About the Exhibit
In 1864, a small group of Finns intending to settle in the region disembarked from a riverboat in Red Wing, effectively beginning immigration of Finns to Minnesota. Thank you for joining us as we commemorate and explore their settlement experiences. The Immigration History Research Center Archives (IHRCA) acquires and makes available material to support interdisciplinary research and inquiry regarding many people who have migrated to the USA. The IHRCA’s Finnish American collections are some of the richest and most heavily used.
Juhla is a Finnish word for celebration, and it is our hope that Juhla! Celebrating 150 years of Finnish Immigration to Minnesota honors Minnesotans, past and present, who consider themselves Finnish American. This online exhibit is presented in eleven topics, and the contents were selected in consideration of our collection strengths, so as to celebrate, too, the IHRCA’s holdings. The topical selections, and the people documented here, are not meant to represent the complete experience of Finnish Americans and those who identify as such. We encourage you to think about this as you explore the sources presented here. What other topics might we also have included? What questions do these sources raise for you? You may know the complex history of the land now known as Finland; what do those complications mean for the historical record of Americans of Finnish identity? We invite you to think about these questions as you experience this exhibit.
-Ellen Engseth, Curator, Immigration History Research Center Archives
This exhibit was co-curated by Ellen Engseth, Daniel Necas, and Sara Wakefield with design by Darren Terpstra. This exhibit was developed to coincide with the University of Minnesota’s symposium From Emigration to Immigration: Historical and Contemporary Finland, October 30, 2014. A physical version of this exhibit was installed in the Andersen Library from October 2104 through January 2015.