The Swenson Center is located in Denkmann Hall on the campus of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. The Center maintains a close relationship with the College and the Scandinavian Studies program.
The Swenson Center was founded by Birger and Lyal Swenson on December 31, 1980. Birger Swenson emigrated from Sweden in 1912, graduated from Augustana College, and worked for the Augustana Book Concern. The endowment established by the Swensons provided the initial financial support for the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center.
Dag shares his time between the United States and Sweden, where he is professor of North American Studies at Uppsala University. Trained in the U.S. (Augustana ’78) and Sweden (Ph.D., Uppsala) he has published extensively on Swedish-American history and Swedish-American relations.
Lisa is happy to help with your library and archival research needs. She is an Augustana graduate and has her master's in Museum Studies from Syracuse University. In addition to answering your reference questions and cataloging materials, she holds the rank of Assistant Professor and teaches library instruction sessions.
Head of Genealogical Services
Jill will be glad to help with all your genealogy and membership needs. As an Augustana graduate, Jill has been assisting genealogists at the Center since the early 1990s. She also runs our genealogy workshop in Salt Lake City and heads the publishing of Swedish American Genealogist.
Kelsey helps support our library/archives tasks, including research and processing projects. With a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from University of Colorado Boulder, she is also a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Scandinavian Studies program at Augustana College.
The Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center is a national and international research center, library and archives for the study of Swedish-American history and relations.
The Center collects, preserves and makes available archival and library materials, promotes and initiates research and is a leader in Swedish-American genealogy.
The Swenson Center strives to be a leading national and international institution for the study of Swedish-American history and relations.
The Center focuses its work on the transatlantic migration, contacts and exchanges between Sweden and North America, in particular:
The study of Swedish immigration to North America, of Swedish-American individuals, communities and institutions, and of the position of Swedish Americans in the larger American social context.
The broader cultural, social and political relations between the two countries and their ways of interacting with each other—past and present.
At Augustana College, the Center is a key part in the College’s historic and ongoing connections with Sweden.
Internships & Employment
Internships are available during the school year and summer. Students gain hands-on experience with library and archival task. Internships are typically unpaid, but there may be opportunities for funding. Learn more.
The Center typically employs 3 student workers during the school year and 1 over the summer. Opportunities are posted to Handshake.
Any full-time or part-time positions are posted on the Augustana College employment page.
The Center's Advisory Committee is responsible for guiding the mission, overall policy and direction of the Center and making recommendations regarding the Center to the Center’s Director and the President of Augustana College.
Term Ending 2021
Dr. Philip J. Anderson
Professor Emeritus of Church History, North Park University
Dr. Thomas Bengtson
Professor of Math and Computer Science, Earl H. Beling Endowed Chair in Mathematics, Augustana College
Dr. Ulf Jonas Björk
Professor of Journalism and Public Relations, Indiana University
Dr. Peter Kivisto
Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Welfare, Richard A. Swanson Chair of Social Thought, Augustana College
Dr. Byron Nordstrom
Professor Emeritus in History and Scandinavian Studies, Gustavus Adolphus College
Term Ending 2022
Dr. Anne-Charlotte Harvey
Professor Emerita of Theatre, San Diego State University
CEO, American Swedish Institute
Dr. Adam R. Kaul
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Welfare, Augustana College
Dr. Joy K. Lintelman
Professor of History, Concordia College
Dr. Harald Runblom
Professor of History, Uppsala University, Sweden
Term Ending 2023
Dr. Jennifer Eastman Attebery
Professor of English; Director, Folklore Program, Idaho State University
Dr. Ellen Hay
Professor Emerita of Communication Studies, Augustana College
Former Executive Director of the Swedish American Museum, Chicago
Dr. Douglas Nelson
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Augustana College
Dr. Mark Safstrom
Associate Professor of Scandinavian Studies, Augustana College
Augustana College Representatives
President of Augustana College
Dr. Wendy Hilton-Morrow
Vice President of Academic Affairs, Provost and Dean of Augustana College
Director of Thomas Tredway Library, Augustana College
Dr. Dag Blanck
Head of Genealogical Services
Dr. Kelsey Fuller