The Immigration History Research Center Archives in the University of Minnesota Libraries (IHRCA, or IHRC Archives) is a renowned archives and library for the study of immigration, ethnicity, and race. We select sources documenting a broad range of immigrant and refugee experiences, and strive to connect history to today’s experiences. We work closely with our colleagues in the Immigration History Research Center, and we are part of the Migration and Social Services Collections in Archives & Special Collections (ASC) in the University of Minnesota Libraries.
Our collections' strengths are first and second generation immigrants and displaced persons who came to the USA from central, eastern, and southern Europe; the eastern Mediterranean (formerly called the “Near East” region of the Middle East and North Africa); and late-20th and early 21st century immigrants and refugees. Our collections vary from print to manuscript to born-digital. They include personal papers as well as organizational records of ethnic and immigrant-formed groups, and of social service providers.
We are open to the public and we welcome you to visit us in person. To ensure we can help you, contact us in advance.
Or, let us know how we can help you through our distance and virtual services.
Immigration History Research Center Archives, 311 Andersen Library, 222-21st Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 612-625-4800
Digitizing Immigrant Letters Project (2008 – present)
Continuing the tradition begun at the University of Minnesota by Theodore C. Blegen in the 1920s when he proposed an international collaboration to collect and preserve letters written by American immigrants and sent to Norway, it is appropriate that the IHRC & Archives - which has been collecting for research migrant correspondence since the acquisition of its earliest collections in the mid-1960s - initiated the Digitizing Immigrant Letters (DIL) Project.
The Project, now hosted by the Archives in the University of Minnesota Libraries, aims to collaborate with a wide variety of institutions in North America and abroad in order to create digital archives of letters written between migrants and their loved ones, to provide their translations into English and promote research of migrant correspondence across disciplines - in accordance with the Center's mission to promote interdisciplinary research on international migration, develop archives documenting immigrant and refugee life, especially in the United States, and make specialized scholarship accessible to students, teachers, and the public.
The timeline below is a summary of events and activities developed as part of the Project so far, with generous assistance of the DIL Project's sponsors and supporters.