Swedish–American Historical Society
The Swedish–American Historical Society grew out of the national 1948 Swedish Pioneer Centennial celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Swedish immigrants in the Midwest. In Chicago, 18,000 people filled the stadium on June 4th to hear President Truman, Prince Bertil of Sweden, Carl Sandburg, and representatives from many Swedish–American organizations. Four months later, on October 15, 1948, the leaders of the centennial celebration met in Chicago and formed the Society, originally called the Swedish Pioneer Historical Society.
The Swedish–American Historical Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1948, with the mission of recording and interpreting the Swedish presence in America. The society is devoted to the mission of studying the Swedish emigration, its history and culture of the Swedes in North America through research, publications, programs and archives.
In 1983, the Board of Directors approved a change in the organization's name to the Swedish–American Historical Society. By then it had moved well beyond a focus on just the "pioneer" period and serves to promote interest in the entire Swedish presence in America, from the first settlers on the Delaware in 1638 to the present day.
Swedish–American Historical Society Books
Land of Dreams: A Reporter’s Journey from Sweden to America
By Klas Bergman (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013) Paper, 286 pp. “Land of Dreams – A Reporter’s Journey from Sweden to America” is a personal and political retrospective on my many years in the United States, from my arrival in … Read More
Conrad Bergendoff’s Faith and Work – A Swedish-American Lutheran, 1895-1997
By Thomas Tredway (Published by the Augustana Historical Society in partnership with the Swedish–American Historical Society, 2013) Cloth, 497 pp. Conrad Bergendoff, a historian, theologian, ecumenist, educator and pastor, served as President of Augustana College from 1935-1962. The author, Thomas … Read More
Norwegians and Swedes in the United States: Friends & Neighbors
Philip J. Anderson and Dag Blanck – Editors (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2012). Paper, 327 pp. Seventeen essays by scholars from the United States, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark explore interactions among Swedish and Norwegian immigrants to America, focusing … Read More
Shuttle in Her Hand: A Swedish Immigrant Weaver in America
By Marion Tuttle Marzolf. (Chicago: Swedish-American Historical Society, 2010). Paper, 253 pp. The Society’s first historical novel tells the story of Lisa Lindholm, a single Swedish woman who emigrated to America in 1931 and her roles in Swedish and Swedish–American … Read More
Zorn in America: A Swedish Impressionist of the Gilded Age
By William and Willow Hagans. (Chicago: Swedish–American Historical Society, 2009). Cloth, 390 pp. Anders Zorn (1860-1920), the famous Swedish artist, made seven trips to the USA. This book, complete with over 140 of his well-known paintings, etchings, and photographs, tells … Read More
I Go to America: Swedish–American Women and the Life of Mina Anderson
By Joy K. Lintelman. (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2009). Cloth, 294 pp. This book, winner of the prestigious Minnesota Book Award (non-fiction), uses the life of Mina Anderson to describe much about the lives of Swedish–American immigrant women … Read More
Why I Wrote the Novel About Swedish Immigrants
By Vilhelm Moberg. (Chicago: Swedish–American Historical Society, 2008). Paper, 24 pp. In 1966, Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg flew to Chicago to give this address to the then-named Swedish Pioneer Historical Society. This booklet reprints that address, along with a new … Read More
The Hedstroms and the Bethel Ship Saga
By Henry C. Whyman. (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992). Cloth, 183 pp. Brothers Olof and Jonas Hedstrom played important roles in Swedish immigration history and in Swedish Methodism in America. Olof operated the Bethel Ship in New York harbor, … Read More
Scandinavians in the State House: How Nordic Immigrants Shaped Minnesota Politics
Klas Bergman (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2017). Paper, 310 pp. Beginning in the 1850s, thousands of immigrants from Nordic countries settled in Minnesota and quickly established themselves in the political life of their new home. These Norwegians, Swedes, … Read More