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How to donate library and archival materials


About Donations

The Swenson Center gratefully accepts material donations that support our mission and are of historical value. We can only accept donations after you first consult with a staff member.  


Please do not bring or send boxes without consulting us first. 


See Support for financial donations. 


If you’d like to help us by purchasing an item, please see our Amazon Wish List.

Library Donations

The Swenson Center library is interested in acquiring:

  • All materials published in Swedish in North America (1840s to present)

  • Publications of small Swedish-American publishing houses including Augustana Book Concern, Rock Island, Illinois and Engberg & Holmberg, Chicago, etc.

  • Publications issued by Swedish-American organizations, both current and defunct

  • Anniversary booklets and denominational histories from Swedish-American congregations (Lutheran, Covenant, Methodist, etc.)

  • Histories of Swedish settlements in the U.S. and Canada 

  • Swedish-American newspapers

  • Swedish-American music (both secular and devotional)

  • Swedish local history & genealogy

  • Comparative studies: United States & Scandinavia 

  • Scandinavian national history, arts and literature

Archival Donations

The Swenson Center archives is interested in acquiring:

  • Autobiographical accounts, family papers, letters, photographs of Swedish-Americans

  • Records of Swedish-American groups (clubs, businesses, schools)

  • Personal papers of Swedish-American individuals, businesses, and organizations

  • Photographs depicting Swedish immigrant rural life or life in the cities, e.g. storefronts, people working, photographs of gatherings and festivals

  • Diaries and journals (especially of underrepresented groups such as women, professionals, and working-class people)

  • Correspondence among immigrants in North America and between the immigrants and their family in Sweden

What types of materials do we want? Learn more:

Family Histories / Genealogical Information

Printed family histories and genealogies are only accepted if they are compiled as a book and include a title page with a full title, compiler's name and date of compilation/publication, page numbering, and preferably a name index.

Not Accepted

Types of materials generally not accepted:

  • Bibles and hymnals

  • Duplicates.  If you would like to check for duplicates, search our online catalog for other holdings in the Swenson Center.

  • Items in poor condition (mildew- or mold-infested, dirty, missing, or torn pages).

  • Artifacts are generally not accepted and are often better donated to a Swedish-American museum. However, exceptions are sometimes made for items related to Swedish at Augustana or items that significantly help us tell the story of Swedish immigration to North America.

Donation Process

Contact us to initiate a donation or use the simple donation offer form.

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