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Our library contains about 20,000 books, periodicals, and audio/visual materials related to the Swedish-American relations.


The library is especially strong in Swedish-American imprints—books published in Swedish in the United States. 

The Catalog

We share our library catalog with the Augustana College library. Look for items marked with "Swenson Center" in the location field. These are located here.



Note both the collection name (Immigration) and call number (BX8041 .F55) when requesting a title.


Most materials can be viewed in our reading room. Alternatively, some titles may be requested via interlibrary loan for use in your home library. See our Library Lending Policies for more.

Library Collections

Our library is divided into several sections, some representing individual donors' personal libraries.



Our newest library collection allows you to borrow materials if you meet certain requirements. 


Reference materials live in our reading room. ​These materials may only be used on-site and cannot be borrowed through ILL/I-Share. 



Our largest library collection documents Swedish immigration to North America and Swedish-American culture. We purchase new works in the field and add donations of older Swedish-American imprints to this collection. 



  • Biography

  • Literature and publishing

  • Fine arts and music

  • Religious life (denominational histories & church anniversary booklets)

  • Background perspectives on Swedish & Scandinavian emigration

  • Histories of settlements in the U.S. & Canada

  • Histories of and publications by Swedish-American organizations


A hybrid collection of books and some serial publications dealing with the background of the Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden.



  • History

  • Topography

  • Education

  • Literature and fine arts

  • Church history and religions


C.W. Mortenson

About 200 books on the Viking presence in North America.

This collection includes many of the standard scholarly works as well as fiction and several rare items such as C.C. Rafn's Antiquitates Americanae Sive Scriptores Septentrionales Rerum Ante-Columbianarum in America, printed in Copenhagen in 1837 and Arthur Middleton Reeves' The Finding of Wineland the Good. The History of the Icelandic Discovery of America, published in London in 1890.

O.A. Linder

Donated to the Augustana College Library in the late 1930s by Oliver A. Linder and later transferred to the Swenson Center.

Linder was a former editor of the weekly Svenska Amerikanaren Tribunen published in Chicago. This collection complements the Immigration Collection with its holdings of Swedish-American literature, history, fine arts, journalism and press history, and religious life.


G.N. Swan

Donated to the Augustana College Library in the late 1920s by Gustav Nelson Swan of Sioux City, Iowa and later transferred to the Swenson Center. 


Swan was a key figure in Swedish-American cultural and literary circles at beginning of the 1900s.  Besides his involvement in local businesses, Augustana College, and the Augustana Synod, Swan served as the Swedish vice-consul for Sweden and Norway (1899-1905) and for Sweden (1905-1929) in Sioux City, Iowa.


  • Swedish & Scandinavian literature to the 1930s

  • Swedish literature in translation (English and other languages)

  • Works by Tegnér 

  • Foreign literature classics, especially Shakespeare and Dante

  • General history of religions

  • Swedish Americana


Also includes two pamphlet collections of over 700 publications from 1850s through 1940s on World War I, banking and international monetary systems, Swedish regional brochures and travel guides, poetry and song collections, historical Sioux City souvenir publications, and Swedish-American concerns, events and landmarks.

See pamphlet index

We also hold Swan's personal papers. 

Nils William Olsson

The Nils William Olsson Collection is an exclusive collection that is strong in Swedish genealogy, local and regional history and is of particular interest to family historians and others interested in regional Swedish history and culture. 

Included in this collection are many Swedish works on noble families such as Elgenstierna's Den introducerade svenska adelns ättartavlor med tillägg och rättelse, Svensk Adelskalender and privately printed genealogy of Swedish families.

Olsson also wrote several books of his own and started Swedish American Genealogist which we publish today. 


L.E. Scott

Dr. Larry Scott taught Scandinavian Studies at Augustana College from 1981-2013. Most of the books in this collection relate to his teaching interests, including:

  • Swedish Art

  • Scandinavian Film

  • Norse mythology and Icelandic Sagas

Scott published The Swedish Texans

We also hold some of his personal papers. 


We subscribe to a variety of Swedish-American journals and newsletters.



DVDs, film reels, LPs, oh my! 

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