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Immigration History Research Center

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IHRC News Online Nov. - Dec. 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.

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.

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:

  • Final lecture March 22 in 2004–05 series "Fallout from the Arab-Israeli conflict in France" at U of MN.
  • May 2005 conference in New Jersey on IWW and radical labor organizing.
Best Wishes for 2005 from the staff of the Immigration History Research Center

Feature Story

Friends of IHRC Annual Meeting "International Adventure" held Saturday, Nov. 13, at Andersen Library

FRDS Dinner

The 27th annual meeting of the Friends of the IHRC, with fall decorations, was held Saturday, Nov. 13, 2004, at the Andersen Library, home of the Center. It was attended by 73 members and guests, who had a wonderful time (according to comments made to the Planning Committee afterwards). The overflowing dinner buffet of dishes from many ethnic cuisines was catered by Georgia Sander of Kafe 421, Minneapolis. A variety of desserts (baklava, potica, cannoli, and others) were provided by member organizations of the Friends.

It was announced that the present officers have agreed to serve another year, to provide continuity as the IHRC transitions from the directorship of Rudolph Vecoli (retiring in July 2005) to that of a new director. Continuing officers are Donald Pafko, president; Kathy Gruett, 1st vice president; Tessie Bourdamis, 2nd vice president; and Judy Rosenblatt, treasurer. Joining the officers as secretary is Jeanette Pafko, an at-large new member of the board. (Below: IHRC Dir. Rudolph Vecoli thanks Mary and Homer Mantis for their service to the Friends and the IHRC.)

Friends DinnerPres. Don Pafko presented certificates of appreciation to individuals who have recently left the board of directors: Mary Mantis (19 years' service representing the Greek community and then the St. George Greek Orthodox Church Parish Council), Homer Mantis (9 years, for St. Paul AHEPA, Chap. 270 "Pericles"), Ruta Praulins, in absentia (11 years, Latvian Organization Association of Minnesota and its predecessors), and posthumously to Louis Novak (10 years, Croatian Cultural Association of Minnesota).

The event also included an optional tour of the ethnic collections in the underground cavern, conducted by Curator Joel Wurl and Sr. Asst. Curator Halyna Myroniuk; a concert of international music by accordion virtuoso Patrick Harrison; remarks from Director Vecoli about the history of the IHRC (see photo below); and an on-site raffle with a money prize of half the "take." A lucky ticket holder won $134, and the other $134 has been contributed to the IHRC endowment fund. The evening ended with the drawing of names for special door prizes, including a bottle of wine, cookbooks, and Czech crystal.

Friends Dinner

The Planning Committee consisted of Friends Pres. Don Pafko, chair, and board members Tessie Bourdamis, Kathy Labriola Gruett, Edit Horvath, Jeanette Pafko, Celeste Raspanti, and Judy Rosenblatt. Desserts or money to purchase them were contributed by member organizations: the Croatian Cultural Society of MN, the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society of MN, Daughters of Penelope Antigone, Italcultura, the Latvian Organization Association of MN, Sokol MN, and UNICO-Twin Cities.

The Friends of the IHRC is a nonprofit association of inidivuals and organizations that support the Center's mission to document, preserve, and promote the history of our nation's immigrant experience. See more Friends information below. and at the Friends site.
(Photographs courtesy of Tessie Bourdamis)

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Announcements & Events

IHRC/Dept. of History Conference May 13–14, 2005, honors service of IHRC Director Rudolph J. Vecoli

A conference celebrating the career of Rudolph Vecoli, Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) director and professor of history at the U of MN, will be sponsored  by the Dept. of History and the IHRC on May 13-14, 2005. The conference 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. Watch for details as the planning progresses.

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:

  1. Roundtable 1: Immigrant Community Organizing
  2. Roundtable 2: Language, Literature, and Bilingualism
  3. Workshop: Documenting the Immigrant Experience

For more information, contact conference assistant Andrea Burns.

Recipients of first Michael G. Karni Scholarships for grant-in-aid
of research at IHRC announced at Finn Forum

The IHRC has made its first awards this fall of the Michael G. Karni Scholarship, established to help defray expenses of visiting professors, lecturers, or graduate students who will use IHRC collections for research. The first two winners are PhD candidates Tom Mackaman and Johanna Leinonen. The awards were announced at the Finn Forum VII conference, held at the U of MN October 27–30.

Thomas Mackaman, PhD student at U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is working on his dissertation, a comparison of strike activity, radicalism, and worker consciousness of several different immigrant groups, 1916–1924. He was an undergraduate student at U of MN and a part-time curatorial assistant at the IHRC in 1998–1999.

Johanna Leinonen, MA from U of Turku, Finland, is gathering material for her dissertation. She was the first Riippa Fund / Finlandia Foundation intern at the IHRC this summer (see May/June IHRC News Online). Johanna is studying families in which the women were born in Finland and the men, in America. The study explores whether “Finnishness” has endured in these multicultural marriages and, if it has, how it shows up in everyday life.

