Mapping Norwegian America (MAPNA) brings
tgoether quantitative approaches to history and techniques of graphic
presentation to portray an American ethnic history in a multicultural
context. Using data from national, regional, and local sources,
MAPNA coordinates statistical methods with the technology of geographic
information systems (GIS) to explore and present the Norwegian-American
experience through numeric, graphic, cartographic, and photographic
means along with interpretive commentary. The primary result will
be an Atlas of Norwegian-American
The project focuses on a defined segment of the American population in
the interests of understanding the whole. The portion of the
American population now claiming Norwegian ancestry is in total larger
than the current population of its ancestral homeland.
Norwegian-Americans are a diverse population due to staggered arrivals
in the United States in different historical periods, to a history of
internal migrations, and to concentrations in various regions including
the upper midwest, the northwest, the west coast as a whole, and the
southwest. The Norwegian-American experience also offers the
opportunity to examine the changes in time comprehended by an extended
history, since mass migration of Norwegians to the United States began
as early as 1825 and continued in statistically significant numbers
until well into the twentieth century. Emphases include
demography, socio-economic characteristics, religious life, education,
language use, evolving identities, land use, agricultural history,
urban concentrations, and comparison with other ethnic groups.
In making data and findings about one piece of the American mosaic
available, MAPNA and the Atlas of
Norwegian-American History will add not only to the
understanding of Norwegian-American history but will contribute to
understanding how a modern can be composed of many ethnicities,
religions, and cultures.
The project is based at St. Olaf
College in Northfield, Minnesota and draws on the resources of its
Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CIR), which is supported by a
the National Science Foundation. The setting at St. Olaf also
offers opportunities for undergraduate research. St.
Olaf also houses the archival collections of the Norwegian-American
Historical Association (NAHA) as well as its own extended archival
collection. Together these collections offer the richest single
archival resource in Norwegian-American history in the United States.
A partnership with the Minnesota Population Center
(MPC) as the
University of Minnesota provides access to both advanced demographic
skills as well as the vast range of data the center has
gathered. Collaboration with the MPC links MAPNA to the resources
of the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS-USA and
IPUMS-International). The National Historical Geographical
Information System (NHGIS), also lodged within the MPC provided
cartographic advice and resources. The NAHA and the University of
Minnesota Press will cooperate in publishing the Atlas itself.
ESRI is a supportive and generous partner through grants of
software and technical support. Geodata AS of Norway has also granted valuable support and software.
Assembly of executive
projects and review
Revision of plan
and analysis of data
of graphics and text