Immigration History Research Center Archives

University of Minnesota


219 Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55455

Finding Aids

Immigration History Research Center: Guide to Manuscript Holdings (University of Minnesota, January 1976) for all the general and ethnic collections; and the IHRC Ethnic Collections Series (1976): no. 1 is The Baltic American Collection, compiled by Joseph D. Dwyer, and no. 9 is The Ukrainian American Collection, compiled by Halyna Myroniuk and Maria Samilo. (For those interested in materials on Finns and Poles, which might indirectly relate to the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, nos. 3 and 6 in this series respectively are germane.)


The Immigration History Research Center, founded in 1964 as the Center for Immigration Studies/ Immigrant Archives, has a vast and unique collection of materials on American ethnic groups originating in Eastern Europe. At present its library holds over 35,000 volumes, 4,000 reels of microfilm, and 2,500 ft. (3,000,000 items) of unpublished manuscripts. Among the groups for which the IHRC has holdings are Russians, Ukrainians, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Armenians, Byelorussians, Carpatho-Ruthenians, and Jews (also other Eastern and Southern Slavs, Poles, and Finns). Because the focus of collections is ethnic groups in America, most of the materials shed only indirect light on the respective homelands of these peoples. Even so, these collections represent major archival resources for the study of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.

Holdings are divided into "General Collections," which are records of agencies and individuals active in refugee resettlement, intercultural education, immigration policy, and similar work, and "Ethnic Collections," which currently cover 24 different nationalities. Collections may contain both published (usually books, newspapers, and serials) and unpublished items. Most are in the native languages but sizeable amounts are also in English.

A detailed listing of all relevant holdings would only duplicate existing published guides, which are excellent and readily available (see under Finding Aids at the end of this entry). This description will be brief, listing the names, sizes, and some further information for various collections under the individual ethnic groups and in the "General Collections."

Resources (77)