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Collection G. N. Swan papers
Collection Number MSS P:6
Dates of Creation 1850-1938
Extent of Description 54.5 linear feet, 121 boxes
Language Swedish, English
Creator Swan, G.N. (Gustaf Nelson), 1856-1938
Search Terms Swan, G.N. (Gustaf Nelson), 1856-1938
Swan family
Sioux City (Iowa)
Evangelical Lutheran Church (Sioux City, Iowa)
Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.)
Föreningen för svenskhetens bevarande i utlandet
American-Scandinavian Foundation
Diplomatic and consular service
Swedish-American Lincoln Club (Sioux City, Iowa)
Travel writing
Ocean liners
Administrative or Biographical History Gustav Nilsson Swan was born in Räfstad, Tjärstads parish in the county of Östergötland May 16, 1856 to Kristoffer Nilsson and Anna Lovia Persson Swan. The father was a farmer, juryman and councilor. The family immigrated to the U.S. in 1870 and settled on a farm in Belinda, Lucas County, Iowa. Swan attended public schools in Iowa 1870-1873, and worked as a store clerk 1873-1876 in Clarithon and Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He studied at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois 1877-1879. After attending college, he first went to work as a secretary and manager for a Swedish fabric company in Sioux City, as treasurer in a bank 1889-1910, guardian and trustee of property 1910-. Swan also served as the Swedish and Norwegian counsel in Sioux City, Iowa 1899-1906 and for Sweden 1906-1928.

Swan was a member of the Augustana College and Seminary board of trustees between 1893-1912, Augustana Book Concern board 1917-1926, treasurer for the Augustana Synod mission board, 1894-1896, treasurer for the Iowa conference 1896-1899, Riksföreningen för Svenskhetens bevarande i utlandet, Svenska Kulturförbundet i Amerika 1917-1927, and the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

He received the honorary degree of atrium magister 1900 and L.H.D in 1917 from Augustana College and the North Star in 1928.

Swan married Carolina Sofia Samuelsson from Norrhult, Tidesrum parish in Östergötland on June 12, 1884. Their one child, Helge was born July 27, 1885 (see MSSP:5), a literary critic and drama playwright. Helge died at the age of 36 and was proceeded in death by his mother.

Swan contributed regularly with articles to Swedish, Swedish-American, American press, newspapers and journals alike. He also published the following books:

Fjettrad, eller den strid som stundar. Öfversättning från engelskan. Rock Island, Illinois 1885
Svenskarna i Sioux City. Några blad ur deras historia. Chicago, 1912
Gamla Svenska Biblar i Amerika och Bibelns segertåg genom världen.
Tvenne uppsatser om Böckernas Bok. Rock Island, Illinois

Scope & Content The collection reflects Swan's interest in Swedish-American literature, the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, press history, cultural The collection is divided into ten series and includes the following material:
I. The material includes autobiographical and biographical material, including clippings from newspapers, handwritten notes, and scrapbooks.
II. Family correspondence. The series include letters from family members and are arranged chronologically.
III. a. Professional correspondence, 1875-1938, indexed on cards by writer's last name
b. Letter files, arranged by writer's last name (card index in progress)
IV. Correspondence and business files. The series include information about the Augustana Evangelical Church in Sioux City such as extracts of minutes, financial records, and accounts; Correspondence with Föreningen för Svenskhetens Bevarande i Utlandet; consular files, and estate papers, etc.
V. Personal finance and legal papers. The series include notebooks containing travel expenses, sales of land, bills, etc; papers relating to personal investments in stocks and securities; tax returns; real estate papers etc.
VI. Literary production and writings. The material includes Swan's notebooks containing listings of pseudonyms, travel journals, and other literary and historical compilations.
VII. Subject files. The series include among others biographical material about individuals, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, Augustana College, and the Swedish-American Lincoln Club of Sioux City, Iowa.
VIII. Scrapbooks and Clippings containing material of various Swedish-American topics such as "Letter to newspapers," Swan's contributions to newspapers, Svenskarna i Amerika, and Svenskarna i Sioux City.
IX. Clippings from Swan's books arranged in call number order.
X. Printed pamphlets and matters arranged in alphabetical order according to subject and include information on the topics of religion, business matters, and art.
XI. Photographs including portraits of Swan, his family, printed portraits of Swedish-American authors, and Stereo View Cards.
XII. Postcards of emigrant ships, Swedish-American buildings and sites, and from various sites in Europe and United States.
XIII. Artifacts such as notebooks, calendars, business cards, pins, and ribbons
XIV. Misc. book catalogs, travel brochures, and copies book reviews.
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