (1982-1991) and the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Free University of Berlin (1979-1982). Her latest of many publications (forthcoming) is American Dreams, Transnational Lives, co-edited with Vicki Ruiz, U of Illinois Press.

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Collection Development

Boston Latvian Student Society, 1968-1975, 5 lin. inches.
The Boston Latvian Student Society was founded on November 4, 1951, by post-World War II Latvian immigrants. Since Boston had many fine universities, it attracted Latvian students from many parts of the United States. The Society organized lectures, film screenings, literature readings, musical events, art exhibits, picnic outings, and dances. It provided opportunities for lively discussions of politics and culture. The officers of the Society were elected yearly. As the next generation of students (those born in the United States) took over the leadership of the society, more emphasis was placed on organizing dances and outings rather than cultural or political events. Although this generation still spoke the Latvian language fluently and in many cases eventually married within the Latvian American community, they had many more diverse interests; the Society essentially ceased to exist around 1976. (by Martin Duhms, 2004)

Collection consists of four notebooks / scrapbooks of correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records, photos, event programs, and clippings. It was donated to the IHRC by Martin Duhms of the American Latvian Association in 2004.

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Announcements & Events

Rudolph Vecoli photo

Rudolph J. Vecoli

Conference May 12-14, 2005, "Immigration History and the University of Minnesota: Where We've Been, Where We're Going," honors service of IHRC Director Rudolph J. Vecoli

A conference on the history and current direction of immigration studies and celebrating the career of Rudolph J. Vecoli, IHRC director and professor of history (who retires this July after 38 years as director), will be cosponsored; by the Department of History and the IHRC at Andersen Library on May 12-14, 2005. The conference is free of charge and open to the public.

Jon Gjerde, professor of history at UC-Berkeley, who received his PhD in history at the U of MN in 1982, will be the opening keynote speaker Thursday evening, May 12. Other speakers include senior scholars and graduate students, some of whom are past or current advisees of Professor Vecoli.

Films on immigration-related topics will be shown each day. A banquet will cap the conference Saturday evening; see this file for information about the dinner. This will honor Professor Vecoli's career as well as the many individuals and organizations that have supported the IHRC through its first 40 years.

For more details about the conference, including speakers and registration, see its page or contact conference assistant Andrea Burns at

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Caught in the Bolshevik Revolution: The Czech and Slovak Legion in Russia and Siberia, 1916-1921

Presented by Dr. Joan Mohr, University of Pittsburgh
Tuesday, April 5, 3:30 p.m
Ford Room, Room 710 Social Sciences Bldg., 267-19th Ave. S, West Bank Campus

The IHRC is a cosponsor of this talk (free and open to the public). Other cosponsors: Czech and Slovak Cultural Center of Minnesota; Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota; German Section, Modern Languages, Hamline University; and at the U of MN, the Center for Austrian Studies and Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Joan Mohr, (PhD in history) is a professional developer for the History Disciplinary Literacy Team, working with the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh, where she develops and presents history curriculum to secondary school districts. Prior to joining the Institute, she was a contributing historian and outreach consultant for the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a teaching fellow with the History Department at the University of Pittsburgh.

Midwest premiere of award-winning film March 20

Between Hitler and Stalin: Ukraine in World War II (the untold story)
Sunday, March 20, 2005, 4 p.m.
Ukrainian Event Center, 301 Main St. NE, Minneapolis

Tickets at the door: $12 adults, $5 ages 12 and under
Special guest is Director Slavko Nowytski, who has 40 years of professional experience in motion pictures (son-in-law of Oksana Bryn, contributor of collection materials and monetary support to the IHRC, quoted below).
The film will be available for purchase at the premiere (VHS and DVD).

Between Hitler and Stalin: Ukraine in World War II, a one-hour documentary portraying the lives of Ukrainians caught in a vise between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, is the result of years of research documenting materials, obtaining survivor testimonials, and incorporating actual film clips from the 1930s through World War II. Narrator is Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance. The IHRC supplied some of the images shown from its Ukrainian American collection.

Oksana Bryn, musician and music teacher at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, wrote in a letter of invitation to attend the premiere, "By telling a bit of my story through this film, you will come to understand the story of the millions of Ukrainians who built new lives in the U.S. and who now, at the dawn of democracy in Ukraine, are filled with the hope that Ukraine finally has the opportunity to live in peace as a free and democratic nation."

Proceeds fund completion and distribution of the Ukrainian-language version of this historic film by the producer, the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Center. The film was a winner at the 2005 New York International Film & Video Festival. For additional information, contact Andrew Bryn, 612-788-4022.

Austrian Holocaust survivors exhibit currently at Andersen Library

Three floors of the Elmer L. Andersen Library (the IHRC's home, at 222-21st Ave. S, West Bank Campus) have been transformed into a photographic memorial to Austrian Holocaust survivors and Nazi resisters. The exhibit, "Archiving Memory: The Art of Preservation," includes large images projected on the library's windows and text of family histories. It explores the role of the archives and photography in cultural preservation and in the personal lives of 12 Austrian survivors of Nazi persecution. In addition, the art work demonstrates how private images and memories can contribute to a shared sense of public history. It will run through June 2005 (including during the May conference referenced above). Children's Literature Research Collections, 113 Andersen Library, has a display of a selection of children's books about the Holocaust in conjunction with "Archiving Memory."

