Genealogy Research at St. Olaf
St. Olaf College, founded by Norwegian immigrants and a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has many resources that may be of interest to genealogical researchers. The campus is home to the Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA), an organization that works to "locate, collect, preserve and interpret" Norwegian-American history "with accuracy, integrity, and liveliness."
However, neither Rolvaag library nor NAHA collect specifically for genealogical research, but rather for historical research. We have not collected, for example, U.S. Census records, Norwegian or American church records, or port emigration records. If you are interested in this kind of material, you may wish to contact the Norwegian American Genealogical Center (Madison, Wisconsin), which specializes in genealogical research.
Please contact NAHA directly to set up an appointment to use their materials. Because NAHA has limited staff, use of its collections is by appointment only.
Rolvaag Library reference librarians can provide a limited amount of help with genealogy research questions during our reference hours. Please note that we have shortened hours during the summer. We highly recommend contacting us before your visit to make sure the library will be open and someone will be available to assist you.
Because of the time involved, we cannot answer extensive genealogy questions by phone or email.
NAHA and Rolvaag Library do not have any translators on staff. If you need help translating information from Norwegian, you may contact NAHA for a list of translators.
Playing Around with Your Topic!
New for you: Bridge²
It's the "Google" of St. Olaf/Carleton Libraries... Want to test out your topic? See what comes up? See what people (mostly scholars) are talking about? Access over a BILLION (really) items through Bridge², including books, films, and music, full text articles, newspapers, book reviews, and more.
These guides offer resources and strategies for specific research areas:
- Norwegian Immigrants: Finding Family Members in the US
- Norwegian Roots: Finding Family Members, Farms and Communities in Norway
- Researching Northfield
You might also be interested in:
- Bygdelags. Organizations "comprised of descendants of emigrants from Norway to North America. Every 'Lag' seeks to preserve and strengthen bonds with its home district or community-of-origin in Norway." This website provides a map of the Bygdelag regions in Norway and contact information for the Lags.
- Nasjonalbiblioteket. National Library of Norway.
"Ytterboe the dog, which roamed the St. Olaf campus from 1942-57"
Bridge -- St. Olaf & Carleton Libraries Link via Catalogs Tab
To identify books, films, government documents, etc. owned by St. Olaf and Carleton, consult Bridge²:
Bridge searches for books, DVDs, a selection of government documents and other items owned by the two colleges.
Material housed at Carleton may be requested directly from the Bridge by clicking on the button. Twice-a-day deliveries (Monday through Friday) between the two schools assure a quick exchange!