Preference is given to those using the Finnish American collection, with next preference to those using the Baltic American collections (i.e., Estonian, Latvian, or Lithuanian). The scholarship, a memorial to Mike Karni, pioneering historian, early developer of the IHRC's Finnish American collection, and publisher of Finnish American scholarship and literature who passed away in March 2002, will help researchers with travel and research-related expenses. Gifts from Mike's friends and family, along with other supporters of Finnish American scholarly activity, have made this fund possible.

Complete information about the scholarship.

For information on a book sale to benefit the Karni Scholarship Fund, see the Friends section below.

Finn Forum VIIheld at U of MN, Twin Cities, October 27–30, 2004

Interdisciplinary, International Conference in Finnish/Finnish-North American Studies

Finn Forum VII: Cultural Encounters: Migration, Ethnicity, and Identities, an international, interdisciplinary conference, was held at the U of MN at the end of October. Some of the themes explored by conference participants were identity, settlement patterns, community, literature, culture, architecture, and genealogy research.

Special aspects of this event included tributes to scholars who have made important contributions to the body of knowledge about Finnish emigrants and the final gala reception / musical cabaret, open to everyone. The gala raised almost $3,000 for the Timo Riippa Fund for Finnish American Studies, to support the care and development of the IHRC's internationally acclaimed Finnish American Collection. Tours of the IHRC archives were included in the pre-conference events on October 27.

Another highlight of the conference was the knighting and presentation to Professor A. William Hoglund, history professor emeritus at the U of Connecticut, Storrs (at right in photo), of Finland’s White Rose medal by Consul General of Finland Osmo Lipponen (left, with wife, Cheryl) on Oct. 29, 2004, at Andersen Library. The ceremony was followed by a reception for Hoglund.

While visiting for the conference, Professor Hoglund continued his research at the Center on "Finnishness" since the heyday of Finnish immigration.

For more information on the conference, find the complete program at the Finn Forum website.

Explore special collection resources at library talks

First Fridays at Andersen Library series

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 Gov. and Mrs. Elmer L. Andersen in honor of Dr. Edward B. Stanford, a former University Librarian. For more information, contact Dave Klaassen by Email, or phone at 612-624-4377.

Remaining sessions for this academic year:

February 4, 2005: History Mysteries: Finding Clues in Unexpected Places
March 4: Documents of Truth, Documents of Shame
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 new revised and enlarged guide to the lodges, leaders, and activities of the Order Sons of Italy in Americais available from the Center. OSIA is the oldest and largest Italian American fraternal organization. See the May-June issue of this 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

Printed Newsletter mailed

The fall/winter 2004–2005 issue of the IHRC printed News has been mailed to selected members of the IHRC constituency. If you do not receive it and would like to have a copy, or if you would like to have a copy sent to someone else to introduce him/her to the Center, please contact the office, or 612-625-4800.

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IHRC Endowment Campaign:

"Stories Worth Remembering"

See the August feature story for an update on fund raising during the fiscal year that ended July 31.

Following are links to information on the fellowship and scholarship funds that have been established within the IHRC endowment. The newest funds are the Louis P. Novak Fellowship in Croatian American Studies and the Fellowship in Finnish American Studies. For information about either of  these new funds, contact the IHRC.

The only one of these funds that has been 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 those for 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 available funds at the Support page.

If you or your organization would like to endow a named fund, fellowship, scholarship, or internship, please contact the IHRC for information.


Fellowship in Finnish American Studies (Web information coming soon)

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 (Web information coming soon)

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   The first awards have been made. See above.

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.

Please remember the IHRC in your year-end giving.

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Researchers and Visitors

A sampling of recent researchers:

William Sherman, professor emeritus at North Dakota State U, Fargo, and D. J. Guerrrero, Fargo, ND, did research for a book on the Chinese and Japanese immigrants in early North Dakota.

Chieko Otsuru, a teacher at Kansai University, Toyonaka, Japan, researched the political engagement of Hmong Americans for a journal article during a visit in November..

Eila Pousar, a PhD student at the U of Helsinki, Finland, did research in November for her dissertation on the role of immigrant women in the Finnish American theater.

A. Ernest Epp, a faculty member at Lakehead U, did research on Swedes in Canada and the United States for an article and a book.

Allison Adrian, a U of MN graduate student, investigated music in 19th century Twin Cities Lutheran churches for a course.

During a visit in November, Carol MacLennan, a faculty member at Michigan Technical U in Houghton, researched the history of Finnish cooperatives for use in teaching and a journal article.

Maria Garlinska, a faculty member at South Central Technical College-Faribault, researched Polish American immigration for a conference paper and article.

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Dir. Rudy Vecoli attended the American Italian Historical Association Annual Conference in Annapolis, MD, Nov. 4–6; he presented a paper entitled "Celso Caesar Moreno: Charlatan or Reformer?"  See the AIHA website, for the rest of the program.

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Friends of the IHRC

See 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).

Annual Meeting Report

See story above.

Book sale benefits Karni Scholarship Fund

CoverTo 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.

Catalog and Order Form

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 has been announced: Communication in History: The Key to Under-standing. State History Day will take place in Coffman Union (East Bank Campus) on Sunday, May 1, 2005. Junior high school and high school students who have History Day projects relating to immigration are invited to use the IHRC's 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.

Board Meeting

The  Board of Directors meets next on Saturday, December 18, 2004, 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 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.