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Collection & Donations

The Library and Archives accept donations of books and archival materials on a very limited basis. The decision to accept donations is a complex one involving factors, including relevance and substance of materials, available documentation, condition and associated legal issues, as well as cost and storage concerns. The Library collection contains books, serials, recorded sound and moving images that have been published and copyrighted.

The Archive collection contains unpublished materials such as personal papers, correspondence, diaries, photographs, oral histories, club and organization records and the ASI institutional archive. Library and archival materials have different origins, cataloging rules and legalities, so collecting concerns are described separately below.

Please contact the Collections Registrar Inga Theissen before bringing in any materials for donation.  Unsolicited materials that are dropped off may be discarded at the discretion of library staff.

Collecting for the Library

The ASI Library collects published material on following subjects. The library does not collect bibles, hymnals, psalm books or other religious/devotional materials. 

  • Sweden and its provinces and cities

    • Works containing geographic and cultural information
  • Swedish life in America
    • Including immigration history, with preference given to materials focusing on the immigrant experience in the Upper Midwest.
  • Swedish and Swedish-American history
  • Biographies of Swedes and Swedish-Americans from the Upper Midwest
    • Swedish artists, performers, business and political leaders of international stature. Religious leaders normally not incuded.
    • Biographies must include narrative and not only charts and documents.
  • Swedish arts and crafts
    • Especially arts and crafts represented in the Turnblad Mansion, the ASI material collections, books highlighting Swedish artistic traditions and recurring themes in ASI programs and exhibitions.
  • Swedish sheet music and songbooks
    • Religious music is generally not collected. If hymnals are to be considered as an exception, they would need to be of high exhibition quality, or related to a person of historical signifcance.
  • Swedish cooking and food

The Library will collect very selectively in the following subjects:

  • Swedish literature
  • Swedish children's books
  • Swedish-American church histories

Preference is given to English-language publications published after 1975, because the majority of library materials are Swedish publications that predate the last quarter of the 20th century.  If the materials are in Swedish, a strong illustrative component should be present. The quality of the work and relevance to ASI programming and exhibitions will determine the suitability of each item, regardless of language.

Serials are not generally maintained in the library due to electronic availability and presence of many scholarly Swedish-American periodical publicaitons in other academic and special collections. The library maintains a full run of the ASI's newsletter Posten as part of the archival collection.

Collecting for the Archives

The ASI Archives will consider accepting donations of papers, correspondence, diaries, records, oral histories, and photographs that pertain to topics listed on the Archives page.

The ASI will consider, solicit and select papers and corresponde, diaries, club records, oral histories and photographs that pertain to:

  • The Turnblad family and Mansion, the Svenska Amerikanska Posten
  • Swedish–American life with preference for materials focusing on the immigrant experience in Minnesota
  • Swedish-American artists musicians and craftspeople, expecially those who reflect ASI's material collections and programs.
  • Swedish royal visits, with preference for materials related to Minnesota visits
  • ASI clubs and organizations

For More Information

For more information on the Library and Archives Collection Policy, or if you have materials that you believe may be appropriate for donation, please contact Collections Registrar Inga Theissen with a detailed description.