Archives

The Emigration Museum’s archival collections include private archives, newspaper clippings, letters from America, tape recorded interviews, microfilm from Norwegian-American church registers, emigration agent archives, and much more. The archival collections are open to researchers by appointment.

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Making our archives accessible and searcheable online is a big challenge. It is an ongoing project that, unfortunately, will not be finished for some time. Check in occasionally, however, to see how things are going. Also, have a look at the Norwegian Digital Museum to see what we've published there. 

If you are looking for something specific, feel free to contact us. Please make an appointment beforehand, however, and tell us what you are looking for, so we can better serve you during your visit.

Ingrid semmingsen’s research library

The Norwegian Emigrant Museum’s library contains over 14,000 books that relate to emigration and migration. It also has yearbooks, newspapers, journals, magazines, and pamphlets from various Norwegian groups and organizations abroad.

The library is named after Professor Ingrid Semmingsen. Dr. Semmingsen was appointed as Norway’s first female history professor in 1963 at the University of Oslo. She was also the first woman who completed a doctorate in that subject in Norway, and she was recognized as Norden’s foremost researcher on migration. She authored a number of books and articles surrounding the topic and she garnered early interest for the museum. Both then and later, she gave many of her own books to the museum, not the least of which included much of her own manuscript material. As thanks for this and with her permission, the museum’s board voted in 1992 to give the museum’s library the name Ingrid Semmingsen’s Research Library.

The collection includes a large section of literature within the museum’s subject area; both non-fiction and fiction. Here, one finds everything from large scientific works to small letters and poetry, from hardbound books published in large circulation to pamphlets published in manuscript form to the author’s closest family and friends. The book collection is not yet catalogued in any national book database and therefore is not searchable on the internet.

Please contact us if there is a book you are searching for, or a special subject that you are searching for more information about, and we will attempt to help you. This is not a lending library, but you are welcome to use our reading spaces and guest offices. And should you need to spend several days with us, we also offer an apartment for rent.

In practice, the library is available whenever the museum is open. But, you may want to arrange a visit in advance, so we can ensure that someone is available to help you.

Norwegian Webpage: https://utvandrermuseet.no/bibliotek