Guide to the Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Collection

Scandinavian Immigrant Experience

The Scandinavian Immigrant Experience (SIE) Collection is a depository of historical materials relating to immigrants to the Pacific Northwest from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The collection includes records of Scandinavian cultural heritage organizations, family and personal papers, newspapers and publications, and the New Land, New Lives: Scandinavian Immigrants in the Pacific Northwest Oral History Collection.

For more information or to schedule a research appointment, contact archives@plu.edu.

Cultural heritage organizations

Below are a few examples of cultural heritage organizations whose records are held by SIE. More can be viewed by browsing the SIE's complete holdings.

Daughters of Norway Embla Lodge No. 2

  • Records - listing of the physical records for the Daughters of Norway Embla Lodge No. 2 including meeting minutes, financial records, and correspondence. These materials are not available online with the exception of the Embla Nyheter publication listed below.
  • Publications: Embla Nyheter - Lodge newsletter published 1992-2017. 76 issues available online.

Daughters of Norway Grand Lodge

Leif Erikson Foundation

Records - listing of the physical records of the Leif Erikson Foundation Records including correspondence, financial reports, programs, newsletters, and scrapbooks related to its activities and operations.

Nordlandslaget Nordlyset

Records - listing of the physical records of Nordlandslaget Nordlyset (or the Northlight Club), including correspondence, financial and membership ledgers, publications, and programs.

Sons of Norway District 2

  • Records - listing of the physical records for the Sons of Norway District 2 including directories, record books, publications, and correspondence. These materials are not available online with the exception of the scrapbook listed below.
  • Document: 1982 Convention Scrapbook - 18 page scrapbook containing photographs and captions for the 1982 convention hosted by the District 2 lodge.

Sons of Norway Supreme Lodge

  • Records - listing of the physical records for the Sons of Norway Supreme Lodge including historical information, correspondence, publications, and financial information. These materials are not available online with the exception of the document listed below.
  • Document: 1919 Correspondence - 32 pages of typed and handwritten correspondence in Norwegian from 1919.


Local Scandinavian Publications

Publications can be read by clicking on the preview image.

  • Puget Sound Posten - Tacoma Swedish language weekly newspaper. 206 issues available online from 1908-1932.
  • Tacoma Tidende - Tacoma Norwegian language newspaper. 522 issues available online from 1911-1924.
  • Tidende - Tacoma Norwegian language newspaper. 51 issues available online from 1897.
  • Vestkysten - Tacoma Norwegian language newspaper. 51 issues available online from 1928.
  • Washington Posten - Seattle weekly Norwegian language newspaper. 7 issues available online from 1943-1960.
  • Western Viking - Tacoma Norwegian language newspaper. 426 issues available online from 1929-1949.


Oral Histories

The New Land, New Lives Oral History Collection contains the recorded interviews of 282 men and women who emigrated from Scandinavia and settled in the Pacific Northwest. The project was directed by Dr. Janet E. Rasmussen and the collection was transferred to the Archives and Special Collections Department upon completion.
Each link below leads to interview audio, partial transcripts, and photos from interviewees from that country. For a list of all interviewees with links to their materials, please visit the Guide to the New Land, New Lives Oral History Collection.


Browse all SIE holdings

Browse all SIE digital objects