Audio recordings on this site are from the College and Lutheran Church Archives at Gustavus Adolphus College. Currently, the online offerings represent examples of Scandinavian-American Humor (primarily Swedish) from the early 1900s through the early 1920s. These materials were made available, in-part, thanks to a grant from the Swedish Council of America.
Our goal for the digitization of these materials is to preserve and provide greater and more enhanced access to the College and Lutheran Church Archives’ collection of early 20th century Scandinavian-American sound recordings through an ongoing digital conversion project. Content will include popular vocal and instrumental music, as well as humorous vocal music, recorded from 1900-1930. This collection was selected because it represents a time period when nearly a million Swedes immigrated to the United States, bringing their cultural traditions with them.
Immigrant music helped reinforce ethnic identities, and inadvertently, it aided in the Americanization of immigrants and second-generation Swedish-American youth. Merry B. Schellinger’s thesis “Swedish-American Ethnic Culture and the Early American Sound Recording Industry” (included in this database) provides information concerning the importance of ethnic recordings. Schellinger sought to answer the following questions. ‘‘‘In what way were ethnic recordings a part of Swedish-American cultural life?’ And what can they tell us today about the cultural life of Swedish Americans in the early 20th century?"
Have questions? Do you have materials that might fit in the collection? Would you like to support the project? Use the Interest/Comment form to get in contact with archives staff.
Scandinavian-American Recordings Database
ATTN: Jeff Jenson
College and Lutheran Church Archives
Gustavus Adolphus College
800 West College Avenue
Saint Peter, MN 56082