Swedish-American Newspapers Online

One of the great, but often overlooked, resources for Swedish-American research are the ethnic newspapers that were available to most Swedish immigrants. They read these papers, usually published in Swedish, for news from home or news about other friends who had migrated to the U.S. It is estimated that there were around 600 published titles of Swedish-American newspapers, albeit some had for short runs. Many of these newspapers still exist, but you may need to do a bit of searching. The newspapers exist as hard copies in archives, some have been microfilmed, and a few have been digitized.

One of the most significant online collections can be found on the Minnesota Historical Society Website. The collection consists of 300,000 pages, from 28 newspapers published across the U.S. The publications were made available through a partnership of the Minnesota Historical Society, the National Library of Sweden (Kungliga Biblioteket), the American Swedish Institute, and the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College, in Rock Island, Illinois.Most Swedish American papers will have lists of immigrants, emigrants (many Swedes returned to Sweden after living in the U.S. for a while), visitors from the Old Country, births and marriages and deaths both in the U.S. and in Sweden.  I have found many of my Sweden-living cousins’ death notices in U.S. papers.

Most Swedish American papers will have lists of immigrants, emigrants (many Swedes returned to Sweden after living in the U.S. for a while), visitors from the Old Country, births and marriages and deaths both in the U.S. and in Sweden.  I have found many of my Swedish cousins death notices in U.S. papers.The Swenson Center has a large number of microfilmed newspapers that have not been digitized yet, a list of these can be found here: often these microfilms can be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.

The Minnesota Historical Society has some newspapers that have not been digitized, onsite research will be needed to use these resources. You can search for these newspapers in the Society’s catalog.

I cannot overemphasize how important is the work of digitizing, and indexing of the records through OCR capabilities. And I especially cannot overemphasize the importance of using these records for your research!

Leave a Reply