International Women's Day Celebration held March 12 at U of MN's Coffman Memorial Union

The IHRC had an information table (along with about 50 other organizations) at the Tenth Annual International Women's Day Celebration, held Saturday, March 12 at Coffman Memorial Union, U of MN East Bank Campus. It was sponsored by the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, with the support of the U's Human Rights Program. The IHRC was a cosponsor. The workshops and performances drew attention to the 12 areas of concern articulated in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action following the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. For more information about IWD, see the MN Advocates website, or call their office, at 612-341-3302, extension 107.

Volunteers who helped public relations staff member Judy Rosenblatt hand out literature about the IHRC and answer questions were Don and Jeanette Pafko, president and secretary, respectively, of the Friends of IHRC, and Andrea Burns, graduate research assistant on the IHRC's COLLAGE development project (database of images available at this website in the research section).

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:
April 1: April Fools: Hoaxes, Frauds and Tricksters
May 6: Beyond the Stereotype: Documenting Mothers and Motherhood

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IHRC Endowment Campaign: "Stories Worth Remembering"

First fellowship fund awards to be made soon - Of the seven fellowship funds that have been initiated within the IHRC endowment, two have enough money to offer their first awards soon. The "Must" Graduate Fellowship in Estonian American Studies is fully endowed ($150,000), and the American Latvian Association Graduate Fellowship in Latvian American Studies, will soon be fully funded. Work on the application criteria is being completed. Students who may be interested in these awards, watch for announcements soon or contact Curator and Asst. Dir. Joel Wurl,

Another new immigration history-related fellowship fund has been established in conjunction with a major gift to the College of Liberal Arts. The James W. Nelson Graduate Fellowship in Immigration History will be administered by the History Department in cooperation with the IHRC. Watch for further information on this award.

Additional contributions to any of the IHRC's other fellowship funds (see fellowships and scholarships), as well as to the Center's funds for particular ethnic group studies or its general expenses, would be very welcome. Matching funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities are available for contributions or pledges to the IHRC's endowment campaign fulfilled by July 2006. Get more information about the different funds at the endowment page of this website.

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. To purchase the videotape, see the Publications Catalog.

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). Have you considered adding a bequest to the IHRC in your will? Your help is urgently needed and greatly appreciated. Contact the office for more information.

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 & Visitors

Lubica Dzuganova, the youngest mayor in Slovakia and one of its few female political leaders, met with about 20 interested Rusin and Slovak community members and IHRC staff at a reception for her hosted by the IHRC at Andersen Library on Thursday, March 3, 2005. She spoke about immigration issues and recent positive changes in the lives of the people in her village of Tichy Potok (in Northeastern Slovakia). In photo at right, Dzuganova (right) answered a question from one of the attendees after the formal part of the Q and A session ended.

Dzuganova was escorted to the IHRC by Larry Goga, former president of the Rusin Association and its former representative on the Friends of IHRC Board of Directors, who wanted to be sure she would see the Center's Rusin and Slovak collections. Curator and Asst. Dir. Joel Wurl led the tour of the storage caverns underground so she could view the research materials.

On Saturday, March 5, she spoke on "Rusin Village Life— Yesterday and Today" at the annual Duchnovich Day lecture and dinner sponsored by the Rusin Association.

Britta Ross, a student at the Techical U of Dresden, Germany, spent 10 days researching 20th century Russian immigration for her Master's thesis.

Yaroslav Senyk, of the Stefanyk L'viv Scientific Library, L'viv, Ukraine, is spending two weeks in March researching historical and bibliographical information on the Ukrainian immigrant press in the United States, 1886-1939, for a chapter in a book.

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New staff member. Anthony Nussmeier, a U of MN senior from Mankato, MN, majoring in history and Italian studies, is the latest addition to the IHRC staff. He is assisting Dir. Rudy Vecoli in researching a book. His interests include languages, reading, and anything Italian. Ege U, Izmir,Turkey, 10th International Cultural Studies Symposium, May 4-6, 2005

"When 'Away' Becomes 'Home': Cultural Consequences of Migration"

IHRC Dir. Rudolph Vecoli will be one of the keynote speakers at the International Cultural Studies Symposium 10th annual conference at Ege University, Faculty of Letters, Izmir, Turkey, May 4-6, 2005. This year's topic aims to explore a wide range of experiences associated with migration, immigration, movement, and mixing of cultures/peoples. There will be separate sessions in both English and Turkish. For complete information, see the symposium website: .

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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 navigation box at the top of this newsletter).

2004 Annual Meeting Report. See the Friends Web page.

Book sale to benefit Karni Scholarship Fund. Quantities are limited! Finnish American scholarship and literature offered at half price. View the catalog/order form to print out.

To find out more about or to contribute to the Karni Scholarship Fund, see this file.

State History Day

The theme for 2005 National History Day is Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.

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 projects relating to immigration history. Participating students are invited to contact the Center and to visit the IHRC to use its resources.

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

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" in the list on the right. The announcement list is updated frequently, so check it often.

Board Meeting: The Board of Directors meets next on Saturday, March 19, 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.

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About the IHRC

Find out more about the IHRC from the About page . 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 our Volunteer page .

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