Genealogy Research

St. Olaf College, founded by Norwegian immigrants and a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has many resources that may be of interest to genealogical researchers. The campus is home to the Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA), an organization that works to "locate, collect, preserve and interpret" Norwegian-American history "with accuracy, integrity, and liveliness."

However, neither Rolvaag library nor NAHA collect specifically for genealogical research, but rather for historical research. We have not collected, for example, U.S. Census records, Norwegian and American church records, or port emigration records. If you are interested in this kind of material, you may wish to contact the Norwegian American Genealogical Center in Madison, Wisconsin, which specializes in genealogical research.

Please contact NAHA directly to set up an appointment to use their materials. NAHA has limited staff, so use of its collections is by appointment only.

Rolvaag Library research librarians can provide a limited amount of help with genealogy research questions during our reference hours. Please note that we have shortened hours during the summer. We highly recommend calling before your visit to make sure the library will be open and someone will be available to assist you. Because of the time involved, we can't answer extensive genealogy questions by phone or email.

NAHA and Rolvaag Library do not have any translators on staff. If you need help translating information from Norwegian, you may contact NAHA for a list of translators.

Here are some resources that the St. Olaf Libraries offer to help you with research:

You might also be interested in:

  • Bygdelags. Organizations "comprised of descendants of emigrants from Norway to North America. Every 'Lag' seeks to preserve and strengthen bonds with its home district or community-of-origin in Norway." This website provides a map of the Bygdelag regions in Norway and contact information for the Lags.
  • Nasjonalbiblioteket. National Library of Norway.