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Welcome to the Swenson Center's Online Collections Database!

This database serves as a searchable catalog of our collections, including records describing our archival collections and digital images of our photographs and artifacts. Please note: This database provides access to catalog records of archival collections, not to digital collections themselves. Please contact us to view archival collections in-house or make arrangements for photocopies. Make sure to check back as we continue to add catalog records and digital images to the collection.

The Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College is a national archives and research institute providing resources for the study of Swedish immigration to North America, the communities the immigrants established, and the role the immigrants and their descendants have played in American life. This is achieved by promoting and initiating academic research in the field and by collecting and cataloging Swedish-American archival and library materials. Another major role for the Center is to assist people researching their Swedish-American genealogy.

Tips for Searching

Searches using the Swedish vowels åäö are now allowed!

Keyword Search

The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online. Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Hanley Ranch will return records associated with Hanley OR Ranch). If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type in AND between the two words. To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Rocky Pine Ranch"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching White in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the White family, without having to sift through black & white photographs. You can also search People and Creator records through Advanced Search. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.

Random Images

The Random Images button is a great way to just browse the collection. Each Random Images page displays a random assortment of images from the records online. If something piques your interest, click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the image.

Catalog Searches (Archives / Photos / Objects)

The catalog buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalog. If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within that catalog without performing a search. Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing catalog searches.


Records in this database include a comments section. Researchers may utilize the comments section to communicate with one another. Use the comments section to provide additional information about a photograph or archival record, point researchers to additional sources, or share relevant anecdotes. The comments section is moderated. Off-topic and inappropriate posts will be deleted. Comments that simply contain a URL will not be accepted; they must also contain a description of the URL and why it is relevant. Opinions and information contained in the comments belong to the authors of the comments.