Home / Collections / Podcast & Blog » immigration

Collections

Collections Up Close

Immigrant Oral Histories

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Since 1948 the Minnesota Historical Society has used oral history to collect stories of our state’s past. Project Assistant Jillian Odland shares oral history interviews conducted with new immigrants and refugees, which have recently been digitized and are now available in two web resources: Becoming Minnesotan and Immigrant Oral Histories.

 
icon for podpress  YouTube: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
icon for podpress  Podcast Video [4:30m]: Download (1596)
icon for podpress  Ebook: Download (947)

Bookmark and Share

Immigration Week: Hmong earrings

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Hmong Earrings

In celebration of the new “Becoming Minnesotan” web site at the Minnesota Historical Society, this week’s Item of the Day theme is the history of immigration in Minnesota and the experiences of contemporary immigrant populations.

Today’s item is a pair of traditional Hmong fine silver earrings ( > 92.5 % silver) made in a slip-on style.  A “U” shaped loop slips over the ear and has a tiny spiral in the back and a silver cone with a beaded base in the front. Suspended freely from the “U” are seven spiral pendants that end in two flat arrowhead shapes.  Earrings were made in Thailand by a Hmong refugee from Laos, a relative of May Yang, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Bookmark and Share

Voting instructions to recent immigrants

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Voting instructions in SwedishVoting Instructions in French Voting Instructions in Polish

Above, left to right, are posters in Swedish, French, and Polish.

In celebration of the new “Becoming Minnesotan” web site at the Minnesota Historical Society, we are highlighting pieces from the Collection which reflect the immigrant experience and relate to contemporary immigrants.

These posters, in a multitude of languages, are some of my favorite things in the Collection. We’ve all seen recent instruction to voters in Somali, Hmong, and other languages; these posters remind us that immigration has been part of life in Minnesota for a long time.

Voting Instructions in Finnish Voting Instructions in NorwegianVoting Instructions in Russian

Above, left to right, are posters in Finnish, Norwegian, Russian.

These were issued by the Secretary of State’s office between 1920 – 1930. Not only were they written in the language of the particular immigrant group, but they also used a specific font where appropriate.

Voting Instructions in BohemianVoting Instructions in German

Above, left to right, are posters in Bohemian and German.

Bookmark and Share

Immigration Week: Immigration Ceremonies

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

pf033956pf033955

In celebration of the new “Becoming Minnesotan” web site at the Minnesota Historical Society, this week’s Item of the Day theme is the history of immigration in Minnesota and the experiences of contemporary immigrant populations.

Immigration ceremonies, now and then. Left, immigrants taking oath of citizenship, Minneapolis Council of Americanization, circa 1925. Right, naturalization ceremony for 113 new U.S. citizens, Citizenship Day, Minnesota State Capitol, 1976.

Bookmark and Share

Immigration Week: Wild Geese

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Wild Geese

In celebration of the new “Becoming Minnesotan” web site at the Minnesota Historical Society, this week’s Item of the Day theme is the history of immigration in Minnesota and the experiences of contemporary immigrant populations.

Martha Ostenso was born in Bergen, Norway. She moved to Minnesota when she was two but didn’t learn English until she went to school. She was cruelly teased but loved the English language and kept a list of words that she thought sounded wonderful, like “cyclone” and “potato.” Her first novel, Wild Geese, was based on her experience teaching in a one room log school house in Manitoba and concerns immigrant farmers in the Red River Valley. It won her a prize worth more than $150,000 in today’s dollars and allowed her to become a full time writer.

Bookmark and Share

Immigration Week: Immigrants (Wood Relief Print)

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Immigrants

In celebration of the new “Becoming Minnesotan” web site at the Minnesota Historical Society, this week’s Item of the Day theme is the history of immigration in Minnesota and the experiences of contemporary immigrant populations.

Immigrants
Painter: Peter Wedin (1894-1980)
Art Collection, Wood Relief 1930
Location no. AV1988.204
Negative no. 56886

Bookmark and Share

Immigration Week: Immigrant trunks

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Immagrant trunks

In celebration of the new “Becoming Minnesotan” web site at the Minnesota Historical Society, this week’s Item of the Day theme is the history of immigration in Minnesota and the experiences of contemporary immigrant populations.

The J. Nilson (Nilsson) Enberg family immigrated from Sweden to Elk River, Minnesota in the late nineteenth century.  Blia Cha Thao and family moved from a refugee camp in Thailand to Minnesota in 1993. Both families brought their possessions in an immigrant trunk.

Bookmark and Share


An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs