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American Swedish Historical Museum scrapbook collection


Held at: American Swedish Historical Museum [Contact Us]1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19145

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the American Swedish Historical Museum. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley was New Sweden, a colony founded by Swedish emigrants in 1638. Swedish sovereignty over the colony lasted less than 20 years, although Swedes continued to settle in the area and exerted an influence over its cultural development. Swedish immigration to the United States rose sharply for the period from 1867 and 1914, when difficult economic conditions in Sweden and cheap land in the United States encouraged many to make the journey. Most immigrants chose not to settle in the Philadelphia area, and instead moved farther west to Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, California and Washington--the states which still have the highest numbers of Swedish-American today. Nonetheless, the Philadelphia area remains a locus for Swedish-American culture because it was the site of the first Swedish settlement in the United States. In 1926, Sweden's Crown Prince (Later King Gustav VI Adolf) placed a cornerstone for the American Swedish Historical Museum in southern Philadelphia. Construction was delayed due to the Great Depression, but the museum was dedicated during the tercentenary celebration of the New Sweden colony in 1938 (which was marked by another visit from the Swedish royal family).


American Swedish Historical Museum. "History of the Museum." Accessed March 15, 2012.

The Swedish Colonial Society. "A Brief History of New Sweden in America." Accessed March 15, 2012.

This collection contains various scrapbooks--mostly newspaper clippings scrapbooks--relating to topics of interest to Swedes in America. Major subjects include visits of the Swedish royal family to America, the American Swedish Historical Museum, and specific Swedish or Swedish-American personalities including Jenny Lind and Charles Lindberg.

A large portion of the collection is taken up by about 20 clippings scrapbooks compiled by the American Swedish News Exchange, 1934-1938, relating news items of interest to Swedish-Americans.

Another large portion of the scrapbooks collection relates to American tours by the Swedish royal family in 1926 and 1938, and the New Sweden Colony tercentenary celebrations of 1938. About 8 scrapbooks are devoted to newspaper clippings about these events, plus two additional scrapbooks from Chicago-based groups. These are: a minute book of Gustavus Adolphus Tercentenary Association (Chicago) with ephemera tipped-in, 1923-1938; and Swedish American Tercentenary Association (Chicago) correspondence and ephemera, 1938.

There are also about one-half dozen scrapbooks about the American Swedish Historical Museum, whose groundbreaking and dedication coincided with visits by the Swedish royal family. These scrapbooks are comprised of newspaper clippings, ephemera, and invitations, and span from 1926-1976. They are complemented by a scrapbook about the Women's Auxiliary, which dates from 1928 to 1939.

Finally, this collection includes a number of scrapbooks about Swedish and Swedish-American personalities or organizations. The list below is not complete, but gives an idea of the types of scrapbooks that can be found in the collection:

Scrapbooks created by or collected by the American Swedish Historical Museum.

American Swedish Historical Museum
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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