Historical family photo of a Norwegian-American family

The NAHA Archives can be a rich resource of information for family historians and genealogists. Although the focus of NAHA is the Norwegians after they arrived in America, and is historical in nature rather than strictly geneaolgical, you may find its resources helpful in your research.

The Norwegian American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library, 415 West Main Street, Madison, WI 53703, maintains a library and archives devoted to Norwegian American genealogical research.

Genealogy Materials

The following genealogical materials may be found in the NAHA Archives:

  • Rowberg File
    200,000+ clippings of biographical articles on Norwegian Americans from Norwegian-American newspapers, English-language country weeklies, church and lodge magazines, obituaries, Golden Anniversary celebrations, etc. Mounted on 3×5″ cards filed alphabetically. Women are usually listed under husbands or male relatives. Reference cards to longer articles are mounted in over 120 binders. Coverage: Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and where there were pockets of Norwegian settlements. The main time period covered is 1914-1980’s.
  • Rowberg Supplement
    50,000+ recent obituaries, mainly from North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota. Women are usually listed under their own names. A few older obituaries are also included.
  • Carl G. O. Hansen File
    Clipping collection (1900-1950) of the Minneapolis Norwegian-language newspaper. Index is in the last 13 drawers of the Rowberg File, giving number of envelope in the collection of 136 boxes.
  • Family History Collection
    Collection P0539, 39 boxes. Check card file index under Inventory cards. (This also includes cards for bound family histories in the library collections.)
  • Congregational Publications
    Collection P0537, 38 boxes.
  • Manuscript Collection
    Searchable online with Leif or at NAHA office with inventory and index cards.
  • Biographical Directories
    Pastors, teachers, etc. Directory of congregations.
  • Emigration Lists
    For Rogaland emigrants, see the 5 volume parish records published 1975 by the Regional state archive, Stavanger, Norway. See also lists of emigrants from Hallingdal, Hjartdal (Telemark), Lesje, Ringebu, Vang (Valdres) in NAHA. Also in the library: Østfold (JV6734.U8). Biri/Snertingdal, Vardal/Gjøvik (E184.S24 088); Land (DL576.L3 B6 v.4); Nordmøre (JV6734.S56); Hjørunfjord, Vartdal, Ørsta (JV6734.S7).
    NOTE: Search online at the Norwegian National Archives (

Reference Works

The following genealogical and reference materials are located in the Reference Room of the Rølvaag Library.

  • Norwegian encyclopedia (AE43.A75) 12 volumes. Useful for place names and histories of communities.
  • General genealogical guides: (e.g., Scandinavian Genealogical Research Manual CS16.T5).
  • Norwegian biographical encyclopedia (CT1293.N6) 19 volumes.
  • Norske gardsbruk (DL418.N85) Farm directory, southern counties, 1950-1970s.
  • Bibliographies of local history (DL448.F94).
  • Telephone books (DL576-581).
  • Rygh’s Norske gaardnavne (PD2695.R9). 21 volumes. Lists all main farms (and some subdivisions) by community (herred or kommune) and parish (sokn, sogn). Index for each fylke, general index for set. NOTE: Searchable version online at
  • Norge: land og folk, geografisk leksikon atlas-register (DL419.N7), 4 volumes.

General Collection

The following genealogical and historical materials are located in the stacks of the Rølvaag Library.

  • Bygdebøker – bygdebooks: local histories of Norwegian communities (DL576.A-Z; DL596.A-Z). Located in the Reference Room.
  • Books on Norwegian-American history: E184.S3, level 5. Includes publications of the bygdelags (E184.S26). Lovoll’s A Folk Epic (E184.S24 L66) has bibliography. [Some lag publications with periodicals or in Special Collections Vault collection.]
  • American local history (county histories, Norwegians in states or counties, etc.): F536-Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota. Level 5.
  • Norwegian-language newspapers on microfilm: Bikuben, Budstikken, Decorah Posten, Emigranten, Emigranten og Fædrelandet, Fædrelandet, Norden, Nordisk Folkeblad, Skandinaven. Some on paper in Special Collections. Church magazines (before 1960) on Level 1.