Guide to the Archives

Archives Guide

NAHA first published its Guide to Manuscript Collections in 1979. The 2001 Guide to the Archives of the Norwegian-American Historical Association is available for download in PDF format below. This on line version will be updated with new entries from time to time. Remember that if you are searching for a specific item, you can always use Leif, the online archives search.

Some entries found in earlier versions no longer appear in this index because of collection transfer, and others have undergone revision because of additions to the collection or reorganization. NAHA’s books, periodicals and newspaper collections are not included in this index.

Using the Guide
The number cited at the beginning of each description is the index reference number. The P[apers] Number, the final entry in each introductory statement, indicates shelf location. The term typescript is used for both reproduced and original typewritten documents. The dates that follow the collection title give the dates for the earliest and latest document found in the collection. For example, if a collection is identified as “Diary,” the first and last entry dates would be cited.

Some descriptions include biographical information about the creator of the collection. The purpose is not to do honor to the individual but to add a descriptive dimension to the collection. When a person is assumed to be well known, less biographical information is provided. The size of the collection also enters as a factor. If the collection is small, less biographical information is given than for a larger one.

Most of the NAHA manuscripts are stored in standard document boxes that will hold approximately 500 single pages. Bulkier material such as ledgers and scrapbooks is housed in file-case-size boxes (12″ x 12″ x 20″). Larger documents that can be rolled are stored in tubes. It is possible for larger collections to have more than one shelf location. The Guide does not indicate when this is the case, but the Manuscripts Catalog does.

Standard American library practice has been used for alphabetizing the Norwegian vowels, the Å as AA, the Æ as AE, and the Ø as OE.

At times, photographs and even published material like pamphlets and reprints are included with “manuscripts” when they have a close relationship to the creator of the collection. In other cases they are included because of poor physical condition or diminutive size.