About the Collections
ASI’s primary aims in collecting are to obtain items for exhibit, to preserve artifacts and documents that reflect the cultures of Sweden and Swedish America, and to provide resources for research in all its areas of focus.
ASI’s collections fall into two areas:
- Library and Archives – books, manuscripts, photos, recordings. For example, ASI has a rich collection of papers left by Swedish immigrants and organizations. Many works in the Library and Archives are in Swedish.
- Material Collections – three-dimensional items and artwork. Some strong areas include Swedish glass, textiles, and artworks by Swedish-American artists.
Collections Management at ASI
Over the past two years, ASI has been engaged in major efforts to catalog and inventory its collections, and to improve collections management policies and procedures. Click here for the ASI Collections Management Policy Executive Summary.
ASI is very restricted in what we are able to accept for donations at this time. This is due to limited storage space and our ongoing move of the material collections to new storage facilities in the Nelson Cultural Center. Please contact ASI’s main phone number to inquire: 612-871-4907. If you have an object you believe may reflect the criteria below, please submit a Prospective Donor Form.
ASI collects material artifacts and artwork that represent the historic and ongoing experiences of Swedish America in the Upper Midwest, and items expressing the best of contemporary Swedish culture. These collections focus on:
- Fine Arts, particularly works by Swedish-American artists active in the Upper Midwest, select works by leading Swedish artists, and artwork pertaining to the Turnblad family and the American Swedish Institute
- Decorative Arts, particularly objects produced by Swedish-American artists active in the Upper Midwest and glass by Swedish makers
- Folk Arts by Swedish immigrants and Swedish-American artisans and craftspeople from circa 1845 to the present, as well as Swedish handicrafts
- Utilitarian artifacts reflecting the daily lives of Swedish Americans in the Upper Midwest
- Objects related to the Turnblad family and/or appropriate to the Turnblad mansion and made 1845-1930, preferably by Swedish immigrants or Swedish-Americans
- Objects related to select Swedish American organizations and businesses
Current Collections Access
Individuals with inquiries regarding the material collections (artifacts and artwork) may reach the Curator to discuss any questions. Please contact Director of Exhibits, Collections & Programs Scott Pollock at scottp@ASImn.org with any inquiries regarding collections access.
ASI staff and volunteers are not authorized to provide appraisals. We recommend you seek an independent consultation through a web or yellow pages search.
If you are seeking further information regarding Sweden, Swedish-American immigration, or other related topics, below are some of the websites we can suggest:
The Minnesota Historical Society
The Minnesota Historical Society’s Library contains a great deal of information on Swedish immigration to Minnesota. Search their catalog, which includes many images relevant to Swedish immigration.
Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center
The Swenson Immigration Research Center at Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill. also has an extensive catalog of information on Swedish immigration. Their website also offers many links useful to researchers.
The Swedish Institute
“The Official Gateway to Sweden,” is a website produced by the Swedish Institute in Sweden that offers endless information on the culture, society, and history of Sweden.
The Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota
The Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota is the number one link not only to general information on Swedish-American genealogy, but also to the resources and people who can help you with your genealogical research.
Minnesota Digital Library - Minnesota Reflections
Nearly 62,000 images of Minnesota scenes from repositories throughout the state.