Studies and Records
Published by the Norwegian-American Historical Association,
Copyright © 1941 by the Norwegian-American Historical Association
The articles that make up this volume are largely devoted to social and cultural aspects of Norwegian-American history. Miss Kimmerle explores the social implications of surnames and offers a fascinating illustration of the possibilities in the linguistic approach to immigrant history. Another rich and promising field is examined by Miss Rølvaag in her study of the Norwegian folk narrative in America. Both deal with the migration of ideas and traditions from the Old World to the New.
An emigrant voyage of the 1850's is pictured in lively detail and with a fine appreciation of human episode by Miss Jacobson. Another voyage, of somewhat earlier date, is described in an account written by a Texas pioneer which has been translated and edited by Professor Clausen. This account, telling of an immigrant party that left Norway in 1846, follows the experiences of the immigrants in Texas for a half dozen years.
The contributions of James Denoon Reymert to the founding and development of the pioneer Norwegian-American press are appraised by his great-grandnephew, Dr. Martin L. Reymert; and Miss Nilsen contributes an article on another editor, Ole Amundsen Buslett, a writer whose influence upon Norwegian-American letters has been significant.
Mr. Osland's article on Norwegian clubs in Chicago is stamped with the authenticity that comes from participation in the organizations and events described. His narrative, drawn from his unpublished reminiscences, is an original contribution to a little-known field of middle western social history.
Students of the writings and career of Professor Rølvaag will be grateful to Mr. Heitmann for his vivid portrayal of the early backgrounds of the distinguished Norwegian-American novelist. His informative essay draws upon rich memories of personal friendship with Rølvaag.
Professor Bjørk, who is engaged in a study of the contributions of Norwegian engineers in America, tells a story that has a wide range of interest, that of Ole Evinrude and his outboard motor. Mr. Hodnefield has compiled, for inclusion in this volume, the eighth installment in his series of reports on publications in the Norwegian-American field.
The reader will thus find in these pages ten articles which, viewed as a whole, constitute an interesting addition to the studies and records available in the field represented by the Association. Not a few of the writers are new to these pages; and it may be noted that three of them, Miss Kimmerle, Miss Rølvaag, and Miss Nilsen, present the results of studies launched by them as graduate students in the seminars of Professor Einar Haugen of the University of Wisconsin.
Theodore C. Blegen
University of Minnesota