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

Regional Scandinavian cultural heritage organizations whose records are held by PLU Archives & Special Collections can be viewed by clicking the links below. Some materials from various organizations have been digitized as seen in the "Digitized materials" column. To read documents available in this way, click on their preview image.

Name Records Digitized materials
Daughters of Norway Embla Lodge No. 2 Description Newsletter
Daughters of Norway Grand Lodge Description Historical information
Leif Erikson Foundation Description N/A
Nordlandslaget Nordlyset Description N/A
Norwegian American Anniversary Commission Description N/A
Sons of Norway District 2 Description 1982 Scrapbook
Sons of Norway Supreme Lodge Description 1919 Correspondence
Swedish Order of Valhalla Records Description N/A
Vasa Order of America Records Description N/A
Western Rosemalers Association Description Scrapbooks, Newsletters


Scandinavian Music and Performance Groups

Regional Scandinavian music and performance groups whose records are held by PLU Archives & Special Collections can be viewed by clicking the links below. Some materials from various groups have been digitized as seen in the "Digitized materials" and "Photographs" columns. To read documents available in this way, click on their preview image.

Name Records Digitized materials Photographs
Normanna Male Chorus Records Description Scrapbooks Photographs
Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers Association of America Description Programs Photographs
Pacific Coast/American Union of Swedish Singers Description N/A N/A
Skagit Valley Mannskor Records Description N/A N/A
Svea Male Chorus Programs Description N/A N/A
United Swedish Singers of the Pacific Coast Records Description N/A N/A
United Scandinavian Singers Records Description N/A N/A


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